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What are stink bugs?

The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) and the yellow spotted stink bug (YSSB) has spread to the United States and Europe from Asia. However, the stink bugs have not established in New Zealand.

The Ministry of Primary Industries have caught the pest at the border many times, hitchhiking on passengers and in imported goods such as vehicles and machinery.

 What is the risk?

BMSB and YSSB are agricultural pests found in Asia, notably China, Japan, and Korea; it has aggressively invaded the US and could successfully establish in New Zealand.

How the insect destroys crops:

  • The insect feeds on more than 300 hosts, primarily fruit trees and woody ornamentals but also field crops.
  • A broad range of crops can be attacked including: citrus; pipfruit; stonefruit; berries, grapes, asparagus, soybeans, sweetcorn, honeysuckle, maple, butterfly bush, cypress, hibiscus and roses.
  • Adults generally feed on mature and immature fruit, while nymphs feed on leaves and stems as well as fruit.
  • It severely disfigures fruit and renders it unmarketable, which results in control costs and production losses.

In the US some farmers have reported crop losses of up to 95 per cent. 

BMSB is not a risk to human health but is a public nuisance. When disturbed or crushed it emits a characteristic, unpleasant and long-lasting odour.

 What do they look like?
  • Adults are approximately 1.7 cm long, around a size of a one dollar coin, with a distinctive “shield” shape. 
  • There are currently two types, the brown and the yellow spotted.
  • Underside is white/tan, legs and antennae are brown with white banding.
  • Eggs are barrel shaped, and found in clusters of 20–30 eggs. These eggs are laid on the underside of leaves.


How are the stink bugs currently affecting New Zealand?

The presence of stink bugs onboard four car carriers bound for New Zealand have forced the ships to leave New Zealand waters and await correct fumigation procedures.

Three of the car carriers had already reached New Zealand’s shores with stink bug infestations: Armacup​’s Tokyo Car, Mitsui OSK Line’s Courageous Ace, and the latest being Toyofuji’s Sepang Express.

The fourth, Glovis Caravel, was bound for New Zealand, however the car carrier was redirected on Wednesday after a check conducted at sea found the two types of stink bugs, the YSSB and BMSB.
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2018 Mustang confirmed

Ford New Zealand has confirmed the 2018 Mustang will begin to arrive on our shores from April, bringing more power, more technology, and more customisable options.

The 2018 Mustang GT’s legendary 5.0-litre V8 engine packs more power and torque than the outgoing version, and performance and technology upgrades.

The exterior design

The car’s exterior design is now more dynamic, with a lower, remodelled bonnet and grille, and a new position for the bonnet air-intakes.

The entire Mustang line will feature all-LED front lights including signature tri-bar lighting.

A dual-tip exhaust is standard for EcoBoost® Mustang, while the V8-powered Mustang GT now boasts a quad-tip exhaust as standard.

New technologies

The new Mustang has a customisable 12-inch all-digital instrument cluster. A first for Mustang, this all-new instrument cluster offers three separate views; normal, sport and track modes . 

The 2018 Mustang also benefits from a vast array of Ford Driver-Assist Technology (DAT). Customers can feel more confident than ever behind the wheel with new features like Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection (AEB) as standard, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane-Departure Warning, and Lane-Keeping Assist as standard.

Mustang also benefits from Auto-levelling headlights, as well as automatic high beam, further reducing the driver’s workload.

The fastest Mustang yet

The 2018 Mustang GT has 33kW more power than its predecessor, delivering a peak of 339kW – around 450 horsepower – as standard.

This power increase has been achieved with the first application for Mustang of Ford’s new dual-fuel, high-pressure direct injection and low-pressure port fuel injection on a V8 engine – delivering robust low-end torque, high-rpm power, and improved fuel efficiency.

The 5.0-litre Coyote V8 also packs 556Nm of torque, a jump of 26Nm, while the EcoBoost delivers 224kW with 9Nm more torque, now 441Nm.

A new 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission, available with both EcoBoost and V8 engines, is the best automatic Mustang has offered and boasts Ford-patented technology. The new 10-speed transmission has quicker shift times, better low-speed tip-in response and significantly reduced friction losses.


