But despite the progress signalled with these changes, there are some key opportunities that remain.
MTA spokesperson, Ian Stronach says that the last ‘missing piece’ to allow for a fairer system is the adoption of a scaled system of RUC for light diesel vehicles. This would ensure that light diesel vehicles are treated fairly, and that their contribution to more cost effective fuel use and reduced emissions is more accurately reflected.
“New Zealand’s current RUC system was introduced in 1978 – the market has changed since that time and we are pleased that Government is making progress to modernise and simplify the RUC system but there’s still more work to be done to ensure that everyone is getting a fair go,” says Stronach.
Is it fair that a small fuel efficient diesel powered passenger car should pay the same amount of RUC as a large SUV?
MTA is recommending a scaled system of RUC that provides for a sliding scale for light commercial vehicles of 3,500kgs and less; that way a small and highly fuel efficient 1.6 litre diesel weighing around 1,550kgs is charged appropriately in comparison to a less efficient 4.2 litre diesel that weighs around 2,300kgs.
“Scaled charging provides a better, more transparent means to support those owners that choose lower emission and fuel efficient diesel vehicles – they should not be penalised by a system that seems designed for ease of administration more than anything else.”