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Left Hand Drive Campaign Updates

The updates below outline the progress of the campaign to liberalise the import and registation restrictions on LHD performance and collectable cars 2004 to 2010.

Update 35:  27July 2010

Dear Left Hand Drive enthusiasts,
  People who are looking to purchase a left hand drive vehicle or any vehicle that is not yet registered and needs to go through compliance,
need to make sure their intended vehicle meets all current rules including current emission rule standards.
The Steering Systems Rule is just one of the rules that you have to meet as far as left hand drive vehicles are concerned.

Under the emission rule certain exemptions are granted if the vehicle was manufactured prior to 1 January 1990 or meets the
Special Interest Vehicle Criteria ( SIV) as defined in the Frontal Impact Rule. Please refer to the rules attached.

We recommend that you work closely with one of the TSD agents such a VINZ and do your home work first before purchasing a vehicle.
You can also apply to NZTA for a permit before you purchase a vehicle to make sure that your intended vehicle meets the criteria.

Click the links below to download the Vehicle Emissions or Frontal Impact Rules

NZTA Vehicle Emissions 2007     NZTA Frontal Impact 2008

Update 34:  18 July 2010

Dear Left Hand Drive enthusiasts,
 Here is some information that might be of use for permit applicants,
1. Article on how to apply for a Category A-LHD permit and
2. List of approved Category A- LHD vehicles
(Updated 16 Aug 10)
Source: NZTA.

Update 33:  30 March 2010

Dear Left Hand Drive enthusiasts,
After a 6 ½ year campaign for fairer rules around registering a late model left hand drive vehicle and ensuring the right to continue to register an older than 20 year old LHD vehicle for use on NZ roads, we are pleased to advise that the final rule has now been signed off and comes into force 1 April 2010. Please refer to these information links.

The Rule:

Questions & Answers:

New fact sheets and forms will be available from NZTA and its agents after 1 April.

This has been a campaign of consistency, building public awareness, consultation and relationship building at many levels. Fair to say we LHD enthusiasts were finally able to have a real say in the final outcome. Through collaboration with the authorities we were able to negotiate parameters around the new rule. We didn’t get everything that we wanted, but we now have the ability to register up to 500 newer LHD special interest vehicles subject to meeting the new criteria per annum. This is 500 late model LHD vehicles per annum, that will not be forced to have an expensive RHD conversion or force people to live away overseas for more than 90 days in order to register their LHD car for use on NZ roads. This means that more LHD enthusiasts will be able to afford their dream car. From 1 April 2010 the 90 day rule is gone, that was designed for immigrants bringing in vehicles and those rules have also changed. In the absence of this campaign it is most likely that no newer LHD vehicles would have been allowed to be registered in NZ until they were at least 20 years old.

Rules around the older than 20 years old LHD vehicles have also been relaxed and tidied up.

If you are in the process of bringing in a LHD vehicle under the 90 day rule we understand that NZTA will look at each case on its own merits. You should contact NZTA if this affects you.

History: We had to work with 3 transport agencies and their restructuring, LTSA, LTNZ and now the NZTA, two different Governments, their agendas and two different Transport Ministers. We needed to work through 3 pieces of legislation to get special interest vehicles included being, Frontal Impact Rule, Emissions Rule and finally the Steering Systems Rule.

The LHDEF is working on a system of compliance for SIV vehicles with VINZ and we will keep you updated in due course on this.

We wish to thank the following people for their efforts;
Jeff Tobin and Neville Barton Auckland Mustang Owners Club. Tom Ireland Capital Corvettes. Graeme Morris Ferrari Owners Club. Bob Davies Senior Chief Traffic Officer ( Retired) Peter Parnell ex- LTSA, James Smith American Classic Car, Rae Simpson, Taranaki Mustang Owners, Gerry Hodges BMW Owners, Rob Scott American Muscle Car Club, Bruce “Bruzer” Moulden Pukekohe Hot Rod club, Graeme Letica (deceased) Buick Owners, Colleen Inwood Cadillac La Salle, Ronn Ward NSRA, Nick Huljich Military Vehicles, these were the members that made up the LHDEF.

We thank the NZ Federation of Motoring Clubs, Mark Stockdale AA, Tony Johnson at LVVTA and Frank Willett at VINZ. We would also like to thank the previous Labour Party Minister of Transport Safety, Harry Duynhoven and National’s Hon Maurice Williamson MP together with Hon John Key Prime Minister and Hon Steven Joyce current Transport Minister for their support and confidence.

From the Ministry of Transport a special thanks to Dom Kalasih ( now Shell), Leo Mortimer and Russell Brown and from NZTA Stuart Worden and Dave Robson.

Special thanks to Scott Hoag MRT (USA) and Lisa Hoag FORD Motor Company (USA).

A big thank you to everyone who took the time to write or lend their name to the support of this and for those clubs and individuals that donated some money for the cause.

Last but certainly not least a huge thank you to the webmaster of this great site Wal Marshall who has given his time and resources without question in helping us get this campaign going and moving forward. This has been a team effort.

Never limit the unlimited………or in the words of Henry Ford “If you think you can or cant’, you are right”.

Good luck and happy safe motoring to you all.

Update 32:  7 March 2010

Dear Left Hand Drive enthusiasts,

 This is a short interim update to advise that the rule process has now progressed to end stage but is not in force yet. A full detailed update will be posted in a few weeks.
Internal processes etc are still being worked through, so we ask you to be just a little more patient.
We will keep you informed. Watch this space.  LHDEF

Update 31: 24 December 2009

Dear Left Hand Drive enthusiasts,

 We asked the Ministry for yet another update on progress. They advise that despite many delays, Land Transport Rule Steering Systems Amendment 2009 is still on track and is expected to come into force with the next introduction of land transport rules in April (or possibly May 2010 ).

Update 30: 16 October 2009

Dear Left Hand Drive enthusiasts,
 We asked the Ministry for another update on progress.
The Ministry of Transport advise that the Steering System Amendment Rule 2009 is tracking for presentation to the Minister of Transport and Cabinet before the end of the year. This means that when signed off the Rule will likely not come into effect until sometime in the New Year. We have been advised that the Minister is looking to sign off on new rules only a couple of times per year. We do not recommend the importation of any late model LHD vehicle deemed a Special Interest Vehicle until the Rule is signed off, comes into law and we know what the final outcome is. You can then make an informed decision based on fact. There have been many priority projects taking up the Ministry’s time, for example cell phone legislation, patience is the key. Any new news will be posted here. Thank you.
Keep LEFT, Best LEFT alone. LHDEF.

Update 29: 23 June 2009

Dear Left Hand Drive enthusiasts,
 We asked the Ministry for an update on progress and received the bullet points below:
* The final drafting of the Steering Systems Amendment Rule is going smoothly. There were a few issues and inconsistencies arising from the wording of the draft that was consulted on. We have resolved these and are also hoping to make the conditions for applying for a Category A permit (LHD special interest vehicle) a little less restrictive.
 * Unfortunately this process, has meant that the rule will not come into force at the end of July as we had expected.
 * It is now expected that this Rule, along with several others, will be with the Minister for his consideration within the next few months.

