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Heavy vehicle certification information about Patrick Chu

Financial claims no longer accepted

Waka Kotahi is no longer accepting financial support claims related to towing connection certifications issued by Patrick Chu.

Towbar claims closed on 14 September 2020.

Drawbar and drawbeam claims closed on 16 November 2020.

Certificate of Fitness

Vehicles that have not had Patrick Chu certified towing connections recertified, removed or made permanently inoperable are likely to have their Certificate of Fitness revoked. Vehicle owners have been advised to email Waka Kotahi at chuenquiries@nzta.govt.nz by 12 March 2021 with evidence of action taken to avoid this happening. Letters have been sent to all vehicle owners affected.

Background

Waka Kotahi suspended Auckland based heavy vehicle specialist certifier (HVSC) Patrick Chu in October 2018, following safety concerns over the certifications issued for several heavy vehicle components.

A team of senior engineers and experts investigated Mr Chu’s towbar, drawbar and drawbeam files and discovered certifications were issued for a range of non-compliant works.

In December 2018, Mr Chu’s certifications for towbars were revoked and required recertification, removal or being made permanently inoperable by 31 August 2020. In April 2019, his certifications of drawbars and drawbeams were revoked and required recertification, removal or being made permanently inoperable by 31 October 2020.

Without the towing connections being resolved as above, Waka Kotahi considers vehicles with these revoked components to be unfit for the issue of a Certificate of Fitness (CoF).

This means impacted vehicles should not be operated on the road, other than for the sole purpose of bringing them into compliance, and only if they are safe to be operated for such a purpose.

 

Questions and answers

  • What should I do if my vehicle has been certified by Mr Chu?

    Waka Kotahi previously contacted all vehicle owners impacted by revocations of Mr Chu’s certifications. This was due to known safety concerns following investigations into towbar, drawbar and drawbeam certifications specifically.

    Waka Kotahi considers vehicles that still have these revoked components to be unfit for the issue of a Certificate of Fitness (CoF).

    This means impacted vehicles should not be operated on the road, other than for the sole purpose of bringing them into compliance, and only if they are safe to be operated for such a purpose.

    If your vehicle has other components certified by Mr Chu, we encourage you to have them inspected at your earliest convenience. We also encourage vehicle owners and drivers to regularly check vehicle components for wear and tear and any signs of fatigue such as cracking.

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  • Why is the investigation of Mr Chu still ongoing?

    Certification of heavy vehicle components is complex and considers many factors, including fatigue, gross mass weight carried, and distance travelled. Each file is unique and requires a team of experts to assess and make a recommendation based on the information within the file. In many instances, a vehicle inspection will be arranged to further verify details of the certification.

    In Mr Chu’s case, major safety issues identified with towing connections were addressed as the top priority and required substantial input from technical experts. Recertification of these components revealed that the safety issues were widely prevalent. As a result, the ongoing investigation is looking at other certification types issued by Mr Chu to determine whether other aspects of his work are sub-standard.

    If Waka Kotahi finds further evidence of issues with Mr Chu’s certifications, we will contact affected vehicle owners directly.

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