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Topic # 230396 22-Feb-2018 10:56
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What laws, regulations, rules etc Would you like to see passed / amended / repealed in NZ to help the environment? Mainly to reduce carbon emissions, but also other environmental problems.

I'm starting this, as the EV threads have gone ridiculously off topic. And threads on power companies have previously done so as well.

What I want to see changed:

Get rid of the electricity low user regulations. As they make electricity more expensive than fossil fuels for lots of consumers. And make it difficult for power companies to give pricing incentives to reduce carbon emissions.

Get rid of the Resource Management Act. And replace it with separate simple laws regulating the environment and town planning. Laws that give simple yes / no answers as to what you can and cannot do. Instead of leaving everything to council bureaucrats and the courts.

Edited to add

Make petrol cars liable to pay RUC. As when EVs have to start paying RUC, certain petrol cars will end up paying less tax than EVs.





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  Reply # 1962139 22-Feb-2018 11:25
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The UK has seperate town planning and environmental laws and has done for years - around WW2 I think.

 

Trust me, there have been plenty of things under those determined as a result of court hearings and you still need to apply to the council for consent.

 

Some principle differences

 

 

 

     

  1. When selling for development the purchaser normally deals with building access, power etc
  2. Visual design is part of the consent process - your building must comply with local design guidelines and materials must be approved as to colour etc etc

 

So you won't necessarily get a simple deal....!






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  Reply # 1962223 22-Feb-2018 13:43
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I'd support petrol vehicles paying RUC instead of excise tax on petrol.  I think it's much fairer and could be automated somewhat to reduce the administrative burden.

 

I would like to see fixed daily charges for electricity (both retailer and network charges disappear).  Everything should be charged per kWhr.  Then the savings from reduced consumption would be higher.

 

Issue a National Policy Statement for renewable energy which places very high emphasis on the need to construct renewable energy infrastructure (including hydro, wind and geothermal).  NPS would give such developments limited discretionary status and require decision makers to ignore NIMBYs.

 

Require councils to impose congestion charges in CBDs of all major cities (mobility card holders exempt).  Levy parking building owners a per park tarriff (mobility parks exempt). 

 

Require councils to provide and heavily subsidise a high level of public transport during peak times.  Including school bus routes.

 

Ban parking cars near schools during pick up and drop off times (mobility card holders exempted).

 

Consider requiring EV charge points to be included in new houses with off-street parking or garages.  One of the things that puts me off EV ownership is the cost of retrofitting a charge point in our garage.

 

Consider how buildings should be future proofed to allow networking between smart appliances and smart meters.

 

Define a fair formula for crediting grid connected charging systems and require electricity retailers to comply with it.

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 1962224 22-Feb-2018 13:47
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Aredwood: Make petrol cars liable to pay RUC. As when EVs have to start paying RUC, certain petrol cars will end up paying less tax than EVs.

 

 

 

So basically strip all tax from all fuel and charge it as RuC on all vehicles regardless of their fuel type? (YAY! my petrol Lawnmower no longer pays the 'road tax' when driven around my yard)

 

 

 

BUT, how would you suggest "emission control" (i.e. CO2) taxes be collected... at CoF (actual testing of emissions) or through Rego (official manufacturer specs) or some other way? 


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  Reply # 1962226 22-Feb-2018 13:50
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MikeAqua:

 

I'd support petrol vehicles paying RUC instead of excise tax on petrol.  I think it's much fairer and could be automated somewhat to reduce the administrative burden.

 

I would like to see fixed daily charges for electricity (both retailer and network charges disappear).  Everything should be charged per kWhr.  Then the savings from reduced consumption would be higher.

 

 

 

 

So people who use more are required to pay more for the maintenance of the network (built into the KWh charge)? how would this work in 'holiday towns' where 50+% of the houses are weekend baches... would we then get highly targeted rates based on the geographic location slipping in?


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  Reply # 1962236 22-Feb-2018 14:13
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PhantomNVD:

 

MikeAqua:

 

I'd support petrol vehicles paying RUC instead of excise tax on petrol.  I think it's much fairer and could be automated somewhat to reduce the administrative burden.