Update 28: 24 March 2009

Dear Left Hand Drive enthusiasts,
We have been advised that there are a couple of issues to resolve on this Rule but there is nothing that will delay this rule to any notable extent. The people working on the Rule are not involved in the illegal street racing issue so that is not a factor.  It is expected that Cabinet will consider the Steering Systems Rule in late June with the intention that it will come into force in late July 2009.
We will keep you all updated accordingly. Thank you. Left Hand Drive Enthusiasts Federation.

Update 27: 22 February 2009

Dear Left Hand Drive enthusiasts,
 With the election and Government priorities there has been no quick movement on the legislation to report. Currently the final wording for the proposed Steering System Amendment Rule (left hand drive rule) is being finalised between Ministry of Transport and NZTA for presentation to the new Transport Minister Steven Joyce. As previously advised the current rules expire 30 June, we have been advised that the new rule must be in place by then. A complicating factor may be the boy racer legislation which has moved to the political forefront due to media coverage of an incident in Christchurch. This has heightened public awareness of any initiatives around car enthusiasts which is disappointing as the genuine car enthusiast and “boy racer” fraternity are poles apart. As soon as things change we will post a further update. We do however caution on buying or importing a vehicle on the belief that the new LHD import rules will pass into legislation as anticipated. Thanks for your patience and support. The LHDEF Team

Update 26: 27 August 2008

 Dear Left Hand Drive enthusiasts,
The submissions for the yellow draft (See links below) of the Steering System Amendment Rule closed on 21 August 2008. The proposed Category A exemption for LHD Special Interest Vehicles or SIV’s was almost the same that has been signed off for SIV’s under the Frontal Impact and Emissions rules. The major differences being that the proposed annual quota for Left Hand Drive SIV’s is up from the 200 per annum quota under Frontal Impact to an annual quota of 500 LHD SIV’s per annum. That is for LHD vehicles less than 20 years of age. A further criteria is that the LHD vehicle has not been made in right hand drive by the original manufacturer.

The category B exemption which is for LHD vehicles greater than 20 years of age remains for the most part unchanged.

The baggage exemption, or what is more commonly known as the 90 day rule will be removed. This exemption was originally written for immigrants and it has been decided that if an immigrant vehicle doesn’t meet the exemption criteria then an immigrant can purchase a RHD vehicle in NZ.

The LHDEF, NZFOMC, AA and LVVTA have all given support for the proposed changes and made recommendations for some minor changes to improve the processing of future exemption applications. This bodes well for a very positive outcome for what has been a 5 year campaign by some dedicated LHD enthusiasts to influence a positive outcome on the Steering System Amendment Rule for all LHD enthusiasts in NZ.

The current Steering Amendment Rules expires in June 2009, so the new rules need to be signed off by then. Please note that the LHD rules have not yet changed. The yellow draft and its submissions are now considered by NZTA and a final draft written which will be put before the minister for signing off. We don’t know when this will happen and remember there is an election around the corner. We will keep you posted.

Click here for the LTNZ overview  (PDF)

Click here for the yellow draft  (PDF)

Click here for the LHDEF submission. (PDF)

Click here for the Automobile Association- AA submission.  

Click here for the NZ Federation of Motoring Clubs (FOMC) website link to see their submission.

 Thank you for your continued support and interest.

The LHDEF, (Left Hand Drive Enthusiasts Federation). Best LEFT alone, Keep LEFT, Keep it LEFT


Update 25: 21 April 2008

To all LHD enthusiasts and supporters.

Further to our December 2007 and previous updates, we can now advise that the Frontal Impact Rule has now been signed off by Transport Safety Minister Harry Duynhoven and comes into force on 8 May 2008.  Included in the Frontal Impact rule is the Special Interest Vehicles (SIV) exemption.

Some Q and A’s for the Frontal Impact Rule including SIV are noted here: http://www.ltsa.govt.nz/rules/q-and-a/frontal-impact-amendment-2008.html

You can keep up to speed on motoring issues including SIV on the Federation of Motoring Clubs website here : http://www.fomc.co.nz/current.html

The Steering Rule yellow draft which incorporates the left hand drive vehicle importation and registration rules, is scheduled for release and comment by stakeholders in June 2008. Members of the Federation of Motoring Clubs (FOMC) and Left Hand Drive Enthusiasts Federation (LHDEF) met with Ministry of Transport and Land Transport officials Wednesday 16th April in Wellington. We have been advised that the Yellow Rule will propose that over 20 year old LHD vehicle rules will remain as is. And that the SIV criteria will be incorporated into the Steering Rule for late model LHD vehicle registration. There will be an additional LHD-SIV criteria, being the vehicle has not been made in Right Hand Drive by the OEM. The SIV quota in the Frontal Impact Rule of 200 is not the quota for LHD SIV, which is yet to be finalised. There may be some alteration to the magazine criteria as well.

We understand that the 90 day rule will be removed as it was deemed unfair to enthusiasts, open to abuse according to the authorities and not needed under the new proposals which emphasises road safety rather than commercial or immigrant considerations. LTNZ have indicated they will have a sympathetic ear on a case by case basis for those who may have travel plans around the time the new legislation is passed.

These are proposed changes which the public will be consulted on over approximately 8 weeks. Land Transport NZ will then redraft the Yellow Draft taking the submissions into account and assuming the changes are not so significant that a further round of consultation is required, the final rule should be drafted by end of the year.

The LHDEF/FOMC/AA support the SIV criteria to date. This is a positive way forward for all LHD enthusiasts.  The current LHD exemptions were made by Land Transport New Zealand under legislative powers provided under the Traffic Regulations 1976, these powers expire June 2009 and must be replaced by this date.

Please be clear that this does not mean that the rules for left had drive vehicle importation and registration have already changed

From LHDEF. (Left Hand Drive Enthusiasts Federation).


Update 24: 19 Dec 2007

 To all LHD enthusiasts and supporters.

We have been busy behind the scenes this year, meeting and making representations on your behalf with Ministry of Transport and Land Transport. Initially we have had to deal with the Frontal Impact and Emissions rules emphasising a Unique Collectible Vehicle (UCV) exemption. This definition is the groundwork for the LHD exemption for newer vehicles. It is fair to say we have built a good working relationship with Ministry of Transport and other key stakeholders. Without hesitation we can say that Ministry of Transport have a real understanding of our position and that they have been most receptive to our collective views.  We can now provide a positive update to you all.

You will see (in the third paragraph) in the letter below from Ministry of Transport, some information on the timing of LHD changes.  The Steering Rule review, including the LHD rules will be made available for comment in the New Year. This is what we have been lobbying for since 2003 and we are confident that we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. A positive outcome could not be achieved without your unified and continued support and passion for our LHD vehicles. Rest assured the members of the LHDEF are striving to secure a system that provides a common sense approach to LHD vehicles in NZ.  We will keep you updated in 2008.

We take this opportunity to thank you for your support and wish you a safe and happy Christmas and a prosperous 2008.

From LHDEF. (Left Hand Drive Enthusiasts Federation).

From Ministry of Transport: 12/12/2007.

Please pass on my thanks to the Left Hand Drive Enthusiasts Federation for its contribution to recent policy development in land transport rules, particularly in regard to the advancement of a regime to encompass special interest vehicles in the Frontal Impact Rule. Whilst the Frontal Impact Rule may not directly effect left hand drive enthusiasts, your contribution has been important as it is intended that the special interest model be applied similarly to left hand drive vehicles.

