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Trucking industry fears being decimated by Govt rule changes

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New Zealand News | Sunday May 5 2013 19:02

Trucking industry fears being decimated by Govt rule changes

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The New Zealand Trucking Association believes the industry could be decimated if overseas truck drivers aren't able to get work visas.

The Association says the Government is removing truck driving from the skills shortage list, meaning qualified truck drivers won't be able to enter and work in New Zealand based solely on their employment prospects.

It says the Government is doing this because it wants to force operators into hiring and training unemployed people to drive trucks.

Association spokeswoman Suzanne Hubball says four out of five drivers in some companies are on special work visas, and it's already becoming tougher for overseas drivers to work here.

"If you look on the immigration website, truck driver is still listed in skills shortage but if you try to apply under that category it rejects you."

The New Zealand Trucking Association believes a number of trucking companies would take their rigs off the road before allowing substandard drivers to take the wheel.

Ms Hubball says most firms wouldn't give keys to under-qualified drivers.

"Why would they risk their gear, which can cost over $200,000 for a truck and rig? They're not going to trust just anybody to that."

Photo: NZ Herald

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