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Te Manatū Waka Ministry of Transport is inviting New Zealanders to submit their views on improving the Road User Charges system, says Secretary for Transport, Peter Mersi.

“New Zealand has a pioneering system to recover the costs of wear and tear to our roads, especially that caused by heavy vehicles,” Peter Mersi says.

Road User Charges, or RUC, are paid by all vehicles that use fuels other than petrol or are heavier than 3.5 tonnes. Light electric vehicles (EVs) are exempt from RUC until 31 March 2024 and heavy EVs are exempt until the end of 2025.

“This system remains world-leading but needs to evolve to adapt to changes in technology and in the transport sector.

“The discussion document, Te Huringa Taraiwa: Te arotake I te pūnaha utu kaiwhakamahi rori | Driving Change: Reviewing the Road User Charges System(external link), covers a wide range of options, from simplifying compliance and making better use of technology to considering how to modify RUC to better address issues like climate change and other government priorities.”

Some of the questions considered in the document are:

  • Whether the heavy EVs RUC exemption should end on 31 December 2025 and if the exemption should be widened to also exempt hydrogen powered vehicles or other new fuels?
  • Should all heavy vehicles start using electronic RUC, and should we move away from paper labels for RUC and registration?
  • Should the RUC system be able to charge for things like noise pollution and congestion, rather than just road wear and tear on the roads?
  • Can RUC be used to support the government’s emission reduction commitments and the uptake of cleaner technologies?
  • Should electric motorbikes or All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) used on the road pay RUC?
  • Can we make other changes to improve the enforcement of RUC, like checking odometers at Warrant and Certificate of Fitness (WoF/CoF) inspections?

“Some of the proposals will also give us an opportunity to reduce the costs of administering RUC, improve compliance and the value for money delivered by this system.

“Depending on the results of the consultation, we expect some changes could be implemented as early as mid-2022, whereas more significant changes would involve further consultation and changes to legislation and would come into force no earlier than 2023-2024,” Peter Mersi says.

You can view the consultation document and make submissions on the Ministry’s website link).

Submissions close 22 April 2022.

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