Submission on

Land Transport Rule 32006/3 Frontal Impact Amendment 2007   26 January 2007 

Complete as per Part One of on-line submission form. 

On behalf of the Left Hand Drive Enthusiasts Federation (LHDEF).

Jeff Tobin
Left Hand Drive Enthusiasts Federation
FREEPOST, PO Box 83-183 Edmonton Auckland.
  

Confidential Information

No part of our submission is confidential and is available for public dissemination, as well as to other interested parties for comment.

Left Hand Drive Enthusiasts Federation represents a number of left hand drive enthusiast clubs, associations and individuals including but not Limited to Mustang and Corvette clubs, NZ Buick Enthusiast club, American Muscle Car Club, American Classic Car Club, Pukekohe Hot Rod Club, Cadillac La Salle, N.S.R.A.  

The LHDEF is the voice for several thousand individual enthusiasts via these organisations.  

Immigrants Vehicles

s2.7(1) (e) (i) (ii) 

The LHDEF supports the view that immigrants should be entitled to import a vehicle that they have owned and used overseas.  

Unique Collectable Vehicles

S 2.1 (7) (f) amended per 2.3 (1)

Our concern at this stage is that there is no definition in the rule of what is considered Unique Collectable. In the absence of any specific definition, Oxford Dictionary definitions are stated below. 

Concise Oxford Dictionary 10th Edition published 1999

Unique              =          "being the only one of its kind, unlike anything else"
Collectable        =          "worth collecting/of interest to a collector/an item sought and valued by collectors.
Collector           =          systematically seek and acquire (items of a particular kind) as a hobby

Ones interpretation of the term "unique collectable" in the spirit of the legislation makes it difficult to understand the "unique collectable" category within the objective of the rule that it relates to, namely:

A series of rules that sets safety requirements and standards for systems and components in motor vehicles operating in New Zealand. 

However the rule requires a vehicle to be unique nature, in combination with the need for a series of vehicles or the physical act of collection of more than one - causes the LHDEF great concern regarding the interpretation of the rule.

The limiting nature of the definition is, in the view of the LHDEF an issue given the broad range of enthusiast vehicle clubs throughout New Zealand.

We do not want to see a one off or limited number say 20 or so produced vehicles as being the only form of collectable vehicle that would be eligible to be on any register. There are many collectable enthusiast vehicles that may be produced in full volume overseas, but are not readily available in New Zealand.  

These vehicles in New Zealand are low volume vehicles that are deemed by their owners to be unique collectable, desirable and highly valued and should be eligible for inclusion on a register of exempt vehicles.

One criterion for examples of such genre of vehicles would be to look toward enthusiasts clubs that have been established for a number of years for such vehicles.

The LHDEF seeks to have the term "unique collectable" replaced by the term "a vehicle desirable to enthusiasts or collectors"

Motor Sport vehicles

Section 23(1) (d)

LHDF supports the amendments as published 

Vehicle of more than 2500kg gross mass

LHDF has no mandate to comment on this amendment as published

Removal of Directors Power to consider exemptions

LHDF agrees with the intent of amendments sought however

Clause 4.6 (4) (5) (6) and (7)

It appears that what will be considered eligible to be included on the register of “unique collectable” will be determined by the panel of recognised vehicle experts to be appointed by the Director. This is where we believe our members can add value by having a representative or representatives included within this panel. We have between our members a wide range and have ready access to specialist information on a number of genres of recognised collectable marques in New Zealand. We are representative of mainstream New Zealand motoring enthusiasts covering a wide range of marques.

The LHDF submits that the amendments proposed in clause 4.6(6) be reworded to include

“The director may appoint, by notice in the Gazette a panel to compile and maintain a register of motor vehicle types that the panel considers should be recognised as being desirable to collectors or enthusiasts due to their intrinsic value, or collectable nature or unique design features or connection to a historic event or personality or are unavailable in New Zealand new from the original manufacturer and as such would be suitable for certification and entry into the New Zealand motor fleet.”

The LHDF also submits that the term vehicle "expert" needs to include a number of individuals with subject matter experience over a specific area of the motor vehicle community:

 ie:

Motor sport (Historic and Modern)
Vintage and Veteran
Military vehicles
European Exotics
American Muscle cars
 and any other "niche" market as yet unthought of

Clause 4.6(8)

We would ask that the Directors powers to grant exemptions remain. There may be an opportunity to purchase a vehicle overseas that could be added to the "enthusiast collectable" fleet but may not at that point in time be included on the register, for example there may be a vehicle up for auction and a quick decision needs to be made.  Provision must also be made for any such exemption applications to be considered and resolved with reasonable swiftness.

Rather than having to wait for the next meeting of the panel and miss an opportunity to purchase such a vehicle, there should be someone with ultimate authority who enthusiasts can have access to, on short notice, that can grant an exemption where appropriate, in order for such a vehicle to be purchased without undue stress and worry to the purchaser.

