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Top award for carers

From left: Linda Surtees of Fostering Kids NZ, Malcolm and Brenda Yorston, Children’s Minister Tracey Martin and Gráinne Moss, chief executive of Oranga Tamariki – the Ministry for Children

A couple who are well-known in the automotive industry have been recognised for fostering children for more than 35 years.

Malcolm Yorston, technical manager of VIA (the Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association), and his wife Brenda have received an Excellence in Foster Care Award. They were among 10 caregivers to receive the honour at a ceremony at parliament to mark the end of Foster Care Awareness Week.

“You don’t get into fostering to get awards,” Malcolm told Autofile, who is also father to five children, three of whom are adopted. “The reward for Brenda and I get is being able to help make a change in the lives of some of these kids who, through no fault of their own, are put into situations when there are care and protection issues.

“We get our reward from seeing them grow up and achieve their potential. It’s all about trying to change the habits of a generation and break the cycle so children get a well-rounded grounding to become good citizens and move away from issues in their past. You do not go into fostering for recognition.”

The couple began fostering children in the late 1970s after Brenda’s mum Betty died. She was fostering a young boy at the time, so Malcolm and Brenda took over his care. They adopted him when he was 16.

They fostered youngsters in Christchurch and continued to foster when they moved to Auckland. They have had more than 100 kids through their home over the years.

They are looked up to in the foster-care community and are active members of the Auckland Foster Care Association. Malcolm chaired the New Zealand Family and Foster Care Federation for three years. Brenda’s training as a nurse has allowed them to take on children who have medical, and or high and complex, needs. They support other carers with relief caring and keep up their training.

The Yorstons work hard to maintain strong relationships with their foster children, social workers and other caregivers. They have an open-door policy in their home to ensure everyone feels welcome, safe and loved.

Tracey Martin, Minister for Children, presented the Yorstons with their award on March 9. “I have huge admiration and respect for every one of this country’s foster carers,” she said. “Your generosity and that of your families is amazing.

“The carers who win Excellence in Foster Care Awards are the best of a fantastic group of people who provide the hope, love and sense of belonging all children deserve.” 

Linda Surtees, chief executive officer of Fostering Kids NZ, said the awards were a chance to honour ordinary people providing extraordinary support to our most vulnerable children and young people.

“People who provide foster and permanent homes never do it for the recognition,” she added. “They do it because they care deeply. They deserve widespread support and thanks from the community. This is a great opportunity to celebrate them.”

This year’s award recipients came from around the country representing Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Otago and Southland – and from a wide range of backgrounds, ethnicities and were a variety of ages and at a mix of life stages.

Each year, caregivers, social workers and people from communities nominate people for what they do for children. Award recipients are selected for making inspiring changes to their lives, length of service, team approach, their relationship with the child’s family, and their role as a leader or mentor to other caregivers.

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VIA issues security warning

The Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association (VIA) have received reports of recent burglaries, targeting testing stations, compliance shops and dealerships.

They are advising all members around the country to review security measures, and take appropriate steps to make sure premises and belongings are secure.

If you have any questions, please call our VIA Technical Manager Malcolm Yorston on 0800 VIA VIA (842 842) or email

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Import health standards changes imminent

David Vinsen

Autofile understands there will be an announcement this afternoon by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) that changes will be made to import health standards, and that all used passenger vehicles exported from Japan to New Zealand will be required to be cleaned and inspected before leaving Japan.

Changes to import health standards have been mooted for some time, but it is believed the current infestations of BMSB and YSSB have initiated immediate action.

VIA (the Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association) has confirmed its support in ensuring that New Zealand’s biosecurity is the bottom line.

Chief executive, David Vinsen, who contacted Autofile earlier this morning, says: “The absolute bottom line for us is to ensure biosecurity is maintained and that the future of New Zealand’s primary production is not at risk through the importation of vehicles.

“We are working closely with the MPI to find a suitable solution and a meeting will be held this morning to further examine possible solutions. These may include freezing. The bugs are extreme-temperature intolerant, so either heating or freezing are options we are looking into. There will be a trial conducted to assess this imminently with the hope that treatment will follow immediately afterwards.

“We are committed to finding a solution and, to this end, VIA will be taking the lead on behalf of our industry.”

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VIA’s Christmas office hours

The VIA office will close at midday on Friday 23 December, and re-open on Wednesday 3 January.

All requests for VIA supplies and services need to be sent to the VIA by 5pm on Thursday 22 December.

If you have any enquiries during our closedown period, please email

However, your enquiry will be answered when the office opens in the new year.

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Breakthrough in EV battery imports

The VIA, (Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association), has been working to develop a procedure to ensure that new and used EV, electric vehicle, batteries can be imported into New Zealand.

“We have now been able to obtain documentation for certain battery types, to ensure that shipping companies can meet their requirements under the UN dangerous goods regulations,” says the VIA.

The lifespan of EV batteries is a key factor in issuing mechanical warranties for EVs, which mean greater confidence for consumers.

The VIA has announced a new import procedure in order to meet UN dangerous goods regulations.

“While we have been able to achieve a breakthrough, it is still not an easy process as the shipping of Li-ion batteries is highly regulated.”

VIA is the business association that represents the interests of the wider trade involved in importing, preparing, wholesaling and retailing the majority of used vehicles imported from Japan, Singapore and other jurisdictions.

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Update VIA details now!

The Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association (VIA) is reminding members to update their details.

As a VIA member, you do not need to apply for access to the Motor Vehicle Register (MVR) under NZTA’s new rules, however you will need to update trading details.

“Even if you do not require MVR access, we ask that you update your records with us now for compliance purposes,” says VIA Technical Manager, Malcolm Yorston.

If you haven’t already, you can update your information by clicking here, before Monday 16 October 2017.

