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Waka Kotahi begins consultation on changes to regulatory fees and charges

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Better regulation means better safety on our roads, and today Waka Kotahi starts consultation on changes to fees and charges needed to pay for an effective regulatory system for land transport in Aotearoa. 

“After a thorough 18-month review of our funding and fees we’ve developed a new funding model which will provide the resources and certainty we need to improve safety and compliance in the transport system through effective regulation,” says Kane Patena, Director of Land Transport.

“The new model is based on the simple principle that everyone who creates risk in the land transport system, or who receives direct benefits from being part of it, should contributes to funding its regulation. It means the right people will pay for the right things, and we’ll be able to provide better regulation into the future.”

The review of funding and fees was prompted by the release of two independent reports in 2019 by MartinJenkins and Kristy McDonald QC that found gaps and weaknesses in the regulatory system for land transport in New Zealand.

The MartinJenkins report emphasised that the regulatory arm of Waka Kotahi was underfunded.

“In response, Waka Kotahi has undertaken a thorough review of our funding, fees and charges for regulatory services like driver and vehicle licensing, and the regulation of people and businesses in the land transport system like vehicle certifiers,” said Mr Patena. 

“This was the first comprehensive review of fees and charges since before Waka Kotahi was established in 2008. We found that most of our fees and charges don’t reflect the current cost to effectively regulate or provide regulatory services, and confirmed that our current funding situation is unsustainable.”

A progress report from MartinJenkins from December 2021 on Waka Kotahi’s effectiveness as a regulator noted that significant progress has been made since 2019.

Mr Patena says these improvements have been funded through temporary government loans.

“We’ve significantly increased regulatory resourcing and lifted our performance in critical areas, but we can’t continue to rely on government loans to pay for this work, and we need to change our funding model.” 

Information about the proposed changes is available at nzta.govt.nz/funding-and-fees

Regulatory funding and fees – highlights

NOTE: All numbers reflect ONLY the Waka Kotahi portion of a fee or charge. For example, a business will add their charge on top when you get a WoF, and Police will add their vetting fee on top when you apply for an endorsement.

General

Eight proposals make up the new funding model and include suggested changes to government funding, along with many changes to the amounts Waka Kotahi charges for services:

  • recommending an allocation of land transport revenue to fund some regulatory functions
  • changes to driver licence and driver testing fees
  • changes to motor vehicle licence and registration fees
  • changes to administration fees for RUC (admin fees are included in the cost when you buy RUC)
  • changes to fees and charges for TSL holders
  • changes to fees and charges for motor vehicle certifier activities
  • changes to charges for commercial and council data users
  • changes to fees and charges for eRUC providers. 

Driver licensing​

  • The average price for many driver licence fees is proposed to be decreased. ​
  • Fees for re-sitting driver licence tests would be removed.
  • The cost of getting a learner licence through to full driver licence and failing a restricted test on the first attempt would drop from $425 to $352. ​
  • The cost to renew a driver licence would drop from $60.02 to $31.45.​
  • The cost of applying for an exemption (DL4) would increase from $27.20 to $94.95. ​

Vehicle licensing (rego)

  • Renewal of rego at an agent (over the counter) would increase from $7.20 to $11.57
  • Renewal of rego online would increase from $4.10 to $8.24.​

Road User Charges (RUC) admin (included in the cost when you purchase RUC)

  • The admin portion of the cost to buy a RUC distance licence through an agent would increase from $7.80 to $13.25
  • The admin fees to buy RUC online would increase from $4.80 to $12.05.​

Passenger (P) Endorsements

  • Cost of a 1-year P endorsement would increase from $73 to $205.18
  • Cost of a 5-year P endorsement would decrease from $254.90 to $205.18

Transport Services Licence (TSL)

  • The cost of passenger (small and large) licences and vehicle recovery service licences would increase from $55 to $84.98
  • The cost of goods service licences and rental service licences would increase from $55 to $102.68.
     

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