The special interest vehicle policy has been very challenging and difficult to develop because there have been concerns that such an avenue creates a risk of abuse and exploitation and consequently, a net negative safety impact on the incoming vehicle fleet. The mechanism and conditions that have been drafted into the Frontal Impact Rule Amendment Rule are not too dissimilar to what you and your fellow enthusiasts suggested earlier. Therefore, clearly the constructive and helpful approach by your federation to resolving the issues and concerns associated with this policy have played a significant role in finally achieving a well-balanced policy.

As you are aware, the current requirements managing the importation of left hand drive vehicles were made by Land Transport NZ under legislative powers provided under the Traffic Regulations 1976. Those powers end in June 2009, therefore it is critical that current left hand drive requirements are transferred into land transport rules before that date. This transfer is being achieved by reviewing the current policies and amending the Land Transport Steering Systems Rule to include them. This review will include the extensive consultation that is typically associated with land transport rules. As discussed, significant progress has been made in developing the public consultation document and it is expected that this will be released early next year with a plan that the rule be signed before the end of the year. I have no doubt that the LHDEF efforts made this year will make development of the Steering Systems Rule considerably easier.

Best wishes for a safe and enjoyable festive season to you and your members.

Regards, Dom Kalasih
Senior Adviser, Safety Legislation, Land Transport Environment and Safety, Ministry of Transport


Update 23: 15 Sept 07

Please see (here) the latest amendment from Land Transport New Zealand pertaining to the Frontal Impact rule which includes reference to Unique Collectible vehicles (UCV). This can be seen as the ground work for an exemption for Left Hand Drive vehicles in the upcoming Steering Rule review in 2008. Please be clear as per the note from Ministry of Transport below, that this is not the Left Hand Drive exemption for vehicles under 20 years of age. UCV refers to vehicles under 20 years of age. Vehicles older then 20 years are exempt from the rule. The LDHEF is communicating with Federation of Motoring Clubs (FOMC), and other key stakeholders. The LHDEF will be making a submission before 21 September in response to the proposed amendment . Thank you, LHDEF

Note From Ministry of Transport:

Thank you for your telephone call this morning regarding the Frontal Impact Amendment policy that Land Transport NZ recently released for consultation. A point of clarification that some of your members may benefit from is the applicability of the quota and relevance of this proposed amendment to left hand drive vehicles.

This number (quota), and in fact this proposed policy, pertains specifically to the Frontal Impact Rule. In essence, it enables a concession from the requirement to meet an approved vehicle frontal impact standard for a limited number of unique collectable cars. It has no direct relevance to requirements regarding the importation on left hand drive vehicles.

That being said, as we have previously discussed, an amendment to the Steering Systems Rule is also currently on the work programmes of the Ministry of Transport and Land Transport NZ. Currently the legal requirements pertaining to left hand drive vehicles are in the Traffic Regulations 1976 and policies approved by the Director of Land Transport NZ via Gazette notices issued under these regulations. The current work programme includes reviewing and transferring these requirements from the regulations into a land transport related rule, namely the Steering Systems Rule.

Bearing in mind that there are likely to be left hand drive unique collectable vehicles desirable to your members, LHDEF and two other key enthusiast groups (Federation of Motoring Clubs and Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association) took the earliest opportunity to become involved in assisting with the development of a regime to manage such vehicles, and for this government officials are grateful. As such, it is quite possible that there may be some similarities as to how we manage left hand drive unique collectable cars in the future, however, the criteria and quota, for left hand drive vehicles have yet to be determined. Over the next six months there should be considerable progress made in developing the amendment to the Steering Systems Rule and I can assure you that government officials are welcoming the close involvement and expertise of LHDEF in this progress.

Should you be concerned that there is confusion amongst your members surrounding the impact of the Frontal Impact Amendment Rule on left hand drive cars, please feel free to share with them the above information.

Regards, Dom Kalasih Senior Adviser (Vehicle Standards) Safety Legislation, Ministry of Transport


Update 22: 10 Sept 07

The LHDEF have been patiently waiting on the long promised wording regarding the Frontal Impact rule amendment which will include the Unique Collectible Vehicle (UCV) wording which is of particular interest to the LHDEF and enthusiasts. The UCV wording will be used for the Emissions Rule and in next years Steering Rule review which includes the Left Hand Drive rules. This wording was supposed to be provided by LTNZ to the Ministry by June 30th, but is only now about to be made available for key stakeholders to view and comment on. We suspect due to tight time frames to get the legislation signed off for this year that we will not be given much time to consult. Is that by coincidence?  (One wonders...)  The Government ideally wants to sign off on the Frontal Impact rule review this year. As a key stakeholder the LHDEF are expecting to view the wording within the next week or so. We will keep you posted." The LHDEF submission on emissions is here. (pdf file)


Update 21: 21 May 07

 On Wednesday (May 16), the Ministry of Transport’s senior policy advisor and a high level representative of LTNZ flew to Auckland for the sole purpose of meeting with the Left Hand Drive Enthusiasts Federation. This historic meeting was the result of many months behind-the-scenes negotiation and consultation between Government departments and interests representing left hand drive vehicle owners.

While there was a frank exchange of views, it was obvious the Government is committed to dealing with the anomalies in the current left hand drive vehicle rule (for vehicles under 20-years old) to the satisfaction of both current owners and potential purchasers.  At present, the Government is working on changes to three rules: frontal impact, emissions and steering, in order to make vehicles in our national fleet safer and cleaner burning. All three rules impact on collectable left hand drive vehicles. While the MoT and LTNZ’s representatives at the meeting could give no guarantees that the LHDEF’s suggestions would be agreed to, several problem areas were openly discussed. These included what makes a vehicle collectible, administering a workable registration system, and dovetailing the steering rule in with the frontal impact and emissions rules, drafts of which are due to be released shortly.

There are still many points to be ironed out, but the willingness of the MoT and LTNZ to involve the LHDEF in their deliberations is key to a resolution that will be acceptable to all.


Update 20: 23 Feb 07

The  Left Hand Drive Enthusiasts Federation (LHDEF) has completed its submission on the MOT's Frontal Impact Amendment review.
A copy of the submission can be downloaded in MS WORD format here, or viewed as text on a web page here.

The important detail in the submission is in the "Unique Collectable section" which we have been told verbally will form the model for any left hand drive exemption.


Update 19: 1 Jan 07

Dear fellow left hand drive enthusiasts,  Happy New Year to you.

Detailed below is an update from Ministry of Transport senior adviser safety and security Dom Kalasih (MoT), regarding the Frontal Impact Amendment review. MoT is considering adopting the same model under the enthusiast and collectable vehicle category in the Frontal Impact Amendment review for left hand drive enthusiast vehicles under the steering rule review, which is scheduled to be reviewed in 2007. You are encouraged to have your say as either an individual or interested group regarding this issue, and at the very least you should make yourself familiar with this proposed change. (This only applies to vehicles less than 20 years old - see below).

The amendment also covers immigrant vehicles and motorsport vehicles, some of you may also have an interest in these categories as well.

The deadline for submissions under the Frontal Impact Amendment review is 9 February 2007.

There is a link below which will take you to the yellow draft and background and details how you can make a submission.

