Simon Bridges Says They Should Lead by Example

Simon Bridges has said that the 135 electric vehicles that have been added to the government fleet since the Labour coalition took office is paltry and shows that it is failing to lead by example.

In real terms, the government itself has done nothing on electric vehicles since the election, except propose more taxes.

There are about 15,500 vehicles in the government’s fleet. Prior to the last election, National committed to a hard target of making one-third of them electric or hybrid vehicles by 2021, alongside our much bolder ambition of having 64,000 EVs in the country by then.

National believes electric vehicles are the future. Since our Electric Vehicles Programme launched in May 2016 the number of EVs on our roads has increased from 1406 to 14,867.

Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter has been quick to tell New Zealanders they need to go out and buy an electric vehicle to avoid paying the government’s car tax. But she clearly isn’t putting the screws on public servants.

Is Simon Bridges suggesting that the government should be pressuring its employees to do something that they clearly do not want to do?

The government is sending a clear message to New Zealanders, do as we say, but not as we do.

Rather than taxing ordinary New Zealanders into compliance, Julie Anne Genter and Transport Minister Phil Twyford should be getting tougher with government agency chief executives, pushing them to adopt EVs at a faster pace.

Yet again, is Simon Bridges saying that Julie Anne Genter and Transport Minister Phil Twyford should be pressuring government employees to buy EVs?

National supports incentivising people to buy electric vehicles if their lifestyle can accommodate them rather than dictating what cars people can and cannot drive and slapping them with new taxes.

Yet twice in his press release Simon Bridges has said that the government should be pressuring employees to purchase Electric vehicles.

Instead, as it has in so many other areas, all the government wants to do is pile on taxes of up to $6000 a car. New Zealanders can’t afford this government.

National leader Simon Bridges

On that, I can agree.