John Brett

John is a professional engineer with 50 years experience.

John has designed and built many cars, trucks, and vehicle assembly facilities.

John has worked on design of roads, bridges, cranes, transmission towers, and buildings, and operation, maintenance and upgrade of hydro and gas turbine power stations.

John was a LVV Certifier for 13 years. John has long been a whistle-blower, expressing the view that the LVV system is dangerously deficient. John’s authority was revoked in December 2012.

John rides a 1992 Yamaha FJ1200ABS, and is also a keen road and off road cyclist.


“The LVVTA has brought it to my attention that statements I have made in relation to it and its employees may have been perceived as defamatory.

I sincerely regret that and apologise for any harm caused. I have taken down the statements identified by the LVVTA of concern to it.

I have strong views about the low volume vehicle certification process and intend in the future to direct my energies into the public inquiry now being held in relation to it.”

John Brett 7th October 2015


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The NZ Police have been found out making up their own rules- and have had to cancel a number of Pink and Green Stickers, and related offence notices.
A customer (who shall be nameless) was given a Pink Sticker because his car was below 100 mm gound clearance, even though it was Certified, and was at the ride height on the LVV Cert plate.

When the Police Officer was contacted, he advised that they had been told to issue offence notices if the ground clearance was less than 100, regardless of the LVV Plate ride heights.
The Police even wrote a piece in the advice column “NZ Performance Car” magazine explaining their policy.

The Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association contacted the NZ Police and explained the situation, and now the Police have changed their policy, and we expect a retraction in the next issue of the “NZ Performance Car” magazine. The customer who first complained has had his offence notices and Pink Sticker cancelled.

Top marks to the NZ Police out on the road for having to deal with some of the garbage cars out there, and dealing with the attitude they sometimes get. Lets hope that they get some better training on the rules!

If anybody else thinks that they have been wrongly ticketed when their car is LVV Certified, they should contact the Police, and if that doesn’t work, contact the LVVTA

54 comments to NZ Police get a RED CARD for RED STICKERS

  • mike pickett

    i am pleased that got cleared up… i appreciate that the law is the law but if your car has been deemed road worthy at a height by an industry professional how can a police office (with no specialist training) say its not even though everything matches up

    good work LVVTA

  • […] found making up their own rules” From the LVVC recourse: “The NZ Police have been found out making up their own rules and have had to cancel […]

  • About time the NZ police had a kick up the ass, Nothing more annoying then typical NZ cops thinking they specialise in anything and everything telling you the LVVTA is wrong
    (Comment Edited)

  • John Brett

    This is a professional forum- seen by many industry groups, NZTA and LVVTA. Comments are very welcome, but abusive comments will be edited or deleted.

  • Krissy

    Our car just got pink stickerd because it was 50mm lower than what was on the cert plate but is not lower than the legal height off the ground, was also stickerd for being to loud but the officer didnt even test it, later that day we took it to get the noise red and it was lower than the legal limit, what should we do about this, is this an example of the police making up there own rules?

    • johnbrett

      The LVV Cert plate allows a tolerance of plus or minus 5% on the height, which is measured from the centre of the wheel to the top of the wheelarch. If you are within that 5 % you are legal.
      (Maths- 5% of typical ride height about 300 mm, is 15mm, so if your car is 50 mm lower than what the Plate says you are NOT legal)

      There is NO legal height off the ground limit, either for standard cars or modified cars. The ONLY place 100 mm comes in is when a standard car is lowered but NOT Certified- (The Certification threshold)

      Check your facts carefully. If you think you are not guilty, (if your vehicle is NOT outside the tolerance on the Cert Plate) then look at your rights on the back of the offence notice.

  • brodie

    can a car get blacklisted from the wof system i am looking at purchasing a chevy the number plate is DDN543 and i have been told by people not too buy it as they hear it has been blacklisted and can no longer get this true and can anybody contact me with information please.thanks 0211627599

  • John Brett

    This is the info from Landata-
    The last WOF expired in 4/6/2007
    The rego has run out, in 30/10/2010, however I think it takes 12 months before they are struck off and have to be re- complied.
    I can’t think of how a car could be “blacklisted” without it showing up on Motochek.
    If you know a Compliance centre, such as a VTNZ or AA station, they may be able to bring up more information- I would ask before I paid any money.
    Hope this helps