 

I would like to see fixed daily charges for electricity (both retailer and network charges disappear).  Everything should be charged per kWhr.  Then the savings from reduced consumption would be higher.

 

 

So people who use more are required to pay more for the maintenance of the network (built into the KWh charge)? how would this work in 'holiday towns' where 50+% of the houses are weekend baches... would we then get highly targeted rates based on the geographic location slipping in?

 

 

Yes.  Use more pay more. Also means when the electricity network is down ... pay nothing!!!! Unlike the Canterbury lines company who tried to make customers pay daily lines charges when they had no power for a couple of weeks following a big snowstorm.

 

But more importantly use less pay less = incentive to use less.

 

Holiday towns would still have standby electricity costs.  Another way of addressing spiky load is to have a peak kVA componete within the charges.  Large commercial users pay these.  Peak use is an issue too as heavily loaded cables waste more energy as heat.





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  Reply # 1962328 22-Feb-2018 16:29
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PhantomNVD:

 

Aredwood: Make petrol cars liable to pay RUC. As when EVs have to start paying RUC, certain petrol cars will end up paying less tax than EVs.

 

So basically strip all tax from all fuel and charge it as RuC on all vehicles regardless of their fuel type? (YAY! my petrol Lawnmower no longer pays the 'road tax' when driven around my yard)

 

BUT, how would you suggest "emission control" (i.e. CO2) taxes be collected... at CoF (actual testing of emissions) or through Rego (official manufacturer specs) or some other way? 

 

 

I don't believe that they really want to do this at all.

 

A quick back of envelope calculation tells me that from all registered light vehicles, assuming that they use on average 10l/100km and travel 11,000km per annum as per Ministry data, total CO2 emissions should be just under 10 million tonnes, meaning that there's over 70 million tonnes of other CO2e emissions that would need to be dealt with in an equivalent manner if it was to be "fair" and if any significant reduction on CO2e emissions was to be achieved.

 

Note that most figures bulk all "transport" together, then state that as a % of total CO2 emissions - not total CO2 equivalent emissions.

 

If you replaced every ICE light vehicle with EV (and could produce the electricity to power them all with zero emissions), then you'd only take NZ current CO2e emissions back to 1996 levels.

 

Because ICE cars are highly visible and demonised, most people would be surprised as to how little they contribute to NZ's total greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Not saying that driving an EV isn't a great idea, but it's not going to save us from ourselves.


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  Reply # 1962408 22-Feb-2018 18:37
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I don't want to get too obsessive about Carbon, given that we are basically rounding error in the global scheme of things. I think we should sign up to serious international agreements, should follow international practice and do our bit - but not go out on a limb and beggar ourselves.

 

Regarding environmental policies, I am much keener on a couple of non-carbon ones. These include:

 

  • Cleaning up waterways, including coming down harder on councils discharging untreated sewage etc, not just farmers.
  • Wiping out possums (including drastically stepping up 1080 use)
  • Trying to get rid of rabbits
  • Reducing visual pollution - I spent some time in Hawaii last year, and they have strict rules about signage and a ban on billboards. It made the place much more attractive.

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  Reply # 1962584 22-Feb-2018 23:03
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How about:

 

- Prioritise what we are trying to achieve.  Remove toxic carcinogens, Reduce emissions, pay for our infrastructure.

 

- EMISSIONS TESTING.  Its a disgrace that we don't already do this.  Too many smoking tailpipes in NZ.

 

- Tax on harmful pollutants, such as Petrol and especially Diesel.  One tax for Petrol and a much larger one on Diesel. Discourage diesel usage by personal vehicles and/or ban from urban CBDs like is being done in Paris (2024), Copenhagen (2019) and London (starting in 2018?).

 

- Tax on all fossil fuels, including natural gas.  It needs to be much more expensive than renewable electricity.  Use the funds to subsidise renewable energy projects such as solar/wind.

 

- RUC based on usage, on the odometer, rather than fuel purchased. RUC is for all vehicles which enjoy use of the road including EVs.

 

- Additional Heavy-RUC for very heavy vehicles, which cause much more damage to roads than cars and light trucks.  

 

- Subsidise full-EV purchases.  GST exempt in the very least.