Ford Mustang EcoBoost Fastback (automatic) $62,990 RRP
Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible (automatic) $67,990 RRP
Ford Mustang GT Fastback (manual and automatic) $79,990 RRP
Ford Mustang GT Convertible (automatic) $84,990 RRP

All RRPs are GST inclusive but exclude on-road costs and accessories

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New Zealand charges ahead

There were 407 electric vehicles (EVs) registered last month, a huge 96.6 per cent increase compared to January 2017, when a mere 207 vehicles were registered.

This brings the current overall total of EVs in New Zealand to 6,603. 

So how do these figures compare to other countries? 

According to Chargemaster, Europeans charged ahead with plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and battery electric vehicle (BEV) purchases, purchasing 80,000 more than they did in 2016.

With sales almost perfectly split between the two types, BEV’s are proving just as popular as their longer range cousins, with 287,270 vehicles being brought in 2017.

Across the European Union population of 508 million, this is a per capita ratio of 0.0565 per cent of the total population.
New Zealanders in comparison brought 4,055 EVs in 2017 against a population of 4.7 million, or 0.086 per cent of the total population. 

Therefore, New Zealanders are buying EVs, per head of population, 1.5 times faster than Europeans.

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NZ’s largest vintage car show

Around 1000 classic cars will be on show at New Zealand’s largest vintage car show in Auckland on Sunday.

The 46th annual Ellerslie Classic Car Show will showcase the country’s best vehicle restorations, with some believed to be worth millions of dollars.

Over 70 car clubs have come together for the annual event.

There will be three judged competitions to find the best classic cars in the country.

Teams event

Clubs can enter a team or more of two cars and they are judged for the coveted Intermarque Concours d’Elegance shield and the prestige of hosting the next event.

Masters class

Judged to the same rules as the Teams Event, this competition is for clubs who wish to enter single cars.

Survivors class

This event is to find the best over 35 year old unrestored car.  More originality and age points are available than the other competitions.

Public admission from 10am to 4pm, with entry being $15 and free for under 12s. 

Click here to find out more.

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New Nissan Leaf to launch in NZ

Nissan will launch the model in New Zealand during the next fiscal year. The company is also introducing the zero-emission car in other markets including Australia, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Nissan’s regional senior vice president, Yutaka Sanada said the company is working to bring the new generation of the world’s best-selling electric vehicle to as many markets as possible.

“The New Nissan LEAF is the most advanced, yet accessible 100 per cent electric vehicle on the planet,” Sanada said.

”This ingenuous car will make you feel more confident, more excited, more connected than any other mainstream electric vehicle.

“The launch in so many markets shows our commitment to playing a leading role in electrification in this dynamic region, and to delivering the future of mobility to the region now.”

Nissan has sold more than 300,000 LEAFs globally since the model first went on sale in 2010.

The company introduced a fully redesigned Nissan LEAF in September 2017, with a suite of advanced technologies that showcase Nissan ingenuity, including the e-Pedal system for one-pedal driving.

The New Nissan LEAF also features increased power and range, and improved refinement, comfort and convenience.

The car’s new electric powertrain delivers 110kW of output and 320Nm of torque, improving acceleration and driver enjoyment.

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New autoliner route direct to NZ

Automakers will have another shipping option from the United States to New Zealand and Australia when Hoeegh Autoliners begins offering a monthly direct service from the Port of Baltimore in March. 

The impetus for the new route is a new contract with a ‘Detroit three’ automaker (General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Fiat Chrysler), Shane Warren, head of the Americas region, told Automotive News.

He declined to identify the customer.

Car manufacturing in Australia ended last year when General Motors (GM) closed its Holden operations in South Australia. Toyota Motor Corp. closed its operations in neighbouring Victoria and Ford terminated production at two plants in Victoria the previous year.

Currently Hoeegh requires going through ports in Europe, where vehicles are transferred to another vessel, however the new monthly service will have faster transit times and require less handling, which minimises the potential for damage.

“Time to market is important for the customer,” Warren said.

Hoeegh’s service puts it in direct competition with Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, who also offers direct ocean service to the Australia and New Zealand region from the U.S. 

The Hoeegh vessels will originate in Europe and discharge vehicles in Baltimore before being loaded with exports from the unnamed customer.

Vessels also will stop in Jacksonville, Fla., another major auto port, before heading through the Panama Canal to the Mexican port of Lazaro Cardenas, where vehicles produced by the Detroit 3 car company also will be loaded.

