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Crises of conscience, or fear, looks to have led dozens of Otago people into re-registering their vehicles correctly, but those who have not, might be facing a court appearance.
The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) released figures in May showing Otago to be dramatically overrepresented by "usage 6" vehicles, the catch-all category for non-commercial ambulances.
There are now just 95 "usage 6" vehicles registered in the region - down from 230 in mid-May, the NZTA stated. NZTA media manager Andy Knackstedt said the numbers dropped after the agency wrote to 200 owners of "usage 6" vehicles who it suspected of having registered their vehicles improperly.
That letter was followed up by a similar letter from police pointing out the penalties involved of wrongly classifying their vehicle, such as deregistration, and asking they provide evidence that it was a "usage 6" vehicle.
In response, 150 people had re-registered their vehicles, he said.
The difference in the registration prices between vehicle types was significant, with the annual registration fee for non-commercial ambulances at May $59.64, but $287.75 to licence a petrol-powered private car and $417.61 to licence a private non-petrol car, the NZTA's schedule of fees shows.
NZTA planned to write again to those who had not responded to the letters, and if there was no response, it would look at working with police to charge the owner and then deregister the vehicle, Mr Knackstedt said.
It was an offence to knowingly provide false or misleading information when completing motor vehicle registration and licensing application forms and people could be fined up to $1000. They could also be fined up to $1000 for operating a vehicle for which the appropriate ACC levy had not been paid.
The Clutha District has 47 vehicles registered under the classification, Dunedin 35 and Queenstown-Lakes district 9.