It is good news that the Ministry is looking to recognise enthusiast and collectable vehicles in their own right and has signalled it is looking to better cater for left hand drive enthusiast vehicles. The draft for the steering rule review is to be written in 2007.
Kind regards
Best LEFT alone, Keep it LEFT .

Frontal Impact Amendment Review.

This is to let you know that Land Transport New Zealand has released this proposed amendment Rule for public comment.

The draft Rule with an accompanying overview, information about making a submission and an on-line submission form is available on the Land Transport New Zealand website at http://www.landtransport.govt.nz/ consultation/frontal-impact/

Land Transport NZ welcomes your comments on the yellow draft. If you have any queries about the content of the proposed amendment Rule, its Help Desk on freephone 0800 699 000 is available to help.  Please note the closing date for submissions, which is 9 February 2007.

In terms of better catering for LHD enthusiasts’ vehicles in New Zealand the Ministry of Transport will be considering adopting the same model as proposed for the unique and collectable vehicles in this Frontal Impact Amendment Rule. The proposed Frontal Impact Amendment applies only to vehicles less than 20 years old, as those over 20 year old vehicles are not required to comply with a standard and this aspect continues.

It is therefore important to have your say in particular regarding the unique collectable vehicles already in NZ must be taken into account.

Dom Kalasih
Senior Adviser
Safety & Security
Ministry of Transport
89 The Terrace, Novell House, Wellington


Update 18: 1 Sept 06

Dear Left Hand Drive enthusiasts and friends,

Some good news, thanks to everyone's support and lobbying, the Ministry of Transport (MoT) have confirmed that the Steering Rule amendment review (which includes the left hand drive review) has been scheduled into the rules programme for the 06/07 year commencing 1 July 2006. Without your support this would not have happened and could have been put back indefinitely.

This rules programme now has the funding approved by Government.

The work the Left hand Drive Enthusiasts Federation (LHDEF) has done to date has been acknowledged by MoT as extremely valuable in contributing to a way forward with the Rule.

But,.... we still need your support and to stay focussed. The LHDEF believes we are building a good relationship with MoT and LTNZ and look forward to finding a win-win solution to the registration of late model LHDs for enthusiasts in NZ and to help secure the heritage of all LHD's for everyone's enjoyment. NZ has a history of nearly 80 years of LHD's on our roads and we want to see that continue.

Please keep the support coming in and thank you to all of you on behalf of the LHDEF who have lent a hand so far with comments of support, donations to the fighting fund and your letters to the Minister.

Extracts from recent Ministry of Transport communications to the LHDEF:

The Minister is supportive of considering changes to better manage left hand drive vehicles and the Ministry has sought support for the Land Transport Rules Programme. The programme includes a change to the Steering Systems Rule (the Rule). We have been advised 21 August 2006 that Cabinet has approved the rules programme. The Steering System Rule is on 2006/07 Rules Programme and the Ministry and Land Transport NZ will begin work on it this financial year (which started July 1)

I assure you that LHDEF will be consulted and I expect the work it has done to date will be extremely valuable in contributing to a way forward with the Rule. I can assure you we ( The Ministry) will contact you (LHDEF) and continue to work closely with you as we consider the concerns of your members.
Dom Kalasih, Senior Adviser (Vehicle Safety), Land Safety Legislation. Ministry of Transport Te Manatu Waka

There is information on the Land Transport NZ website which you may find useful about Rules and their development. The link is: http://www.landtransport.govt.nz/rules/about-rules.html

MoT have assured us that they will keep us informed on progress and we will keep you informed accordingly.

Happy Motoring, summer is around the corner and time to get those LHD's on the road a bit more!
Best regards
Left Hand Drive
keep LEFT ( Not a political statement)
best LEFT on the LEFT


Update 17: 13 June 06

Dear Left Hand Drive enthusiasts and supporters

Further to the request for you to write to Minister of Transport Safety Hon. Harry Duynhoven in support of this campaign, it appears that many of you have done exactly that. Thank you.

Sources advise that a number of enthusiast clubs have had their members individually sign and send letters, together with letters from concerned individuals and letters on behalf of clubs have also been sent.

Remember LTNZ/MoT were always looking to review the rules pertaining to all LHD imports, that has always been their intention and will be part of the review. Some people were concerned the current changes would impact on the existing regime. “Smell the coffee people” changes were in the wind and without the input of the LHD Enthusiasts Federation, we were running the risk of all LHD imports being banned.

These changes we are proposing simply allow an “enthusiast” freedom to import and/or register an LHD of their choice without being hammered by a government hell bent on stopping commercial importers.

However “actions speak louder than words”, so lets be positive and look to see what happens in the 06/07 year. LHD enthusiasts may well be required to take further action because that fat person isn't singing yet.

On another note the New Zealand Federation of Motoring Clubs and the Vintage Car Club have agreed to establish an enthusiasts I.D. Card using the existing VCC vehicle identity card system for non-members, already in use. Its great to see motoring enthusiasts of all genres coming together to create a strong enthusiasts group, something that many suspect will be needed to deal with the ever increasing rules and regulations coming out of the bureaucracy factory aimed at our hobby.

Such a system can easily be used to register and monitor late model enthusiasts vehicles such as LHD's. The system is already in force for historic and heritage vehicle and allows vehicles on the road where they would normally not get a WOF or be able to be registered due to modern safety & WOF standards. These vehicles are endorsed accordingly with an appropriate exemption. Sound like a good idea?, Well couple this with a realistic quota for LHD's and one has a workable system that means LTNZ don't have to allocate resources themselves and the system can be audited at their discretion.

On behalf of the LHDEF, thank you again for your combined support, together we have a much better chance of keeping LHD's on the road in NZ and establishing a much better system than the extreme re engineering of modern vehicles just to register them and make a few people rich at the LHD enthusiasts expense. Of course if you want LHD converted to RHD that's cool, we just want an affordable and realistic choice for genuine enthusiasts to be able to keep a left hand drive vehicle of their dreams LHD.

As one Mustang enthusiast recently posted on the website "I would dearly love a new Mustang but given my experience with locally converted vehicles (with all due respect) "They just ain't Jim Beam". I enjoy driving my left hand drive cars as they were designed to be Left Hand Drive!"

KEEP “LEFT” (not a political statement)
Best “LEFT” alone
Happy and Safe Motoring
Left Hand Drive


Update 16: 10 April 06

On the 31 March 2006, the Left Hand Drive Enthusiasts Federation (LHDEF) met with MOT & LTNZ.

Venue: Laptop House Wellington, Time: 1.00pm to 2.00pm

LHDEF representatives: - Jeff Tobin, Bob Davies
Land Transport Manager Safer Vehicles: - John White
Ministry of Transport Manager Land Safety Legislation: - Leo Mortimer
Ministry of Transport Senior Adviser Safety and Security: - Dom Kalasih.
Apologies: LHDEF: Capital Corvette: Tom Ireland (Lt. Col. – Afghanistan)

LTNZ and MOT reviewed the LHDEF Submission outlining the proposition for an enthusiasts exemption for newer LHD vehicles. i.e. under 20 years old. (web copy available at nzmustang.com). This was well received, and the LHDEF was complemented on the considerable work put into it .

