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Managing integrity of used vehicle certification inspection and inspection organisations

All vehicles entering New Zealand must be checked, certified, registered and licensed before they can be used on the road. This process is called entry certification.

The NZ Transport Agency’s approach to assessing any potential conflicts of interest with regard to this process is set out in an operational policy. At the time the policy was created, some integration of the used vehicle supply chain was anticipated and taken into account, but not to the extent that has subsequently occurred.

Policy development and consultation process

The Transport Agency sought feedback on the proposed amendments to its policy for managing potential conflicts of interest of used vehicle entry certification inspectors and organisations.

Consultation closed on 22 March 2019. 

Proposed policy changes

The proposed policy changes include:

  • clarification of the definition of ‘conflict of interest’;
  • strengthened controls for appointing used vehicle entry certification inspectors and organisations to avoid these conflicts of interest; and
  • making sure that all vehicle inspectors and organisations have an ongoing duty to tell us about any conflicts of interest that arise

The proposed policy changes would mean that, for any new appointment or renewal, the Transport Agency would no longer permit an inspection organisation to carry out entry certification activities for a vehicle if that inspection organisation (or a related party, such as their parent company or subsidiary):

  • has an ownership interest in the vehicle; or
  • has conducted border inspections for the vehicle.

The reason for this proposed change is that the Transport Agency has reached a preliminary view, for which it sought public input, that these types of conflicts of interest should be avoided in order to maintain the integrity of the entry certification system.

The proposed changes would not prohibit an entry certifier, or a related entity, from importing used vehicles or carrying out border inspection services. Instead, the proposed changes would require that the entry certifier does not certify the same vehicles in which it (or a parent or subsidiary) has an ownership interest, or for which it (or a related party) has conducted border inspection services.

Policy development process, including consultation approach and timelines

Consultation closed on 22 March 2019. The Transport Agency received several significant submissions which will take time to consider.

As part of its process of publicly notifying any policy change decisions, the Transport Agency will provide a summary of the submissions and an explanation of any changes made as a result of our consideration of the submissions.

We expect to announce the results of the consultation and any new policy between July and September 2019. We will confirm our announcement date at least one month in advance.

We expect that any new policy would take effect from 31 December 2019, when the currently existing deeds and notices of appointment expire.

The Transport Agency expects to call for and decide new appointment applications between October and November 2019. New appointments would be effective 31 December 2019. The Transport Agency will ensure that the reappointment process for certifiers is workable, sensible and takes into account the magnitude of any change.

The indicative timeframes proposed by the Transport Agency are summarised below.

Policy development Consultation closes 22 March 2019
Submissions and impact analysis April – June 2019
Further policy development based on submissions analysis
Publish summary of submissions July – September 2019
Announce policy changes (if any)
Implementation Confirm appointment process for new deeds and notices of appointment, and impact of new policy (if any) September 2019
Transport Agency seeks new appointments October 2019
New appointments notified November 2019
New appointments effective 31 December 2019
New policy (if any) takes effect 31 December 2019

The Transport Agency invites submitters to present their submission in person

The Transport Agency extends an invitation to any submitter who wishes to present their submission to the Transport Agency in person. The opportunity is being offered to all submitters, but presenting your submission is not mandatory. The Transport Agency will continue to consider all submissions equally, regardless of whether they are supported by a presentation.

The Transport Agency has arranged sessions in Auckland and Wellington for submission presentations:

  • Auckland: Monday 8 April 2019, 10am – 5pm
  • Wellington: Wednesday 10 April 2019, 10am – 4pm

If you would like to secure a presentation time, please contact the Transport Agency at regulation@nzta.govt.nz. Locations will be confirmed with you when you secure a presentation time.

The Transport Agency will also consider alternative dates or locations if you are unable to attend on these days.

Presenting submissions with commercially sensitive or other sensitive information

Any part of a presentation that addresses the commercially sensitive or confidential part of a submitter’s written submission will need to be identified as such, as submissions may become publicly available under the Official Information Act 1982. Before your presentation, we will ask you to clearly state when you are sharing confidential or commercially sensitive information. Like your written submission, on the basis that you reasonably identify information as confidential or commercially sensitive, the Transport Agency:

  • confirms that it will treat the information as confidential and so will not release the information voluntarily; and
  • confirms its understanding that your information likely can be withheld under sections 9(2)(ba)(i) and 9(2)(b)(ii) of the Official Information Act 1982.

Note that any decision of the Transport Agency to withhold your information under the Official Information Act 1982(external link) is subject to correction by the Ombudsman, who can require that the Transport Agency release your full information.

Consultation document

Questions and answers

View the questions and answers about the policy consultation

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