  • Kenny


    I’m in the middle of the planning stage for an E30 to complete in the BMW Castrol driver series… I’m looking at rebuilding a car that has been off the road for a while… As the car technically no longer exists I’ll need to have it re-VINed… I’m wondering what the process is after that… The car will be built directly into a racing car (ie: homologated cage etc etc) and will have a MANZ Authority Card… It seems like the whole process is duplicated if I have a homologation (and authority card) from MANZ telling me that the cage is safe and then I have to ask the LVV certifier the same thing…Can you tell me what the correct process should be… Cheers

  • John Brett

    Hi Kenny- The MANZ process covers the roll cage and harness belts and possibly seats- there is no need for LVV Certification for those parts.
    There could be LVV Certification required for other mods such as engine, brakes, suspension.
    Hope this helps John Brett

  • Kenny

    Hi John… the series authorised mods are very limited… I managed to speak to another LVV certifier today and it looks like I’m not going to need to go through the process… Thanks for your reply… Cheers, Kenny

  • mitchell

    awesome they got cancelled but wheres the reprocussions for the piggys if we do summin wrong they jump all over us with the rule book but its ok for them to break the rules still double standards f*** you piggys follow the rules your ment to enforce

  • Richard

    The New Zealand police have made up there own rules for ever. So I suppose that now they have been caught issuing the stickers wrongfully people who they have already issued stickers to get an apology letter?
    Exactly! And then people say “The attitude and people they deal with are the problem”…. Umm Excuse me!? You just gave my 15K car a non-complience sticker for being COMPLETELY LEGAL.
    You follow the rules to not get in these issues and you get abused by the New Zealand Police.
    I have personally written letters explaining my position and how these tickets were wrongfully issued, including evedince and photos.. Not even this was enough for them to see they were wrong.
    At the end of the day if you abuse rule followers- Why should they continue to follow them?

    • johnbrett

      Hi Richard- My response would be to write in to the Police, saying that “NO OFFENCE WAS COMMITTED” and requst a court hearing. At the4 Court hearing bring along the evidence of a (new) WOF inspection, LVV Inspection, etc. Also, apply to the Court for costs. If you turn up in court, neatly dressed, and npresent your evidence respectfully, you shpould get a fair hearing.

  • owain

    few years ago my car was pink sticker-ed my old ke30 for being to low, the officer bounced on the rear of the car and said 5mm from bump stops fully loaded with passengers, i questioned the officer about this with a comment going this is coming from the officer that had to put his glasses on to read my license i believe your eyecromitor it a tad bit out please use a proper measuring device, he continued to sticker my car anyhow my dad drove into town measured my car i was 125mm due to my radiator blowing on the way home i could not take this to the vtnz i contested this ticket and got a response the officer that issued your ticket on the night in question is a well respected officer we believe he was well with in his right and did not wish to proceed in this,

  • Bowynn Noanoa

    Wether these stickers are green,pink or red i dont care ill still keep peeling them off you are police officers not mechanics

    • johnbrett

      Sorry mate, you are digging a hole for yourself. See my response to Richard- Keep your car legal, deal with the stickers. If you think the Police are wrong, then get a fresh WOF and send a copy to the Police. If the Police persist, take it to Court. In Court remember that a criminal in a suit gets a better hearing than an honest man in dirty jeans, so scrub up, speak nicely, and be sure of your facts.

  • mitch

    so my mazda b200 got pink stickerd for gusrd rubing on 20inch mags yet there was no evadence of rubing at all can i get off my pink sticker and how so???

  • P.Diddy

    I was caught doing a skid and had my license taken off me. My car was impounded and because it had a cert plate (which had only been issued two days prior) got green stickered. Is this correct procedure or did I get burnt?

  • Philip

    Glad to see they have admitted they are wrong, has been going on for a long time. Just a reply to the comment above. A criminal in a suit doesn’t get a better hearing than an honest man in jeans. If either are found guilty. The guy in the suit will get huge fines, The guy in jeans will get community service.


  • dosent any one get it??????? the police are the biggest gang in the world. the have one rule for them and other rules for us. my question is do they have a cert tag on the highway patrol cars? if we put in an after market profromance chip in our car we have to have cert for there chipped ecu and other mods to there cars? if so how can we ask to see there’s? if they dont have one can we pink or green or red sticker there car? if not why not? at the end of the day they do what the hell they want and get away with it.