Prior to the meeting, the LHDEF were asked by Dom Kalasih to prepare further submissions indicating our thinking in such areas as the philosophy underpinning the proposed quota numbers, the proposed differentiation between commercial and private buyers, and asked for further detail on the proposed administrative regime.

Tom Ireland made available a presentation covering the quota numbers and differentiation between commercial and private buyers. This was well received.

Jeff and Bob made other presentations and presented three options regarding an administrative regime. All presentations were taken on board with genuine interest.

Option 1:

New Zealand Federation of Motoring Clubs (NZFOMC) and Vintage Car Club ( VCC) are working through the possibility of a joint venture Vehicle Identification Card (VIC). It is proposed that we base it on the current Vintage Car Club system [which covers vehicles over 30 years old], by creating an NZFOMC Class which would include under 30 year old vehicles. The system has the advantage of existing MOT & LTNZ recognition and acceptance. An additional benefit for the LHD enthusiasts is that this class of Vehicle Identification Card ( VIC) would enable an enthusiast & vehicle to be identified. A VIC could be issued subject to specific criteria and a quota limit per year. Once a VIC was issued and endorsed as a LHD exempt vehicle, the vehicle could be registered, similar to endorsed vehicles under the current VCC system.

1. System already exists.
2. System is recognised by LTNZ.
3. System has integrity.
4. System has a Central Database and administration staff.
5. System is easy to audit.
6. System removes administration processing & costs from LTNZ.
7. System provides flagging of change of ownership.
8. System requires a new VIC to be issued to change ownership.
9. System can easily track any minimum ownership time frame criteria that may apply.

Option 2:

The LHDEF itself administers a similar VIC system utilising a separate specific database and separate staff. [Same advantages as points 3-9 above.]

Option 3:

Applications for exemption sent direct to LTNZ for processing and issuing of authority to register.

Where to from here?

Leo Mortimer advised (documents produced) that a steering systems rule review (including left hand drive issues) is scheduled for the rules program 06/07 year.

It was made clear that it is, and always has been, MOT’s intention to remove the current Regulation 70 of the Traffic Regulations 1976 (and its exemption provisions in Reg.90) and subsequent gazette notices, from the regulations and replace it with a Rule in terms of the Land Transport act 1998.

Rules are a form of delegated legislation similar to regulations and in this case will consolidate and clarify existing requirements spread throughout a variety of legal instruments including Regulations, Gazette notices, Orders and policy directives.
Hence our lobbying to create a strong united voice during this process.

The rules review program will go to Cabinet for approval in May. Once the Rules review program is approved, the Minister of Transport Safety, Harry Duynhoven will indicate to the MOT what his priorities are. The rules review program will then commence on 1 July 2006. Following this, MOT will sit with its contractors (for the provision of services – i.e. LTNZ), and create the project management plans that will implement the review services. This process is spelt out HERE

Our best plan is to lobby hard NOW with the Minister so that as much political pressure as is possible can be brought to bear to achieve two things:

1. Raising the priority of the steering systems rule review, so that it is dealt with early in the program – and at least completed in the 2006 year, and
2. So that the proposals from LHDEF be constructively implemented.

Now is the time to make your voices heard and message clear to the Minister that we want a fair break when it comes to our love for our left hand drive vehicles both old and new, including those LHD’s already in NZ.


Update 15: 20 Feb 06

The Left Hand Drive Enthusiasts Federation (LHDEF) has sent its submission to LTNZ/MoT. Issues covered are the current rules, history, feedback from enthusiasts, what the Federation wants changed and how they propose to implement it. This represents and has the agreement of all member clubs and associations within the Federation. A balanced and common sense approach has been the objective at all times.

Thank you for your continued support, further lobbying will no doubt be required, more on this in due course although there is something you can do right now! Please write to your MP with your views. T

Your continued support is vital if we are to bring about a common sense change to the rules for us. Come on Kiwis let get this done!

We will await LTNZ/MoT's response and advise accordingly. We anticipate this will be a few weeks away in the first instance. 


Update 14: 2 Jan 06

Dear LHD Friends
Happy New Year to you.

A positive response below in blue from Ministry of Transport received by the LHDEF just on Christmas after the LHDEF advised a submission will be forthcoming for their consideration in February, ....

The consideration of further policy development in this area is at an early stage, therefore it would be beneficial if the Ministry and Land Transport NZ worked together with you.

We are pleased to hear that progress has been made since our last meeting and look forward to meeting again with the federation so we can discuss your submission. We would like to take up the offer of having the opportunity to consider the submission before the meeting as I am sure this will help us contribute more positively to the meeting.

We look forward to continuing the consultative approach with LHDEF .

That sounds like a step in the right direction, communication is a good thing.

Also FYI: Harry Duynhoven, Minister of Transport Safety has confirmed in writing that there is no intention to introduce a total ban on LHD's after another enthusiast wrote into him in 2005. So don't be put off by some who are making suggestions it will be the end of LHD.

We cannot live in fear of some peoples opinions. And remember, opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one. :-)

You may wish to write into NZV8 magazine with your opinion on the LHD thing when you get a chance.

I just went back over some of the early LHD comments on the feedback forum at nzmustang.com. The first 100 or so, some of these have been there for a while now and definitely worth a re- read.

Best wishes for an awesome 2006. Happy and safe motoring
Left Hand Drive
Keep it LEFT. Best LEFT alone. Keep LEFT.


  Update 13: 11 Dec 05

Dear LHD friends

Please note below in blue the email just received from the editor of NZV8 Magazine.  It's great you folk are writing in, (thank you) but as you will see from below we also need you to now hold fire ....just until the next issue of NZV8 is out, which is only next week..... then hit 'em again, ...looks like its going to get interesting!

I am advised that you will have all of January to gather your thoughts and write in again to respond to the next issue, out next week, as this issue covers the Xmas and holiday period.

The issue after the one coming out next week, wont be on the shelves until late February 06, in which your next lot of replies can be printed. This gives everyone the extra time to respond this time around.

As the Actress said to the Bishop, "timing is everything"

Thanking you all. Keep up the great work.
Happy Motoring and writing! Left Hand Drive

Dear Left Hand Drive
I'm still getting heaps of letters about LHD. That's great but the magazine went to print last week so I can't put any more in. There is not point saving these letters as Tony J has written about more LHD things that I'm sure you would all like to comment on :) I ran an extra page of letters to run as many letters that had come in  on time. The letters I have received after this time (heaps of them)  aren't of much use to NZV8 as they will look out of date by the time  the next magazine is ready to print. I suggest that everyone waits till  the next magazine hits the shelves end of next week then replies to  what Tony is saying in that issue.

Cheers Sean Editor, NZV8 Magazine


Update 12: 5 Dec 05

Dear Left Hand Drive supporters,

This is a heads up to you good people to advise you of an excellent opportunity to have your say on this left hand drive issue through one of the popular V8 enthusiast automotive magazines NZV8.

The editor Sean Craig has asked Tony Johnson from LTNZ to write an article in his regular column on the LHD issue. This gives all of us the opportunity to respond and make our feelings known. The first of these articles is in the current issue (see page 86).

Some of you may think writing to a magazine will not do anything. This could not be further from the truth. This campaign must show, that it has a wide level of support to warrant a change for the better for left hand drive enthusiasts. We must show the rule makers that we are not going away until some common sense changes are made to the current rules to accommodate later model LHD's for enthusiasts ....And to show that there is nothing wrong with our older LHD's as well.

