Liberalising WoF rules – where have we heard this before?
The latest liberalisation policy from National; changing the frequency of Warrants of Fitness for new and older vehicles,
I have an uneasy feeling about National’s proposals…
On one hand, it would be easier and cheaper to have my car checked for a WoF once every six months. Who could say ‘no’ to saving $40 or $60 a year?
On the other hand, a lot can go wrong with a car in one year. As mechanic, Don Sweet, told Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon programme,
“When you talk about the repairs, I’ve found steering joints falling off, brakes worn right out, brake hoses cracked to bursting, rusted brake pipes, tyres with steel cords coming out.”
So why my apprehension? What is it about National’s liberalisation of this regulation that causes my ‘spidey-sense‘ to tingle, with on-coming danger?
Perhaps because we’ve been down this road before – with disturbing and tragic consequences,
Despite Minister Williamson attempting to duck responsibility, the de-regulation of the Building Industry, as well as the Mining Inspectorate, can be sheeted home fairly-and-squarely upon National’s neo-liberal shoulders.
As part of an ongoing agenda of transforming New Zealand society and economy into a de-regulated free-market, with minimal state over-sight, both Rogernomics Labour and National pursued liberalisation to the exclusion of common sense, safety, and consequences.
Those politicians responsible for the mess they created; the billions of dollars in damage; and lives lost, continue to abrogate all responsibility for the last two decades. Yet, many of those same politicians are still in office today.
The liberalisation of Warrants of Fitness for vehicles sounds like a good idea.
But so did de-regulation of the Building Industry and Mining Inspectorate, at the time.
One would like to think we have learnt our lessons over time, but it appears not. Our propensity for collective amnesia is as much a part of our nature as it ever was.
Liberalisation of vehicle safety standards: this will not end well.
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