 

- Charge more tax that increases as electricity is used by a house.  The more you use, the higher the kWh charge.

 

- Charge more tax for electricity used during peak hours and less at times of surplus.  

 

- Discourage power companies averaging the price per kwh over the month/year.  We need economic incentives in place so peoples behaviour matches with whats going on in the environment.  Thats hard to do if you can't see it.

 

- Charge more per rubbish bag.

 

- Ban non-biodegradable disposable plastic bags 

 

 


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  Reply # 1962585 22-Feb-2018 23:17
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MikeAqua:

 

I'd support petrol vehicles paying RUC instead of excise tax on petrol.  I think it's much fairer and could be automated somewhat to reduce the administrative burden.

 

 

Having such a scheme would lead to a lot of people dodging and attempting to dodge a mileage based tax, as already occurs with diesel.

 

I'd prefer to see a scheme like the UK where diesel and petrol include all the taxes at the pump. You can't avoid paying the tax if you want to use your car.

 

Furthermore, extremely fuel inefficient cars should be highly charged for Rego. A scheme such as 'pay next to nothing' for a ford fiesta up to 'pay a kidney for a dodge ram' would discourage people from having gas guzzlers.

 

We could also disincentivise car use by taxing company car parks in the CBD as the perk they are.

 

All to raise money to put into public transport instead of building more roads.

 

As mentioned, transport is a smaller component of carbon emissions. To truly take a chunk out of emissions NZ is going to have to reduce the size of livestock herds. From memory, around 50% of emissions are related to food production.

 

Remembering the uproar from some quarters when this was last attempted and the way it was framed as 'the fart tax' I have no expectation there will be a significant reduction of carbon emissions.




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  Reply # 1962592 22-Feb-2018 23:44
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PhantomNVD:

 

So basically strip all tax from all fuel and charge it as RuC on all vehicles regardless of their fuel type? (YAY! my petrol Lawnmower no longer pays the 'road tax' when driven around my yard)

 

 

 

BUT, how would you suggest "emission control" (i.e. CO2) taxes be collected... at CoF (actual testing of emissions) or through Rego (official manufacturer specs) or some other way? 

 

 

 

 

Only strip the roading related parts of tax from petrol taxes. All emissions related costs of petrol and diesel should still be directly taxed. As it doesn't matter if the petrol / diesel is used for a car / boat / generator / lawnmower etc. X amount of petrol or diesel burnt still produces Y amount of emissions.

 

Sure, mowing the lawn will now be a little bit cheaper. But I doubt that you will decide to mow it more often, just due to petrol being slightly cheaper.








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  Reply # 1962598 23-Feb-2018 00:00
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MikeAqua:

 

Holiday towns would still have standby electricity costs.  Another way of addressing spiky load is to have a peak kVA componete within the charges.  Large commercial users pay these.  Peak use is an issue too as heavily loaded cables waste more energy as heat.

 

 

 

 

We definitely need peak demand charges. As there is lots of generation capacity, lines capacity, transformer capacity etc. Which is needed to meet peak demand, but for most of the year it sits idle. This is very expensive to provide, due to the very low utilisation factors.

 

And by recovering the costs of peak demand directly from a peak demand charge, instead of from KW/Hr fees. Per KW/Hr fees could then be alot cheaper. And if someone doesn't want to pay peak demand fees, or just reduce their peak demand. They have the option of buying a Tesla home battery, and using it to buffer their peak demand.






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  Reply # 1962622 23-Feb-2018 07:25
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One: local manufacturer subsidiaries should be required to provide support for EVs even if parallel imported. This could extend to servicing, in which case the government could chip in a bit on staff training costs, but more pertinently would guarantee the availability of the harder-to-source spares such as battery modules or complete packs. I read an article last week about Blue Cars who have put together a replacement Leaf battery pack that sounds at least 30kWh if not a bit more, but they have had to shelve the plan because Nissan refuse to sell battery modules so their only source was crashed cars.

 

Whilst I can understand not wanting to actually service a model that isn't sold in New Zealand (see: government chipping in for training costs), refusing to sell spare parts is at best a case of leaving money on the table, and at worst actively malicious. EVs could last longer than ICEs, but only if there are replacement batteries available when the time comes.