It is awesome to get this enthusiast magazine on board and interested in this subject, at this point in time. So lets show our support to NZV8 Magazine and get yourselves a copy! (it's a damn good read and has awesome pics of great cars). (I would also add that Petrolhead and New Zealand Rodder have also given us support and published articles-thank you).

The Left Hand Drive Enthusiasts Federation (LHDEF) will be making a submission to LTNZ/MOT next year, you can also do this if you wish. But a submission can be ignored or declined, only with a strong showing of support will we stand any chance of change to these current draconian rules, of having to convert a late model LHD to RHD, or be overseas for 90 days.

If we can show the decision makers that there is wide support for a change, then they must take note of this when considering any submissions.... or dare I say... there will be trouble. Any opportunity, especially one as good as this, must be made the most of.

I suggest you keep your letters/comments to 30-50 words, which will give you a greater chance of being printed. As it has been said, the pen is mightier than the sword,.... so get scribbling! (or typing). T

On behalf of the LHDEF, I will take this opportunity to thank you all for your support to date, keep it coming. Remember if we do nothing, then nothing will happen..... So lets make it happen!

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and safe journeys on the roads where ever you may go over summer.

Yours in motoring, Left hand Drive
"Keep it LEFT", "Best LEFT alone", "Keep LEFT"


Update 11:   6 Oct 2005

  Meeting with LTNZ/MOT

On Friday 30 September,  Bob Davies, Tom Ireland and Jeff Tobin from the Left Hand Drive Enthusiasts Federation (LHDEF) met in Wellington, with John White and Matt Freeman from LTNZ and Leo Mortimer and Dom Kalasih from Ministry of Transport.

We made a strong and authoritative presentation covering such aspects as:

  1. There is no problem with a LHD/RHD mix on the roads elsewhere in the world and in NZ.

  2. Even though there is no historical collected data on crashes involving LHD, we challenged the assumption that LHD vehicles driven in a predominantly RHD country is inherently dangerous.  We strongly maintained that in our collective experience, there was no data to collect that is of  any significance, and its is purely mischievous to suggest that there is some hidden unrecorded  data to support the position that LHD is inherently dangerous.

  3. There is in any event, a small number of LHD vehicles as a proportion of the NZ fleet.

  4. We presented specific details of the failure of some approved LHD to RHD conversions with interviews and photos.

  5. A solution was proposed suggesting a quota of 2,000 LHD per annum, at least half of which should be self administered through NZFOMC via club networks.

The meeting was just short of an hour, so a lot of ground was covered quickly.

We have been invited to provide a written submission to MOT. One of the MOT managers, Leo Mortimer mentioned that his report to the minister covering such a proposed change has a series of things to cover, including environmental impact, being just one.

Tom has kindly offered to do a 1st draft of a suitable proposal for us.

You will appreciate this will not happen overnight . Also a new minister of Transport has to be appointed first as well.  This will give us a little time to get our report together.

Our feeling was that we have made ground. First, because it was an important first face to face meeting and second, they seemed to like the quota idea.


Update 10:   1 Sept 2005

  Lobby your MP

With the election looming, the LHD Enthusiasts Federation has been lobbying political parties to determine their views on the left-hand drive rule.  And here’s what we’ve found from the two big :

Labour:  Harry Duynhoven, on behalf of the Labour Party, says "there aren’t the resources to do anything about this issue for at least a year". (This is quote from Harry Duynhoven's presentation to the New Zealand Federation of Motoring Club's AGM in May this year). 

National: For the National Party, Maurice Williamson has said "this will be one of the first issues I will deal with in regards to the LTNZ", should National win the election and he becomes Minister of Transport.


Update 9:   3 August 2005

 Get involved – Lobby your MP!!

Want to get involved in our campaign to change the 90-day rule?  Send a pre-election letter to your MP.

This will help our campaign by:

• Showing the Government and LTNZ there is a lot of support for changing the law,
• Challenging MPs to find out what their party’s views are (we’re only weeks away from an election so every vote counts),
• Making our concerns known to the Minister of Transport Safety.

If you’re not sure who your MP is, go to http://www.ps.parliament.govt.nz/eps.htm and select your electorate from the maps.

Every letter will help make a difference, so please write to your MP today


Update 8:   26 June 2005

Media Publicity is now rolling out. Here are some examples of that.

1. An article from Autofile 
2. A press release on the Automobile Association website
3. An article in the local Auckland paper the Western Leader 3 June 05
4. An article from the Auckland Herald 8 June 05
5. Radio interview Paul Holmes  and Bob Davies (25th May) MP3 file 2.6 Mb
6. Radio News item Newstalk ZB (25th May) MP3 file 0.5 Mb
7. An Article in NZ Rodder magazine June 05
8. An article from Taranaki News "Motor Market" June 15, 2005
9. An article from Motor Equipment News- June 2005.
10. A link to the Capital Corvette Club website, which has several articles including one from Capital Times June 05.
11. An article from Petrol Head Magazine, June 05, page 35.


Update 7:  21 May 2005

Dear Left Hand Drive vehicle enthusiasts and supporters. It is timely to update you on the progress of the campaign.

Firstly the Combined Working Party Syndicate of clubs and associations who are spearheading this campaign have been renamed the Left Hand Drive Enthusiasts Federation. (LHD Enthusiasts Federation).

One of the reasons for the name change is to do with the fact that as a result of your support and the financial generosity of a number of you, both individuals and clubs, we have employed the services of a professional communications expert. It was pointed out that we needed a snappier name that reflected what we were about and for better or worse this was the name that has been arrived at. Personally I like it and no, I didn’t come up with the name.

The LHD campaign is about to step up to another level. A media release is going out to key media personnel and publications on Monday 23 May. It is our belief that any motoring journalist worth their salt will grab our story and print or publish it, hopefully as written.  Please keep an eye on your local papers and favourite car magazines and please let me know if you see any articles on the Left Hand Drive campaign. These may take 1-5 weeks to surface depending on close off times and deadlines for various publications, so don’t worry if you do not pick up on anything immediately.

Recently, a number of the LHD Enthusiast Federation members met in Taupo for the New Zealand Federation of Motoring Clubs (NZFOMC) AGM. Harry Duynhoven the Minister of Transport Safety addressed the meeting and referred to the LHD campaign in his speech. He did recognise the enthusiast owner and said he did not have a problem with those who wanted to drive their LHD vehicle on fine days and be used mainly for club days and shows. He was concerned about the wholesale importation of LHD’s. The LHD Federation members gave Mr Duynhoven a file, which included recommendations as to how this can be resolved.

Mr Duynhoven did indicate the review may now be at least 12 months away. This is disappointing and frankly not acceptable to the Federation or to the enthusiasts we represent.

Jeff Tobin the Mustang representative was later in the day, voted onto the NZFOMC executive. Jeff says, “ This campaign has been an eye opener. What I can see in the near future is the very real need for a national body representing motoring clubs throughout New Zealand, so that enthusiasts can be heard as one voice. As technology advances and is incorporated more in to vehicles of the future by car manufacturers, the gap between the safety requirements to own and register a classic vehicle that we love and the everyday mass produced car of the future will widen. Unless we position ourselves now as a united voice, the future will mean it may be impossible to own and operate a classic or collectable vehicle in NZ. Already there is technology that is being fine-tuned that actually prevents cars from crashing. Unless all the various motoring clubs in NZ can come together as one voice in the next few years, we may find technology rules the day and the bureaucrats will use this as another excuse to try and ban our vehicles from the road. The NZFOMC is the perfect organisation to unite us and I wish to work to help achieve that goal”.

