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MEDIA RELEASE 30 March 2020

MTA welcomes clarity about WoF and repairs during lockdown

The Motor Trade Association has welcomed the Ministry of Transport’s clarification on vehicle repairs and WOFs during the Coronavirus lockdown.

“The Ministry has confirmed automotive repair workshops are essential businesses when they operate to maintain the safe operation of vehicles for other essential services,” MTA Advocacy and Strategy Manager Greig Epps said.

“This also includes performing repair work for workers of those essential services, such as supermarket workers who need a vehicle to get to work or healthcare workers heading to hospitals.”

Mr Epps said the Ministry had also clarified whether repair work can be performed for the general public.

“Where a private vehicle is a necessity for carrying out essential activities like grocery shopping or travel to healthcare, then a repairer may respond to a request for recovery and repair work on that vehicle,” he said.

Mr Epps said the Ministry has also indicated that any expired WoF will generally be deemed current for the period of the lockdown. A WoF for a private vehicle is not an essential activity and so drivers are advised not to travel to look for an inspection service and businesses are advised not to conduct private vehicle inspections.

“Of course, the driver of a vehicle still has a responsibility to operate a safe vehicle on the roads, but the police will exercise discretion when faced with an expired WoF. A vehicle that is clearly unsafe will not be allowed to continue to travel.

“If the vehicle is necessary for the owner to provide essential activities, then they may seek out a repairer to perform the necessary repairs to return the vehicle to safe operation.”

MTA noted that the Government’s labelling of repairers as essential did not mean that repair businesses must open.

“In line with the public health objectives of the Level 4 lockdown, MTA supports the Government’s actions to stop the spread of Covid-19 and has recommended to members that they remain closed to reduce contact with others during the lockdown,” Mr Epps said.

“Where a member does choose to operate – for example if it has a standing contractual arrangement with emergency services such as maintaining police vehicles, then we are urging members to implement suitable hygiene practices to protect staff and customers.

“For those members MTA greatly appreciates the recognition of repair and parts services as important to keeping essential services running, and the Ministry of Transport and NZTA were to be applauded for their engagement and responsiveness to the sector.”