Driving licenses, WoFs and vehicle registrations extended past expiry

It was obvious that leeway would need to be given on vehicle warrant of fitnesses that expire while under lockdown. The Government is addressing this as well as some vehicle registrations and license renewals. (Most people should be able to renew vehicle registrations online).

Any that expired after 1 January 2020 will be extended “for up to six months from 10 April 2020” – that’s a bit vague but could be dependent on when the lockdown is eased.

I hope this will also cover us for insurance.


Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown

All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced.

“People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving to use essential services or as an essential worker during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown,” Phil Twyford said.

“That’s why we have provided an extension to give certainty to the public that they won’t be issued infringement notices for using their vehicles appropriately. It’ll still be up to drivers to keep their vehicles safe and I urge owners to follow the NZ Transport Agency’s advice and regularly self-check their vehicle.

“We’re asking drivers before they set off, to give it a TWIRL – check your Tyres, Windscreen, wipers, mirrors, and Indicators, look for Rust, and test your Lights.

“We are allowing essential repairs, like sorting out punctured tyres or damaged windscreens. If anything looks out of order, please go get it fixed as soon as you can.

“Drivers will still need to be medically fit to drive, comply with relevant restrictions and conditions on their licence and obey all road rules. Any licence suspensions and disqualifications will also continue to apply.

“The extension will give people and businesses plenty of time after the lockdown to renew their documents without putting extra pressure on them when they are already likely to be stressed,” Phil Twyford said.

Other changes include license endorsements that expire on or after 1 March 2020 will be extended and there will be a suspension of the requirement to display a current vehicle licence (rego) if it expired on or after 1 January 2020.

 

Labour versus “slum boarding houses”

Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says that Labour will get tough on slum boarding houses but is vague on details.

The next Labour-led Government will legislate a Warrant of Fitness based on tough minimum standards to clean out slum boarding houses, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“It’s not acceptable for New Zealanders in the 21st Century to be living in the kind of rat-infested dumps that have been exposed in recent media reports.

“National has had nine years to fix these problems and they’re still denying there’s a housing crisis.

“Too many of our most vulnerable people are being exploited by slum boarding house operators, in dangerous and unsanitary conditions.

“The country’s had enough of Nick Smith’s tinkering and excuses.

“Labour will legislate tough minimum standards and a licensing regime that will weed out rogue operators. We’ll also mandate local government’s enforcement role, to be funded by the licensing system.

“Labour will take the first crucial steps to fix the housing crisis. But, cleaning up slum boarding houses is long overdue and will be an immediate priority,” says Phil Twyford.

This sounds like it may be jumping on a bandwagon from an item on The Nation yesterday – Boarding house horrors:

A housing shortage means more people are turning to boarding houses for accommodation, but as Caitlin McGee discovers, experts say rogue landlords are using the desperation of tenants and a lack of regulation to exploit vulnerable people.

Twyford gave no link to Labour policies on this and there is no mention in Our plan to start fixing the housing crisis.

Twyford is short on some key details, like what will happen to landlords who don’t meet ‘warrant of fitness’ requirements, and what will happen to residents who have to find somewhere else to live.

I have found a press release from Andrew Little:  Healthy homes for all

Next week on May 4, National MPs will get the chance to ensure every rental home in New Zealand is warm and dry – by supporting my Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill (No 2).

It is aimed at preventing any more cases like Emma-Lita’s, setting strict guidelines around insulation and heating which all landlords must comply with before they can legally rent out their properties.

It’s about doing what an increasingly callous government has failed to do with its continued protection of slum landlords rather than looking after those in need. And it’s not just our most vulnerable – more middle New Zealand families are renting, locked out of the housing market by soaring prices.

A previous Labour Bill that would have ensured every rental home was warm and dry was rejected by the Government last year. Housing Minister Nick Smith argues he’s doing all that’s needed to improve the “deplorable” state of rentals.

Not so. The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill requires rental homes to be retrofitted with ceiling and underfloor insulation.  It comes into effect in July for state houses, but not until 2019 for other rental – read private – housing.

Nick Smith believes his Bill is a pragmatic and efficient option to the problem, and that alternatives are too expensive and will not prove to be beneficial.

But hang on. There is nothing in it about minimum standards of heating. A 2014 Household Income Report shows the majority of kids living in poverty live in private rentals. Those are the families who can least afford to heat their homes.

National has accepted the need to regulate private rental properties by requiring insulation. When temperatures plummet insulation only isn’t going to keep you warm. Why not finish the job and require efficient heating too?

No child, no pensioner, no struggling uni student, no New Zealander, should be living in a hovel. Sadly, some are.

It’s inexcusable in this day and age to be renting out something that is so poorly maintained that it becomes a health hazard.

The Government has the opportunity to do something about that come May 4, by supporting my Bill.

I presume this Member’s bill failed. I also presume this is something like what Twyford was referring to.

 

Monthly warrant of fitness? For drivers?

From NZ Herald – Ex top cop hits out at change to WoF rules

A former top police officer says the road toll will climb within a few years because of “narrow-minded” changes to the warrant of fitness regime.

Mr Kearns, who stepped down in 2010 ending a 28-year career as a traffic cop, said it was naive to compare New Zealand and other countries’ warranting systems when implementing the changes as most other countries had far superior driving behaviour records and very few accepted secondhand Japanese import cars.

“New Zealanders aren’t very well-behaved on the roads and, personally, I see the road toll will increase because of this,” he said.

“They might save $159 million but each road death has a social cost of about $3 million per person so they will start to whittle that saving down quickly with any extra road deaths that may occur.”

If increasing the period between Warrants will increase deaths and costs then would decreasing the period reduce deaths and costs? If so, why not have monthly WoF?

Obviously there has to be a balance, and that’s what politicians do, they balance up pros and cons and make decisions.

Mechanical defects are only a small factor in road deaths. Poor driving and alcohol cause many more deaths and cost much more.

Should we have six monthly warants of fitness to drive?

Should we breath test much more frequently?