We all like cheap taxi fares. Who doesn’t? But when cheapness results in
unfairness that is a different issue.
Who wants to drink coffee where then the harvest comes from slave labour?
This government is bending over backwards to accommodate Uber – the
global giant passenger service and tax dodger.
Standards are dropping to give this foreign interloper a free ride into
Ever since Uber arrived in New Zealand they have played fast and free
with the rules.
Why is this government bowing to an outsider, allowing it to set up here
without obeying our rules. Any Kiwi would be strangled by the local
council, or the government authority if we tried to do that, and we’d be
This is yet another nasty offshoot of globalisation – a foreign company
waltzing in, refusing to pay tax and exploiting the employment market in
which there are few full-time jobs and people are desperate for any work.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges jumps into action shouting from the
rooftops that he will “overhaul” the ”outdated” industry, “modernise”
it, and make it “safer”.
So, where has he been? Why didn’t he do it earlier if it was so backward.
Meanwhile, Uber got on with thumbing its nose at the law. In April, Uber
simply decided to drop the requirement that drivers have a P endorsement
for a licence or a certificate of fitness for their car –a direct
violation of the law.
They were not meeting the legal requirements of taxi drivers having full
This meant the passenger of an Uber driven vehicle could only have an
assurance from Uber itself, and not the police, that a fit and proper
person was behind the wheel.
For some reason the authorities adopted a soft approach.
Warnings were issued to Uber drivers and some were ordered off the road
– but nothing dramatic happened.
Instead of insisting Uber comply with the law, or else, Transport
Minister Simon Mr Bridges has now decided to lower standards in the
entire taxi industry with his Land Transport Amendment Bill.
He’s dumping the need to pass an area knowledge test; English language
tests will no longer be required; and the taxis won’t have to be
identified with signage.
Panic buttons and cameras have been compulsory in taxis which the NZ
Taxi Federation campaigned to have retained. They have worked, and since
their introduction no murders and serious assaults have occurred.
But Mr Bridges was not interested. The bill will dump these important
Also, the cost of obtaining a P endorsement will be cut and taxi drivers
will not be required to have a full licence check every five years, nor
will there be any need to belong to an approved taxi organisation.
What we are seeing with this proposed law change is nothing new from
National since they have also allowed standards to drop considerably in
other industries to keep in line with their free market dogma.
Uber, the multinational tax dodger known to pay about 1% tax, must feel
They have undermined the industry – and the National government is
giving them what they want. How is that fair? Changing the rules is
unfair on those who have had to pay to comply for years. If there was
something wrong the government should have fixed it, but now it is a
foreign giant setting the rules.
What happened to equality before the law for all taxi drivers?
Whose country is this?