Bay bikers consider protest

The vice president of a Tauranga motorcycle association says motorcyclists are considering a protest in the city to express their outrage over the proposed ACC levy increases.
Max Neal, vice president of Tauranga’s Ulysses Club motorbike association, says the proposed increases are an absolute farce.

Max Neal, vice president of Tauranga’s Ulysses Club motorbike association, describes the proposed rise of ACC levies as a farce. Picture by Tracy Hardy.

The increases for motorcyclists were part of a raft of changes announced by ACC Minister Nick Smith on Wednesday.
Owners of petrol powered motorcycles currently pay $252.69 a year in ACC levies and moped owners pay $58.97.
Under the proposed increases, motorcycles under 125cc will increase to $257.69, 126cc – 600cc powered motorcycles will rise to $511.43 and motorcycles over 601cc will jump to $745.77.
Moped owners will pay $198.61 extra for annual ACC levies.
Max says his email inbox has been flooded with emails from local motorcyclists angered about the proposed rises and he has been forced to turn his mobile phone off because of the number of calls he is receiving.
“People are absolutely shocked. ACC has been running at a loss for donkeys of years but penalising ‘Jo Blogs’ on the street is not going to fix the problem,” says Max.
He is flying to Wellington on Friday to attend the Ulysses Club national meeting, where the idea of a national protest will be explored.
The protest could be modelled on the protest carried out by truck drivers last year over the proposed rise in road user charges, says Max.
Max owns a 1500cc Kawasaki Drifter motorcycle and says his ACC levies will rise by $493.08 under the proposed changes.
“It’s taking the fun out of motorcycling. I’ve been a member of the Ulysses Club for 20 years and it’s just going to take the edge off riding.
Every time there’s a problem, politicians are always grabbing money out of the air to try and solve it,” says Max.
He says the members of the national Ulysses Club, which is based in 28 centres across New Zealand, will debate the rises this weekend and a decision on a possible protest finalised.


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