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As part of the wider transport industry operators are required to hold an operator's licence and aspects of their business are regulated - vehicles must have a Certificate of Fitness, rental agreements must comply other elemnts of transport law, and customers must comply with the transport law in general.

This high level of regulation places the industry in an unusual position so far as the wider economy is concerned. Unlike, for example, the retail industry, which has a relatively low level of regulation beyond the obligations placed on all employers via the Health and Safety in Employment Act, tax regulations, building codes and the like, the transport sector must maintain a close relationship with its regulatory agencies on the formation and modification of all three levels of legislation. In particular, the development of land transport rules, as tertiary legislation, requires support from those affected by the rules. This requires a proactive industry representative, which is the role played by the Association.

In short, the Association needs to work closely with the industry regulators to ensure that regulations are based on common sense, economic analysis and are understood by the industry which has to apply them. The flow of communication is two-way - the Association has an obligation to inform the regulators of issues affecting its members and seek amelioration as necessary.

The majority of rental vehicle operators are involved in tourism, both domestic and international. Consequently operators are reliant on accurate and timely information about changes in the tourism industry from key government agencies, and the Association has a role to both disseminate that information to its members as well as provide information to the government agencies on matters which affect policy decisions. An example of this is the debate on whether foreign drivers are more or less competent than New Zealand drivers, and whether more controls are required on their ability to hire vehicles.

International events such as the H1N1 epidemic and terrorist threats influences peoples' decisions to travel. Despite these factors, inbound tourism has remained more buoyant than expected as the market perceives New Zealand as a safe place to visit. The rental industry has benefited from this perception and it is important that reality matches expectations in that regard.

In short, the buoyant tourism industry is crucial to a healthy rental vehicle industry.



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