The rotation will continue through the ports of Auckland, Brisbane, Port Kembla, Melbourne and Fremantle.

Höegh Autoliners


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KPMG’s latest report on AVs

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are set to revolutionise not only transportation but the way people both live and work.

KPMG’s 2018 Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index (AVRI) provides an in-depth view of what it takes for countries to meet the challenges of self-driving cars and which countries are most prepared for their arrival.

The Index evaluates each country according to four pillars that are integral to a country’s capacity to adopt and integrate AVs. These include: policy & legislation; technology & innovation, infrastructure and consumer acceptance.

Is New Zealand ready for an AV-driven future?

On policy and legislation, New Zealand received a score of 7.92 out of 10, putting them ahead of the Netherlands, in second place. The high score was due to New Zealand’s coherent AV regulation and also having a dedicated department to deal with AV regulation.

New Zealand legislation does not explicitly require a vehicle to have a driver present for the car to be used on the road, which allows the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to provide support to those undertaking AV testing.

New Zealand is also collaborating with Australia to minimise duplication and share knowledge on AVs. The collaboration demonstrates how countries can pool resources to develop and improve autonomous vehicles.  New Zealand is also known for its particularly transparent regulatory framework; the World Economic Forum rated New Zealand highly for law-making and legal efficiency.

“New Zealand is affluent and large enough to support meaningful product trials, but small enough to prevent teething troubles damaging the reputation of a technology or company. Microsoft, Facebook and drone delivery company Flirtey have used it as a development lab. Christchurch has hosted the world’s first fully AV trial at an international airport,” says Jesse Phillips Director, Deal Advisory KPMG in New Zealand.

The country was ranked fifth in terms of consumer acceptance due to good rating from KPMG’ Change Readiness Index, as well as having AV testing in areas of high population density. It also offers a wide range of climatic conditions within a relatively small area.

New Zealand however scores less well on technology and innovation. KPMG’s research found there were no AV company headquarters, patents or major investments in the AV field, even though New Zealand has the third-highest market share of electric cars.

On infrastructure, New Zealand has landed in the bottom five due to low levels of 4G coverage outside of heavily populated areas, few charging stations and middling rating for road quality and road infrastructure.

How well did other countries do?

The Netherlands is the clear leader, it ranked within the top four of each of the four pillars and ranked number one on infrastructure. Netherlands has by far the highest density of electrical vehicle charging points, with 26,789 publicly-available points in 2016, according to the International Energy Agency’s Global EV Outlook.

“The Dutch ecosystem for AVs is ready. The intensively-used Dutch roads are very well developed and maintained and other indicators like telecoms infrastructure are also very strong. In addition, the Dutch government Ministry of Infrastructure has opened the public roads to largescale tests with self-driving passenger cars and lorries,” says Stijn de Groen, Manager, Digital Advisory KPMG in the Netherlands.

Australia was ranked reasonably well on the index. Several cities are hosting AV trials however, improvements to roads and electric charging infrastructure would help with its AV readiness.

Road transport relies on the quality of road infrastructure as well as the regulatory environment that determine access to that infrastructure. Poor showings on infrastructure undermines the ambitions of New Zealand.

The Netherlands leads this index because it performs strongly across all four pillars of research, showing how both its private and public sectors are highly engaged.


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Best year ever for imports

2017 was the best year ever for imports with 331,641 new and used passenger and commercial vehicles entering the country – a 10.2 per cent increase compared to the 300,976 that arrived in 2016.

This was down to vehicle import numbers increasing in three out of the four import categories last year:

Used car imports accumulated to a massive 171,543 for 2017 – the highest it has ever reached. This was an increase of 12.4 per cent on 2016’s total of 152,676. 

New light commercials also had a stellar year with a 26 per cent increase on 2016, from 29,852 to 37,614 units. 

New passenger vehicle imports were also up with 115,019 units imported into the country in 2017 – an increase of 3.7 per cent on 2016 when 110,940 crossed the border. 

Used light commercial vehicles was the only segment to decrease in numbers, with 7,465 units imported – a 0.6 per cent decrease year on year compared to 2016. 