If you do not update your details online, a VIA representative will be in touch with you to follow up.

“We will provide our regular update of member information to NZTA, who will then be able to verify your eligibility when you register with a nominated portal (MotorWeb, CarJam etc),” says Yorston.

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VIA preparing MVR guidelines

VIA has announced it is preparing guidelines for accessing the Motor Vehicles Register (MVR) in preparation for changes to MVR access due to take effect in October 2017.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (2016) first announced there would be changes to the access system in early 2016. Industry participants were encouraged to apply individually or as a part of a recognised association.

The deadline has been extended several times since 2016, and will now expire on October 31. Despite the looming date, it is still unclear how most dealers across the country will access the MVR.

However, VIA has had their application approved, and the Association advises that members implement internal controls within their own organisations as soon as possible so their staff are used to correct procedure by the time the changes come into force.

The current conditions for accessing the MVR as defined by the Gazette Notice are as follows:

  1. Names and addresses are accessed only by the motor vehicle trader on their own behalf, and solely for their own use;
  2. names and addresses may only be accessed for a specified purpose;
  3. the fees charged for the provision of the names and addresses from the MVR are duly paid;
  4. any instances of unauthorised access must immediately be notified to the Secretary for Transport and the Privacy Commissioner;
  5. before being permitted to access the MVR under section 241 of the Act, all staff must receive training that emphasises that such access must only be for a specified purpose, and refresher training of all staff must be undertaken at appropriate intervals;
  6. access must be restricted solely to members of staff for whom authorised access is essential to achieving a specified purpose; and
  7. the names and addresses obtained under this authorisation shall not be disclosed to any third party unless such disclosure is necessarily incidental to achieving a specified purpose.

VIA has produced some key guidelines for dealers requiring access to the MVR and distributed it amongst their members. These guidelines state that access should be restricted to senior staff members, such as sales or finance and insurance managers. Staff who require access to the MVR, i.e to verify trade-in details or check a change of ownership, should submit a written request, which would be verified and approved by authorised staff and kept on file.

VIA also stressed the importance of an internal audit regime to ensure staff are accessing the registry appropriately and there are no privacy breaches. While some portals may already carry out a similar style of audit VIA recommends dealer principals implement their own internal processes to minimise potential breaches of privacy.

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Industry stalwart passes on

Former VIA North Island national executive and long-time supporter of the auto industry Rangi Greenland has passed away, VIA has reported.

Greenland passed on Monday July 24, 2017.

In a statement, VIA said that Greenland was “a friend to many and leaves a fine legacy both in motorsport and the imported vehicle industry – particularly in Wellington.”

“On behalf of everyone at VIA, and our members past and present, we extend to his family and friends our sincere condolences.” 

The funeral arrangements will be private, as per Greenland’s request.

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Updated brand for IMVIA

The Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association (IMVIA) is currently working on redeveloping the organisation’s brand identity.  According to a statement from the management team, the current acronym is too long to be used effectively in daily speech and many people, including members and staff, mispronounce it.

In some cases people refer to the organisation by pronouncing it phonetically (‘Im-vee-a’) or by shortening it to the Importers’ Association. “This leads to confusion and dilutes the understanding of our identity and purpose.” The abbreviation is especially difficult for speakers of other languages to pronounce.

Due to these issues, the organisation has come up with a new brand name ‘VIA’.  “It forms an easier word to say (Vee-a), rather than spelling out five letters.” It also has the potential to evolve into its own acronym (e.g. Vehicle Industry Association).  The word via can be translated into ‘road’ in Latin. “It also means ‘way’, which represents the journey of imported vehicles to our shores and onto our roads, via the complete supply chain we represent.” Alongside the new brand name, a rejuvenated colour palette and logo will be unveiled at the AGM which will be held in July.

Prior to this, a phased roll-out will be communicated to all members. “The IMVIA is a forward-looking business association, with both a proven history and a promising future of supporting its members in the imported motor vehicle trade. We require a visual identity that reflects our stature as the voice of New Zealand’s imported vehicle industry.”

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IMVIA releases annual report

Record numbers of used and new vehicles have been imported into New Zealand over the 12 months ending March 2017, according to the annual report released today by the Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association Incorporated (IMVIA).

The number of cars and commercial vehicles registered in the 2016 calendar year totalled 303,000 – 160,000 used and 143,000 new vehicles. 175,000 vehicles also left the fleet via deregistration and scrappage.

Revenue from memberships and sponsorships had increased, but income from technical services dropped, resulting in a loss of $118,587. IMVIA says this is due to a fall in technical services from vehicles requiring special certificates, and that current reserves means the association is still in a strong financial position.

While there are no government-led initiatives in development affecting vehicle imports, the IMVIA spokesperson says that there is “considerable work being done by government and industry on technological developments that have the potential to bring significant changes to not only our industry, but the role of transport and vehicles in our lives.”

“In particular, electric vehicles, intelligent transport, connected vehicles and mobility as a service are very much in focus in terms of future developments,” a spokesperson from the IMVIA added.

Looking ahead, the IMVIA pointed to a range of issues set to affect importers and dealers in the future. In March 2018, all light passenger vehicles over 2000 cc are to be fitted with electronic stability control (ESC), and the IMVIA is researching models and variants that will fall under this category.

The IMVIA has also met with Auckland Mayor Phil Goff in March to discuss the future of the Ports of Auckland, which is New Zealand’s main port of call for vehicle imports, and is now working with Northport, exploring the possibility of utilising Northland as an alternative in the future.

The association will also redevelop its brand identity, with a new logo and a website to be revealed at the AGM in July.

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IMVIA gathers data

The Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association (IMVIA) has put out a reminder regarding the next phase of Electronic Stability Control (ESC) implementation.


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