Pointless Local and Central Government compliance requirements helps drive up costs of living. First month of 2018 and yet more unnecessary ‘paper-trail’ demands, this time around the inspection and issuing of WOF’s.
The NZ Transport Agency now demands WOF inspectors fill out an ‘Inspecting Organisations Conflict of Interest Statement’ when inspecting a family member or friend’s vehicle. Presumably NZTA bureaucrats think tradesman/inspectors are more likely to give their loved ones an easy/cheap WOF than be concerned for their safety. We all know the real ‘conflict of interest’ risk is to the general public by unscrupulous WOF inspectors and organisations failing a vehicle so to make money by carrying out unneeded repairs. And guess what, this is the only conflict-of-interest not listed by NZTA in their document. And why, because they can’t police it with paperwork. But despite this NZTA has decided an inspector must fill out a conflict of interest form every time he or she inspects a vehicle owned by an individual that falls within the following definition; “a relative may be a child, parent, grandchild, grandparent, brother, sister, spouse or civil union partner or any person living with any of the aforementioned persons the Vehicle Inspector or joint inspectors are aware of, or has been made aware of by a third party”. NZTA also has a ‘financial conflict of interest’ definition, which is just as lengthy and contains an open-ended clause.
15 years ago, NZTA (previously Land Transport Safety Authority) had around 500 bureaucrats in their Vehicle Compliance Unit deliberating on and producing regulations. 38 Auditors (technical policeman) driving around New Zealand carrying out practical intervention, to help ensure their WOF regulations were not being applied incorrectly or abused by any conflict of interest. Today the number of bureaucrats in the VCU office, producing paper, has risen to about 1500. But Auditors policing actual inspections and investigating written complaints by vehicle owners has dwindled to 5.
This somewhat new phenomenon of far more people overseeing work than actually doing it, brings unsustainable costs. As Retail, Service and Export businesses struggle to absorb these costs it doesn’t just erode their competitiveness, it also reduces their ability to pay staff higher wages and give charitable returns to the communities that support them. We need to utilise common sense and push-back against this tsunami of stupid rules.