Government considered banning all petrol and diesel car imports in the next 15 years

The Government considered banning all diesel and petrol car imports by 2035, but it's been ruled out. 

Documents released under the Official Information Act boast of significant emissions reductions and more than $2 billion in benefits.

The idea of an end to fossil-fueled cars struck near uniform horror in the small Wairarapa town of Carterton.

"I have a passion for cars. I would not like to see them banned," one resident told Newshub.

"As I am a farmer, without diesel I'm not sure how we'd get on," another resident said.

Just as well for those in Carterton, and elsewhere, the Government ruled out a ban on diesel and petrol cars.

"Other countries are setting end dates for the imports of fossil fueled vehicles, but that's not what New Zealand is doing," Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter said.

"We rejected that policy - we're just not ready for it here in New Zealand."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was also quick to rule out a ban under her leadership.

"One of the issues of course that we have is making sure those on low incomes can still afford to purchase vehicles," Ardern said.

Advice from the Transport Ministry found a 2035 ban on the import of gas guzzlers would cut emissions from vehicles by 90 percent, and bring net benefits of $2.26 billion.

Even the Greens Party won't go for it - a spokesperson confirming it's not Green policy 

Instead of a ban, the Government wants a scheme that would see discounts applied to low emission vehicles, and a fee on polluters. The opposition insist they too champion electric vehicles.

"I personally drive a Nissan Leaf," National MP Chris Bishop said. "Our leader Simon Bridges drives an electric vehicle as well."

New Zealand has an obvious problem with emissions from older and inefficient vehicles - the average car is 14-years-old. 

But with so many people relying on them, banning petrol or diesel vehicles - even if it's 15 years away - would be vastly unpopular.