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HPMV permit safety checks update


In August 2015 the NZ Transport Agency introduced a safety check when assessing all high productivity motor vehicle (HPMV) permit applications, including over length and 50MAX.

Freight truckThis is part of our commitment to doing everything we can to ensure the safety of all road users and ensuring that access and use to the roading network is being appropriately managed.

Since August last year around 95 per cent of permits have been issued for a 24 month period, with almost all of the remainder issued for 12 months while we work to improve the safety of the operator’s business. One application has been declined due to serious safety concerns.

In a recent change, the safety check now takes into account the vehicle kilometres travelled (VKT) by the operator in addition to their fleet size when assessing permit applications.

Other criteria used when assessing permit applications include the Operator Rating System score for the previous two years, together with certain traffic offences, permit and weight breaches recorded over the previous 12 months.

If the safety check assessment raises any areas of concern, the permitting team discuss the application with the regional Commercial Transport team where the operator is based.  This regional consultation acts as a safeguard to ensure all the available information is gathered before a decision is made.

Following this discussion a permit may be issued for 12 months, with or without additional conditions which will need to be put in place by the operator, while we work with them to improve the safety of their business.

Where we have serious safety concerns, we will decline the permit application. If an operator is declined a permit, once again the regional Commercial Transport team will work with them to help them improve the safety of their business.

Frequently asked questions

What is the purpose of the safety check?

When assessing applications, the Transport Agency must consider two aspects of safety under the Land Transport Rule. While the safety of the vehicle with respect to other road users is duly considered, any potential risk created by the operator responsible for the permit must also be assessed using available information on operator performance. 

Do all new permit and renewal applications get checked?

Yes - from 17 August 2015 all operators applying for an HPMV permit including over length and 50MAX permits have been subject to a safety check. Existing permits are not affected.

What happens if I pass the safety check?

You will be issued a 24 month permit.

What happens if I fail the safety check?

Depending on the result of your check the Transport Agency will contact you to discuss your compliance performance before making a decision on the validity period of any permit to be issued. As a consequence of that discussion you could receive a permit for 12 months which may include conditions of operation, or not be issued a permit at all. 

How can I appeal the check result and decision

If you are not satisfied with the result of the safety check, you can appeal the decision by writing to the Transport Agency, Customer Access, Operations Manager, to initiate a review. If you appeal the decision you will have a response within 10 working days.

Who can I speak to about my safety check?

Contact the Transport Agency office in your region and ask to speak to a commercial transport officer, who will discuss the various methods to help you improve your safety such as vehicle maintenance and driver management. 

How long does the safety check take and will this add time to the permit process?

  • If the safety check indicates that you are compliant the processing of your permit application will not be delayed
  • If the check indicates that you are non-compliant you will be contacted and advised by the permit processing team of the status of your permit application and what that means.

Will the safety check affect the prescribed application fee for a permit? 

No, the application fee for your permit will remain the same.