WoFs are 'stupid', claims Dargaville mechanic who had WoF licence revoked

A Northland mechanic has lashed out at the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) after it stripped his ability to issue Warrants of Fitness (WoFs).

Rodney Wilson has been running Dargaville Diesel Specialists (DDS) for more than 15 years, fixing trucks and issuing warrants.

But he's not allowed to do that anymore after the NZTA said he failed to pick up a frayed seat belt during a warrant check.

"They may as well not be doing them, because everyone's doing them dodgy," he says of the inspections.

Dargaville man William Ball, 65, died after his seat belt failed in a crash in January - and NZTA is pointing the finger at DDS.

"We expect all our certifiers to meet the standard," CEO Fergus Gammie told Newshub. "Dargaville Diesel Specialists did not, we have evidence of them that's very clear they did not meet that."

But Mr Wilson denies he's to blame, and thinks there's a conspiracy against him.

"At the time of the inspection, it was that long ago I couldn't remember, and I said, 'Well maybe I f**ked up' but it turns out I didn't. There's no way I would've passed it with that damage."

He says warrants aren't working anyway, and the entire system needs an overhaul.

"The way they do inspections... warrants are a stupid thing that should never have happened."

NZTA knew there were issues with warrant checks at DDS since 2011, but until now it's done nothing to stop the firm issuing warrants.

"Our approach was not to act immediately and we should have done that - that was not correct," says Mr Gammie.

NZTA says there are 850 open files relating to companies like DDS. About 150 have been identified as 'high risk', and they've been addressed.

Anyone who got a warrant at DDS is asked to get their vehicles retested.

"I just really implore those people to, that we've provided them with vouchers to do that."

NZTA has commissioned a full inquiry, but is promising to be more vigilant in its oversight of those who issue warrants.