We now have broken the 800 number mark of LHD feed back comments on the web site. A big thank you to all of you who have sat down and written in to support this. We cannot do this without you and your views do make a difference. However we need more, so anyone who reads this who hasn’t yet posted a comment or who has family members, friends who share the same view as us, please get them to post in a comment of support.

What about your LHD passengers how do they feel? A comment from them is just as valuable.

We also need help with more campaign funds, anyone who wishes to contribute financially to the fight be it a $5 or $500 contribution will be most appreciated. Any contributions can be posted to “LHD Campaign Account”, FREEPOST, PO Box 83-183, Edmonton Auckland. If there are any surplus funds (that is a big if) after a successful campaign, we will donate the balance to the Child Cancer Foundation on behalf of all LHD enthusiasts. So your money will be put to good use one way or another.

We will update you further over the next few weeks and also show how you can help by writing into your local MP or newspaper. We will post some key messages on the website in a few weeks should you wish to use these in a letter of your own. We all know it is election year, we are the employers of these public servants so I suggest it is timely if they were made aware of our concerns. Particularly the one regarding freedom of choice and representing the will of the people.

Happy and safe motoring to you all.
Left Hand Drive
“Keep It Left”


Update 6: 17 March 2005

Read this powerful feed-back comment below from Bob Davies Senior Chief Traffic Officer (Retired).

"I Support the abolition of the 90-Day rule. I am a Retired Police Inspector who served almost 23 years in the Ministry of transport - the last 6 of those in the Ministry of Transport Head Office in Wellington at the rank of Chief Traffic Officer. I can say categorically that in all my total of nearly 25 years actively involved in Road Safety, I know of NO (ZERO - NIL - NIX - NADA) cases of an accident being caused because of a vehicle being left-hand drive. There are more accidents / problems caused by European / American tourists driving on the wrong side of the road - and these, while well publicised, are not so numerous as is thought. Yes, my experience spans the years 1970 - 1994. No, until I retired from law enforcement, I did not own or drive a left-hand drive vehicle. Yes, I have (since 1998 and until 2004) owned a 1988 Mustang 5.0 LX, which I imported under the 90-day rule (Since I lived in the USA for more than 3 years). I kept it LHD and sold it to a friend after 5 years.

With the benefit of those years driving LHD in NZ, I can confirm my long-held belief that there is no road safety related reason to be concerned with LHD vehicles being driven in NZ in the hands of enthusiast importers. I can report that in my Head Office experience, I had heated discussions with (un-named) members of the LTSA who promoted the change from the old "LHD Permit" days of the 50's, 60's and 70's - to the "Complete LHD Ban-if-possible" of the 80's and 90's, and then effectively to the removal of the requirement for LHD exemptions, and the retention of the 90 day rule within the Vehicle compliance regime. I understand the motivations of the antagonists and protagonists. On balance there is no reason to keep the 90-day rule. It is a gate-keeping rule. There are better ways to manage the gate if we have to at all.

The last points I would like to make: 1. Overtaking is most often sited as the most dangerous thing caused by LHD vehicles. If anything it makes the driver more careful. Check the history. Sweden was the last European country to change to driving on the RH side of the road. In the year that they did change, it was the year that they had the least road deaths in their history. 2. Those enthusiasts who import LHD vehicles most often import vehicles with excellent power-to-weight ratios. Overtaking is not a problem.

I wish you all the best in this endeavour. Bob Davies Senior Chief Traffic Officer (Retired)"

This supports the information received under the Official Information Act that Land Transport have no evidence or information to suggest left hand drive vehicles are a danger on New Zealand Roads.

Campaign Funds are up to $1,868.00. Keep the support coming in! We want to start our media campaign in the near future.
The Working Party Syndicate are fine tuning a draft proposal for left hand drive import regulations. Will keep you posted, in the meantime, keep those feed back comments coming in.
Best Regards,  Left Hand Drive
Happy Motoring, Keep it left!


Update 5: 20 Feb 2005

Dear Left hand drive supporters ...We need your help.

We are at a point in the campaign where we will need to approach the media regarding the concerns of LHD enthusiasts. This will put extra pressure on the Government to take our concerns seriously and try to get them to make some positive changes to the current rule structure for importing and owning a late model LHD vehicle in NZ.

Being an election year, we do not want to lose the opportunity to put the pressure on the Government/ Land Transport to act favourably, or be purposely sidelined until after the election by Land Transport people who have other agendas and want to see this campaign fail.

The web site feed back forum has seen a growth in comments posted from 160 in mid January 05 to over 420 mid February 05. This is predominantly due to enthusiasts handing out feedback forms at cars shows.

We have collected important information in support of the campaign and it has been recommended that we need to employ the services of a Freelance Public Relations Manager who can oversee the media/press campaign and write the media/press communications for us as required. We need to make sure we reach our target audiences with the right message at the right time. As you will appreciate this is a specialised field and we don't want to muck this part of the operation up. I am planning to speak with some recommended people in this field very shortly, however this will cost money. A good PR Manager I am advised costs around $100 per hour.

A campaign bank account has been opened. We have a Justice of the Peace (who also happens to be a foundation member of the N Z Military Vehicle Collectors Club) as a mandatory signatory to the cheque account, as am I. This means both signatures will be required on any cheques written out from campaign funds. Full records will be kept on any income and expenditure and will be subsequently posted for anyone to see upon request.

The mandate for the use of the funds will be to promote the cause of the left hand drive enthusiasts in this country to allow LHD enthusiasts to bring into NZ and register a left hand drive vehicle regardless of its age, for personal use, without the necessity to have owned the vehicle overseas for 90 consecutive days, or be forced to convert the vehicle to right hand drive. We wish to work towards an exemption for existing LHD vehicles in NZ that have not been registered as well.

There may be other costs such as official representation from myself or another syndicate member of the official clubs who have come together to support and promote this issue, to fly to Wellington for any official LTNZ meetings.

The primary purpose of the funds will be to pay for the P.R. persons' services.

As a lot of people stand to benefit from any positive LHD registration rule change, I feel its about time as many of us as possible chipped in a little money to get us to the next stage of our goal. I personally have contributed several hundred dollars of my own money in stationery expenses, including photocopying to get us where we are now as well as countless hours of my own time. I am happy to contribute some more money and of course all the time that it takes to reach our goal. In fairness, obviously there isn't just one beneficiary of any positive outcome for LHD enthusiasts, so the more of us that can help, the easier the burden will be to carry and make the goal easier to achieve for us all.

The level of contribution will be entirely at the discretion of any person and/or association/club.  All contributions will be received with appreciation and acknowledged where contact details have been made available.

If after a successful campaign, we have any surplus funds, I am recommending we submit a donation on behalf of all NZ LHD enthusiasts to the Child Cancer Foundation.

