Mandating electronic stability control (ESC) is a key deliverable of the Safer Journeys Action Plan 2013–2015 (external link)which is part of Safer Journeys New Zealand’s Road Safety Strategy 2010-2020(external link)

On 10 July 2014 Minister Woodhouse announced an amendment to the Land Transport Rule: Light vehicle Brakes 2002, mandating electronic stability control for light vehicles entering the fleet.

Vehicles coming into New Zealand will be required to have ESC as follows:

  • all new class MA, MB, MC and NA light passenger and goods vehicles certified for entry into service from 1 July 2015
  • used class MC vehicles (four-wheel-drive SUVs and off-road vehicles) inspected at the border from 1 March 2016
  • used class MA vehicles (passenger cars) with engine capacity greater than 2 litres inspected at the border from 1 March 2018
  • all other used class MA, MB and NA light passenger and goods vehicles inspected at the border from 1 March 2020

The requirement to have ESC will not apply to some specialist vehicles, such as vintage, motorsport and scratch-built vehicles. This is consistent with other Land Transport Rules.

From 1 July 2015 all owners of vehicles fitted with ESC, no matter when they were imported, will need to ensure that their ESC is working. This will be checked at warrant of fitness inspections.

Further information

View Minister Foss' release on mandatory ESC for all new light vehicles from 1 July 2015(external link)

Read the questions and answers on the amendment Rule

View Minister Woodhouse's release on the Beehive website(external link)

View the Ministry of Transport’s Regulatory Impact Statement [PDF, 127 KB]

Read more about the Land Transport Rule: Light-vehicle Brakes 2002 on the NZ Transport Agency's website(external link)