Christopher Luxon quizzed about claiming Clean Car Discount on new Tesla

  • 21/06/2023

Christopher Luxon has responded to questions about claiming the Clean Car Discount on a new Tesla his family bought.

Last year, when the Clean Car Discount was introduced, National leader Luxon criticised the policy as "taxing people with utes… and actually subsiding wealthy Tesla drivers by giving them subsidies". 

But Luxon was quizzed on Wednesday after revelations his family had upgraded from a Model 3 to a Model Y Tesla and it appeared they claimed the Clean Car Discount on it

"As I've said before, my wife owns a Tesla - I told the journalist seven months ago who initially asked the question," Luxon told AM host Ryan Bridge.

"The bottom line is, I think it's really inappropriate to go into my wife's and my kids' financial affairs."

Luxon added he was the politician, not his family.

"We stand by our comment opposing the fact that people who can afford to pay, should," he added.

In criticising Luxon, Labour MP Shanan Halbert said the Clean Car Discount was "such a successful policy helping NZ to clean up its fleet".

"But Luxon has constantly attacked this policy," Halbert said on Twitter.

However, Luxon said he stood by his criticism of the policy - adding the Government needed to target its spending better.

"Again, that's the point on prescriptions - why should people who can afford to pay, get a subsidy for prescriptions rather than those who can't?"  

In October, it was revealed the Government had paid out tens of millions in clean car rebates to Tesla owners - more than any other car by a mile. 

The Government had since recalibrated the scheme, with New Zealanders purchasing a hybrid or electric vehicle made eligible for higher rebate while making low-emitting petrol cars ineligible.