For the month of December, 13,097 used cars were imported, with Japan taking a 93.78 per cent of the monthly share – with 12,283 vehicles imported. Australia followed with 435 and a 3.32 per cent monthly share. Meanwhile, 150 vehicles were imported from Great Britain, with 1.15 per cent share of the monthly aggregation in used passenger vehicles.
Imports from Japan made the biggest gains in 2017 – monthly averages were some of the highest we had ever seen, with a huge 18,426 vehicles being imported back in March. 

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Coromandel’s new scenic tour

The Coromandel EV Scenic Touring Route is in full swing.

The chargers have been installed due to the collaboration of Thames-Coromandel District Council, Charge Net NZ, Powerco, and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.

Powerco Chief Executive Nigel Barbour says, with the Coromandel being a popular holiday destination for both New Zealanders and overseas visitors, the loop will provide an important network.

Barbour states, “EVs are undoubtedly the future of domestic transport in New Zealand, they are cheaper, cleaner and quieter to run.”

“We hope the loop will give locals and visitors alike the confidence to travel around the region by EV, helping safeguard the environment for generations to come.”

The chargers give up to 80 per cent charge in 10 to 25 minutes and are able to be accessed via an RFID card, which drivers tap against the charging unit to activate, or via a smartphone app.

To sign up to the system, go to the Charge Net NZ website.

Powerco now has 10 public-use fast-charge EV stations connected to its network, in conjunction with ChargeNet NZ. 

EV fast-charger station locations:
Thames: Library carpark, 503 Mackay St
Tairua: 6 Tokoroa Rd
Whitianga: 2 Lee St
Coromandel Town: 44 Woollams Ave
Whangamata: Corner of Hetherington Rd and Port Rd, by the police station. 

Click here to find out more.

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Kiwi economy on the rise

Spending on durable goods, which includes passenger cars drives household spending up 0.9 per cent.

Economic performance, measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), grew 0.6 per cent in the September 2017 quarter, following a revised 1.0 per cent growth in the June quarter, Stats NZ said.

Household spending was up 0.9 per cent from the previous June quarter. This was driven by spending on durable goods, which includes passenger cars and services. 

Spending on durable goods increased 2.3 per cent, due to increased spending on clothing, furniture, audio-visual equipment and furnishings. 

Construction industry was the main instigator of economic growth
Construction activity rebounded in the September 2017 quarter, up 3.6 percent after falls in the previous two quarters.

Investment in other construction (infrastructure) and residential buildings reported strong increases. Expenditure on road and rail infrastructure were the key drivers of investment in infrastructure, which experienced its strongest increase since 2007. 

“Construction activity recovered this quarter, unwinding the previous two quarterly falls,” national accounts senior manager Gary Dunnet said. “This reflected higher construction-related investment, with investment in infrastructure and residential buildings also reporting strong increases.” 

Services Industry
Service industries continued to grow steadily, up 0.6 percent in the September 2017 quarter.

Industries that contributed most to this growth were health care and residential care; business services; and arts, recreation and other services.

GDP per capita up over the quarter
GDP per capita was up 0.2 percent in the September 2017 quarter, after a revised 0.5 percent growth in the June 2017 quarter.

For the year ended September 2017, GDP per capita was up 0.8 percent.

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6,000 EVs registered in NZ

More than 6,000 electric vehicles (EVs) are now registered in New Zealand, an early Christmas for the EV community. 

More than 6,000 electric vehicles are charging along New Zealand roads.

This time last year there were 2,547 EVs registered and numbers have increased 136% in the year.

This year’s 3,485 total registrations were made up of 2,154 used electric cars, 62 per cent of 2017 registrations followed by 649 new electric cars, 19 per cent of registrations. 

Not surprisingly Auckland continues to lead the charge to EV ownership regionally. Auckland accounts for 50% of the light EV fleet, a total of 2864 vehicles, considerably above its share of the nation’s population (34%)

On a per capita basis, Auckland is clearly ahead of the Canterbury region fleet (696) and Wellington (679). The units of EVs registered in Auckland has increased 117 per cent since December 2016 when the fleet size was only 1,319.

Infrastructure and charging stations are ever-expanding across the New Zealand to support the growing number of EVs on our roads. The amount of  fast chargers available throughout the length of the country are also increasing, giving EV drivers greater confidence on longer journeys.

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