 

Two: local manufacturers to be required to provide a battery recycling program. Alternatively, the government could run the program, but the manufacturers would be barred from attempting to nix it based on BS grounds such as IP. Not that I expect that kind of thing to happen here, but I can totally see some US companies trying it. Yes, we, the taxpayers, will end up paying for the program, but we will all end up paying for waste one way or the other no matter what. Knowing the batteries are being recycled will help alleviate the main valid criticism of EVs, i.e. that you have to mine lithium to make batteries. (To which I usually respond: yes, but you also have to mine oil, and you can't recycle that).





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  Reply # 1962626 23-Feb-2018 07:37
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elpenguino:

 

Having such a scheme would lead to a lot of people dodging and attempting to dodge a mileage based tax, as already occurs with diesel.

 

 

 

 

I would've thought it would be difficult to dodge such a tax forever, as you would require mileage to be recorded at every WoF check (which I would assume it is already). Sure, there will be the odd dodgy mechanic who will help you out by recording low, but you'd be running the risk of getting caught during a routine compliance or breath check point at which point the fines should be high enough to thoroughly discourage it. That, and offering a bit of a discount on the fines if you dob in the mechanic who will lose his livelihood for it, should keep it under control.

 

 

 

 

Furthermore, extremely fuel inefficient cars should be highly charged for Rego. A scheme such as 'pay next to nothing' for a ford fiesta up to 'pay a kidney for a dodge ram' would discourage people from having gas guzzlers.

 

 

 

 

I see what you're getting at, but if you're already OK with the fuel costs for a Dodge Ram I think you'd need to make the rego costs financially crippling before they would discourage anyone. You don't buy that kind of compensator if money is tight.





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  Reply # 1962630 23-Feb-2018 07:49
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happyfunball:

 

How about:

 

- Prioritise what we are trying to achieve.  Remove toxic carcinogens, Reduce emissions, pay for our infrastructure.

 

- EMISSIONS TESTING.  Its a disgrace that we don't already do this.  Too many smoking tailpipes in NZ.

 

- Tax on harmful pollutants, such as Petrol and especially Diesel.  One tax for Petrol and a much larger one on Diesel. Discourage diesel usage by personal vehicles and/or ban from urban CBDs like is being done in Paris (2024), Copenhagen (2019) and London (starting in 2018?).

 

- Tax on all fossil fuels, including natural gas.  It needs to be much more expensive than renewable electricity.  Use the funds to subsidise renewable energy projects such as solar/wind.

 

- RUC based on usage, on the odometer, rather than fuel purchased. RUC is for all vehicles which enjoy use of the road including EVs.

 

- Additional Heavy-RUC for very heavy vehicles, which cause much more damage to roads than cars and light trucks.  

 

- Subsidise full-EV purchases.  GST exempt in the very least.

 

- Charge more tax that increases as electricity is used by a house.  The more you use, the higher the kWh charge.

 

- Charge more tax for electricity used during peak hours and less at times of surplus.  

 

- Discourage power companies averaging the price per kwh over the month/year.  We need economic incentives in place so peoples behaviour matches with whats going on in the environment.  Thats hard to do if you can't see it.

 

- Charge more per rubbish bag.

 

- Ban non-biodegradable disposable plastic bags 

 

 

Generally we don't hold onto our vehicles for 14 years because we like them. We hold onto them because a lot of people are poor and can't just drop $60K on an electric vehicle. People who can afford to do so shouldn't really benefit from a subsidy funded by taxing those at the lower end even more.

 

I do however agree with the idea of dropping GST on second-hand EV imports. 


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  Reply # 1962801 23-Feb-2018 11:10
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We could start by having a proper emissions test in the WOF, with vehicles failing it being pink stickered off the road. Tango Sierra if you're poor and want to run a clunker - you'll have to use public transport or walk, which will be better for you and better for the environment in any case.

 

 

 

We should subsidise the installation of home solar electricity as well.

 

 

 

Also the annual registration should relate to CO2 emissions as it does in the EU. The Dodge Ram mentioned above would probably be in the UK top rate for that, a cost of NZ$5,000 for the first year of registration and $1,000 per annum thereafter, approx.






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