JAG Almost Said Something True!

This week your Unelected Associate Transport Minister Julie-Anne Genter spent most of the time during her various soft MSM interviews dribbling utter tosh from her foreign-born lips.

I generally have to turn the sound down or quickly flick the channel over every time I see her as her grating American accent annoys me about as much as her grating supercilious superiority complex. In fact, I have started making my long-suffering wife feel the need to calm me, as the first thing that escapes my lips each time she comes on the telly is something along the lines of “God I hate that woman!”

Photoshopped image credit: Technomage

So it was surprising that I heard something twang from her lips that was almost true. On Tuesday evening Genter breathlessly advised us of something that was factually correct. I only heard it on the TV so will paraphrase here but she said something along the lines that New Zealand sometimes receives car models that have higher emissions than the same vehicle sold in other countries, simply due to those other countries having stricter emission laws.

Well yep, this is actually true. It all comes down to market forces. All vehicle manufacturers will produce their vehicle to the lowest possible standard they can get away with in the intended market, unless it is actually cheaper for them to meet the higher standard.

For instance, in many Euro countries, the standard is now Euro 6-D. In others, such as New Zealand it’s still only Euro 5, so theoretically it would be more cost-effective to only build cars for that market to Euro 5. However, sometimes it actually costs more to change tooling etc to lower the standard so that market is supplied with EU6-D models.

The problem I have with the Green Eco Fascists’ silly new tax is that it will only be a short term success if a success at all. As WH has regularly written here, in countries where the taxpayer supplied subsidies are removed, EV uptake quickly reverts to near previous levels.

A far better option for encouraging more fuel-efficient cars on the road would be to simply require all new cars imported into New Zealand to meet a higher standard for emissions than they are currently required to meet.

This would, of course, result in a trickle-down such as we have been seeing since the last time our standard was increased.

The other thing that should perhaps be seriously considered might be regular emissions testing. At this stage, new cars are presumed to be okay when they come into the country, based on each company’s word. (Remember Volkswagen anyone)? Is anything ever tested in New Zealand to make sure no one is fudging?

And secondhand imports are worse. Basically, if there looks to be a catalytic converter fitted they get accepted. There is a bit of a problem with that though, in that there is nothing stopping you from removing that catalytic converter if you choose. I personally have two such vehicles with the cats removed. One because it’s a race car and it was part of a series of mods to make it go better in order to give me more of that V8ey goodness, and the other had a blocked cat so it was removed rather than replaced because that was the cheapest and easiest thing to do with a 15-year-old V8 that had done over 300,000 km.

So again, we have a policy formulated with little thought, that will primarily just punish the 95% odd of Kiwi’s that can’t afford an EV.

Kind of weird though that this time the wealth redistribution involved will be flowing from the poor folk to the wealthy folk.

Hey Green Wombles, you’ve really just gotta be more specific!