Thank you for your consideration of supporting this campaign for the benefit of current and future LHD enthusiasts. The future of the LHD enthusiast hobby in NZ will be enhanced if we are successful in bringing about a positive change to the registration rules of late model LHD vehicles in NZ.

This will also show Land Transport that the motoring public of NZ can stand up and successfully challenge ridiculous rules that stifle the genuine enthusiast’s pleasure of motoring in NZ.

Remember if we do nothing, then that's what we will get. We will only get one shot at this, so we want to make sure it is our best shot.

Thank you  Left Hand Drive

Update 4: 19 Dec 2004

Dear Left Hand Drive enthusiasts and supporters,
this is the last update for this year and quite an important one. Firstly I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Xmas and Happy New Year and thank each and every one of you for your support. Collectively we can make, are making and will continue to make a difference.

The combined Working Party Syndicate made up from representatives from Corvette, Mustang, BMW, Ferrari, Cadillac, Buick, American Classic, American Muscle and, Hot Rod clubs and associations have been working very hard on everyone’s behalf to try and get the LTNZ (Changed from LTSA on 1 December) to listen to some common sense regarding the rules involved in registering a late model left hand drive vehicle in New Zealand.

With the help from a number of like-minded and hard working souls we can report the following:

  1. We have confirmation under the Official Information Act that the LTSA/LTNZ have no accident data involving LHD vehicles and that they have no evidence or reports or discussion documents to suggest it is inherently less safe to drive a left hand drive vehicle on NZ roads.

  2. We will therefore be asking that the 90 day overseas rule be removed, as there are no documented safety issues pertaining to owning and operating LHD vehicles in New Zealand. This rule discriminates against enthusiasts who cannot afford a 90 day plus overseas trip, away from work and family, which applies to the majority of New Zealanders. These vehicles cost a lot of money and it is a big effort for most enthusiasts to have just saved up enough money to purchase the vehicle of their dreams in the first place, without being forced by this ridiculous rule to spend an additional small fortune being out of the country for so long, or another fortune having the vehicle irreversibly altered and devalued by having the steering wheel position moved from its original factory position. For whose benefit? The conversion workshops benefit big time at the expense of the enthusiast vehicle owner and to the detriment of the Frontal Impact Standard safety feature and collectability of the vehicle. Low Volume division of LTNZ clip the ticket when a Low Volume plate is issued on these vehicles as well.

  3. Because of your feed back comments on the nzmustang.com website and the work done by the Working Party Syndicate on your behalf, we were able to put together a folder of the website and a covering letter that was delivered by one of our syndicate members to MP. Chris Carter who personally handed this file to the Minister of Transport Safety, Harry Duynhoven. Mr Duynhoven has acknowledged our concerns officially and assured us of a proper hearing in 2005. The tone of Harry’s letter was positive. Harry Duynhoven is known to be a vehicle enthusiast himself and by all accounts a good fellow. Our sincere thanks goes to Chris Carter who was very sympathetic to our concerns and was instrumental in getting this information in front of the Transport Safety Minister. Without Chris Carter’s help we would not have achieved such quick attention to our concerns from the highest level. Chris has offered to remain involved and offer whatever assistance he can.

  4. Unofficially, we can report from reliable sources, amendment of the Steering Systems Rule to include the left-hand drive provision currently in the Traffic Regulations would not be included in this year’s Omnibus Rule. The reason for decoupling it from the Omnibus Rule was that it had become an issue that required more consultation, and therefore needed to be treated on its own. This is great news and a direct result of the pressure we are putting on the rule makers to have our concerns heard!

Please talk about this subject over summer meets and runs with fellow enthusiasts. This is still very much a numbers game and we haven’t really won any changes yet. We need more support comments on the web site. It would be excellent to get more female LHD drivers feed back comments. Come on ladies! You can now download a word version or PDF version of a feedback form. If any of you in clubs and groups around the country can do this and take some along to give around at shows, meets etc and get others to complete and post back, we can load these comments onto the website. There is a Freepost address to use, (LHD, FREEPOST, PO Box 83-183, Edmonton, Auckland) no stamp required. Please help us to help you.

Another issue closely linked to this is we need to establish how many and the type of late model LHD vehicles that are already in the country, waiting on their 20th birthday before they can be exported then re imported to NZ to be registered. Two points here;

a). If you import a Right Hand Drive (RHD) vehicle that is not frontal impact compliant, you can park it till its 20th birthday then take it down the road and get it registered. If you import a less than 20 year old LHD vehicle which is frontal impact compliant, you can park it until its 20th birthday then you have to export it out of the country and then re- import it again, at great expense and inconvenience and risk of damage to the vehicle, in order to get it registered in NZ. How ludicrous is this?!!. So… we need to lobby for a change in this rule so that existing later model LHD vehicles, already in the country, can be registered without having to be exported and re imported.

b). What you can do to help. Please write in to or email Left Hand Drive in confidence, if you have any LHD vehicles that are being stored awaiting 20 years before being registered, or if you know of any LHD vehicles in this situation, please bring this to the attention of the owner(s). Don’t worry it is not illegal to import these cars and this information will only be used to show the minister that there are said amount of vehicles already here in New Zealand that collectors have invested in and these should also be exempted and taken into account in any registration exemption. If you don’t let us know we can’t help you. So please let us know the year, make and model of your vehicle and a contact name/number/email. This information will only be kept for the purpose of presenting to the rule makers/Government to put more pressure on a change for the good of the enthusiasts and to get these cars out of the ridiculous situation of having to be exported and imported again.

Yours in Motoring "Left Hand Drive"


Update 3: 25 Nov 04

The combined working party syndicate have received an official response from the LTSA under the Official Information Act confirming they do not have any accident data on left hand drive vehicles involved in crashes in New Zealand. The LTSA is not aware of any additional risk factors in driving Left Hand Drive vehicles on New Zealand roads. The syndicate is working on a submission to the LTSA Rules Team and will post a further update in due course. All LHD vehicle enthusiasts should make known their driving experiences in Left Hand drive vehicles and how they find driving a LHD vehicle on NZ roads, by submitting comments for us to load into the database. Please help us, so we can help you.

Update 2 : 29 Oct 04

On 20th October the combined working party group of representatives wrote to the Manager of Safer Vehicle Policy at the LTSA under the official Information Act and requested specific details of accidents involving left hand drive vehicles. The LTSA have acknowledged our letter of registration of interest in the Omnibus rule. However information the working party has, is that the LTSA intend to roll the rule over as it is. Therefore a more public profile of our concerns regarding the current rules is being prepared. Please keep the support coming in.... we will need it!

 Update 1: 17 Oct 04

A combined working party of representatives from Mustang, Corvette, NZ Buick Enthusiasts Car Club, Ferrari Owners’ Club NZ , BMW Car Club of NZ, American Classic Car Club, Cadillac-La Salle Club NZ, National Street Rod Association, American Muscle Car Club, Pukekohe Hot Rod Club (Inc), have sent a letter of registration of interest listing their concerns about the current rules structure and advising that they wish to be involved in the rules review with the LTSA Rules Team. This syndicate has advised the LTSA that they represent directly over 3,000 members and also have support from the wider motor vehicle enthusiast community. The working party syndicate wishes to work with the LTSA to arrive at a win-win solution that meets both the needs of LHD enthusiasts and at the same time addresses concerns the LTSA have.