Tippett v New Zealand Transport Agency [2018] NZDC 14926

Published 17 April 2019

Appeal of refusal to grant exemption from compliance of vehicle standards — Land Transport Act 1998, ss 106, 111 & 166 — District Court Rules 2014, r 18.19 — Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002. The appellant had sought an exemption under s 166 of the Land Transport Act from the respondent from compliance with a number of rules relating to vehicle standards. The appellant's vehicle was built for the Taiwan market, which, unlike New Zealand, does not require specific safety standards. The appellant purchased the vehicle in New Zealand but did not have the required Certificate of Standards compliance for the vehicle from the manufacturer. The appellant made inquires in New Zealand, the United States and Canada but could not obtain the documentation needed. The appellant sought an exemption from the respondent but was declined, leading to the present appeal. The Judge considered prior case law and the specific facts and compliance issues of this case and held that in the absence of a full inspection and mechanical report or evidence pointing to similar car models shown to be compliant, the appeal must fail. The appellant was unable to demonstrate the respondent's approach in refusing to grant an exemption was wrong. Therefore, it was not unreasonable for the respondent to find that the risk to safety would be significantly increased by granting the exemption. The appeal was dismissed. Judgment Date: 14 August 2018.