Labour says scrap the system because of a 0.3% error rate

The Herald reports:

The chaos caused by the new car registration system has led to it being labeled the “Novapay of transport” by Labour.

The party’s spokeswoman Sue Moroney said minister Nikki Kaye needed to scrap the entire system after errors emerged in the lead up to its launch today.

The new system links each car model and make to a “risk rating” then adds a fee to the cost of car registration that is between $68.46 for the safest vehicles and $158.46 for lower ranked models. Previously, all motorists paid $198.65.

The system has caused frustration with motorists after computer errors impacting about 9000 motorists.

It’s not acceptable that there were errors, but let’s put this in context. Around 9,000 motorists were affected. There are over 3.5 million motor vehicles registered in NZ. That is a 0.25% error rate.

The individual ranking of each make and model fluctuates against a database of accident data at Monash University, an Australasian safety ranking system based on laboratory tests and information from the insurance industry.

Excellent – data based costings.

The idea of linking the cost of registration to risk rating was hoped to encourage motorists towards safer cars – a premise Ms Moroney said was flawed.

“It’s not a perfect science. The minister has implemented a system that pretends it is a perfect science and it will change behaviour.”

No one has claimed perfect science. What is being claimed is that it is sensible to have a higher levy for less safe vehicles, just as less safe industries have higher ACC premiums.

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