Slim majority support electric vehicle discount and high emitter fee

Fifty-one per cent of New Zealanders support the Government's proposed electric vehicle scheme that would see low-emission cars subsidised and a fee added to some high emitters. 

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Political reporter Benedict Collins has the latest from the 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll. Source: 1 NEWS

The latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll found 51 per cent were in support, 39 per cent opposed it and 10 per cent did not know. 

The groups of people who were more likely than average to support the scheme were Green Party supporters, Wellingtonians, Labour supporters, Asian New Zealanders and people aged 18-34. 

Those who were more than likely against were National supporters, people living in Waikato, men aged 35 and over and New Zealand Europeans. 

The Government proposed earlier this month to give discounts for electric, hybrid and fuel efficient vehicles and put a fee on high emitters sold in the country for the first time. It would begin in 2021.

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It would be the first time such fees have been imposed. Source: 1 NEWS

Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter said the results showed New Zealanders wanted action on climate change. 

"They support us making cleaner cars more affordable to help them be part of the solution and cut pollution. They want cars that don't make climate change worse. 

"It's not just pure electric vehicles that will benefit from this policy, so there'll be a lot of options for rural people."

National's transport spokesperson Chris Bishop said the poll results showed a significant number of New Zealanders "are opposed to Labour's car tax". 

"It shows people like electric vehicles but they don't want a punitive new tax. The reality is electric vehicles are good for New Zealand, I drive a Nissan leaf, National supports electric vehicles. 

"For lots of people for lifestyle or affordability reasons, they simply won't be able to move to an electric vehicle any time soon. Tradies, people in the country, mums and dads with a large number of kids - there are just no electric vehicles out there for them and I think you're seeing that reflected in the poll result."

National had been releasing videos criticising the Government, calling it out of touch, particularly on the electric vehicle proposal. 

Ms Genter said National's attack advertisements on the electric vehicles were "scaremongering". 

The Green Party landed itself in hot water after releasing a video that mocked National leader Simon Bridges' accent has been pulled after drawing heavy criticism online. The ad was pulled just two hours after being uploaded to Twitter.

Mr Bridges said National were holding the Government to account on tax, "and they're holding me to account on my accent".

Mr Bishop said the public would be hearing National's policy closer to the election. 

1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll - Between July 20 and 24, 1003 eligible voters were polled via landline and mobile phone. The maximum sampling error is approximately ±3.1%-points at the 95% confidence level.

Those polled were asked: 'The Government is proposing to introduce an incentive scheme to encourage New Zealanders into low-emission vehicles, such as electric cars, hybrids, and other lower emission cars. Under the scheme, new low-emission vehicles would be subsidised, making them cheaper to buy, whilst a fee would be added to the cost of new high-emission vehicles, like utes and SUVs, making them more expensive to buy. Do you support or oppose the Government’s low-emission vehicle incentive scheme?'