The LHDEF submits that the amendment proposed in para 4.6(8) be amended to read

The Director MAY grant exemptions under section 166 of the Act 

Other Comments on overview

Nil comments further than those earlier stated

Draft Rule

A consideration that has been missed in the overview and the draft rule is that of environmental sustainability and possibility also road safety.

The enthusiast's vehicles are purchased and imported as they are collectable and have a following which cherishes the usage and maintenance of the vehicle. The following points need to be made regarding environmental sustainability with regard to the enthusiast (unique) collectable.

 Ø       The vehicle will be a second vehicle and subject to limited use.
 
Ø       The vehicle ownership will extend for longer than an average everyday car.*
 
             * It is estimated that the environmental cost of manufacturing and then wrecking a motor vehicle is high in comparison with a longer life on the road
 
Ø       Enthusiasts maintain their collectable vehicles to a far higher standard than the ordinary motorist resulting in reduced emissions, fuel costs and a safer overall condition. This is also true in the case of the motor sport community.
 
Ø       The enthusiasts vehicles being uncommon are more highly visible than are standard fleet vehicles

 Application

 Nil

 Amendments to definitions

S  2.1 (7) (f) amended per Clause 2.3 (1)

The LHDEF seeks to have the term "unique collectable" replaced by the term "a vehicle desirable to enthusiasts or collectors"

Clause 4.6 (4) (5) (6) (7) and (8)

The LHDEF submits that the amendments proposed in para 4.6(4) to (7) be subject to application seeking inclusion into the panel and its decision making process

The LHDEF submits that the amendments proposed in clause 4.6(6) be reworded to include

The director may appoint, by notice in the Gazette a panel to compile and maintain a register or motor vehicle types that the panel considers should be recognised as being desirable to collectors or enthusiasts due to their intrinsic value, or collectable nature or unique design features or connection to a historic event or personality or are unavailable in New Zealand new from the original manufacturer and as such would be suitable for certification and entry into the New Zealand motor fleet.

The LHDEF also submits that the term vehicle "expert" needs to include a number of individuals with subject matter experience over a specific area of the motor vehicle community:
ie;
Motor sport (Historic and Modern)
Vintage and Veteran
Military vehicles
European Exotics
American Muscle cars*
 
* list may not be exhaustive

The LHDEF submits that the amendment proposed in para 4.6(8) be amended to read

“The Director MAY grant exemptions under section 166 of the Act”

Schedules

Nil

Other Comments on draft Rule

We applaud the recognition within the yellow draft that it is not the intention of the Frontal Impact Rule to prevent unique collectable vehicles that do not meet a frontal impact standard from entering into the fleet, whether or not they are more than 20 years old.

This makes sense, as often rules are written that have a direct impact on those vehicle that these rules were not meant to have any impact on. Some enthusiast vehicles will fall into this category.

We believe it is imperative to have enthusiast panel members represented and ask that the New Zealand Federation of Motoring Clubs also have a committee member or members appointed to this panel. FOMC represents over 90 member clubs and has obvious access to recognised expertise within their membership.

Members of the enthusiast public and certainly members of our organisation do have real apprehension that the panel of experts as appointed by the Director could be swayed by persons who do not share the same passion about vehicles or type of vehicle that we do, resulting in little or no change to the current unfair regime for registering a newer that 20 year old left hand drive vehicle for private use in New Zealand. In fact the question of who or what is deemed a "vehicle expert" by definition must be asked.

Unfair, unreasonable treatment and unnecessary delays are perceived as a very real problem currently by vehicle enthusiasts throughout out the country when dealing with government departments such as LTNZ/MoT. Henceforth a great opportunity arises to bridge this gap and work together for a win-win situation that recognises the needs of LTNZ/MoT and New Zealand vehicle enthusiasts.

Many LHD enthusiasts are of the baby boomer generation i.e. between their early 40’s and early 60’s and have as such been working many years and have finally reached a stage in life where they can now afford to purchase a vehicle of their dreams only to be headed off at the pass by badly written rules simply designed to prevent commercial importation which an enthusiast who wishes to import a vehicle for private use has been unfairly caught up in.

It is time to recognise these enthusiasts and allow for these vehicles to enter the fleet without undue unfairness or hardship.

Any rule amendment must have a vision of the future in mind. For example, in recent years there has been a renaissance of the collectable muscle car marques in the United States. A number of major car manufacturers have in recent years produced some very sought after models that recognise the glory of the muscle car era of the 60;s and 70’s.  and have been producing some very collectable retro versions of vehicles sought after by enthusiasts in this country, but not readily available in New Zealand. Only a true enthusiast or collector would part with the money required to own one of these vehicles even though they are not unique.