National launches petition against 'car tax'

National fears only "Labour-Green activists" will make submissions on the Government's proposed electric car feebate scheme.

So it's started a petition against the plan, which aims to get Kiwis into cleaner cars.

The scheme, proposed in July, would see discounts on electric vehicles as well as low-emission petrol cars, and fees slapped onto gas-guzzling machines. 

National has campaigned hard against the plan, and on Sunday unveiled its latest salvo - a petition.

"This policy will hurt New Zealanders, particularly those who don’t have a low-emission vehicle options that fit their lifestyles - farmers, tradespeople and low-income earners for whom these vehicles will still be too expensive," said leader Simon Bridges.

"It's not right that families with three kids will have to pay thousands more for a used seven-seater van so that wealthy executives can buy a cheaper Tesla Model 3 or a BMW i3."

The Government says the discounts and fees will only apply to vehicles the first time they are sold in New Zealand, and won't affect sales of vehicles already registered in New Zealand - which the Government says makes up three-quarters of sales. 

The Ministry of Transport is currently seeking input from Kiwis through email and an online survey.

"If everyday hard-working Kiwi families don't sign up, all we'll get doing the online survey is Labour-Green activists, and that will be really unrepresentative."

Bridges, who drives an electric car, said National backs smaller incentives like an exemption from road user charges - which the Government plans to drop - but not penalties.

"The best way to green our vehicle fleet is to incentivise, not penalise, people to buy low-emission cars. Our bottom line is you, which is why we'll fight hard to stop Labour's car tax."

Anyone who signs National's petition will be signed up to the party's mailing list. 

Earlier this year a petition hosted by the party against a United Nations migration agreement was pulled after the alleged Christchurch gunman used the pact as justification for his atrocity.