    • johnbrett

      1 Police cars and emergency services vehicles are exempted from LVV requirements. I was asked to Certify some new ambulances- they fell far short of LVV Requirements, were clearly unsafe, so they did not get LVV Certified, and went on the road as ‘exempt’.
      2 If your car is legal and Certified you should NOT be getting stickers or offence notices. Get a fresh WOF, (you have to go to a TSD anyway). Assuming that the inspector agrees that your car IS legal and safe, then write in to say that since no fault was found, then no offence was committed. If they don’t cancell the offence, you apply for a Court hearing. Hope this helps- John


    @brodie yes they can, if a car has been damages beyond repair and has been compeletly warped. or doesnt meet import certifcation.stops people slapping on a set of p plates and using said car. the vin number will be blacklisted at every wof authority.
    if a cop pulls you up, you are allowed to check his car for wof legality. that is your right.
    also if they are missing ANY part of their uniform and are not a detective they cannot give you a ticket.

    • johnbrett

      Thanks Gooseboy78- good information. We bought a GN250 motorbike, lapsed rego, and the possibility was that it might have been written off. I was able to check in Landata that it was just lapsed, so just needed a compliance. With a car, it might be written off, water damaged, or a gazillion km overdue for RUC (plus penalties), whatever, but it’s easy to get it checked before you buy it. I checked on the car Brodie was interested in, no major issues were showing.

  • Anthony

    I have a car with height adjustable suspension. It is above 100mm, right around the factory ride height. Do I need a cert plate for these? My WOF inspector is saying I do. I want to be sure I am not jumping through hoops due to misinformation as in my dealings with WOF inspectors there are many that are less then well trained.

    • johnbrett

      Hi- yes your WOF inspector is correct- Height adjustable suspension needs LVV Certification. If the car is at normal ride height, there should be no problems with suspension geometery, but we recommend getting a wheel alignment anyway. Your best plan is to get a LVV Inspection done and a LVV Plate fitted before Mr Policeman issues you with a pink sticker!!

  • Chris


    My vehicles registration has been on hold for just over a year due to receiving modifications. The time has now come to get an lvv cert for my engine / transmission swap. Am I allowed to drive my car to an LVV certification centre? If the answer is yes, do you have a link to any documents I can take with me in the car in order to show an officer If I am pulled over that I am legally allowed to be on the road?


    • johnbrett

      In the Traffic regulations, you are permitted to “drive to a place of inspection, and then if necessary to a place of repair, by the shortest route”. They CANNOT ticket me if I decide to take my trailer down to get a WOF, or if I then take it to get a new tyre- same for your car. If you are going to a LVV Inspection, you would have an appointment, and the cop could phone the Certifier to confirm. Hope this helps.

  • Tim

    Let me make sure I have this correct. If I was to put adjustable suspension in my vehicle, I could then legally drive it down to the guy who will certify it (assuming I had an appointment?) It just doesn’t sound right. What if I had made a complete hash of it, and something was unsafe on it? How would it still be legal

    • johnbrett

      Hi Tim-
      Same story as going for a WOF- I could take a dangerous vehicle (say bald tyres, structural rust, steering about to fall off), down to the WOF inspector, quite legally. If I had an accident because of those faults, the Police might find with something else to charge me with- possibly even manslaughter!

  • cameron

    how do you get the car to vtnz or an inspector if yoj cannot drive it??

    • johnbrett

      Read the words on the sticker. I THINK that a green sticker allows you to drive to a place of inspection or a place of repair, but a pink sticker means that it has to be transported. If not sure, ask the Police. Regards


  • Tim

    Hey John,
    I’m having some trouble finding info on the LVVTA website regarding fuel systems. Do you know the rules/ know where to find them?

  • john brett

    A lot of stuff is in the Hobby Car manual. Phone me on 0800 LOWVOLUME (0800 569865) and I’ll see if I can advise. Cheers

  • lance

    If a vehical is certed for 18inch wheels and I have 16inch on it are they allowed to pink sticker it

    • johnbrett

      If you have a LVV Cert, and change the wheel size, then it needs to be re-certified. I can’t explain why the Police issued a PINK sticker and not just a green sticker or just a warning. Are there some other issues perhaps?

  • Kate

    I am needing some advice…last week my partner put his car through a wof to be able to then go for certification because he has adjustable suspension (his standard springs were scewed so invested in adjusties) obviously it failed there were a few things he needed to do ball joint track rod ends etc which he did at the weekend anyway tonight we get rolled because he had to collect his wallet he left in work van, to book his car in for cert.
    We got rolled and the cop as soon as he got out of tbe car was so rude, he didnt even want to hear that my partner had fixed the parts concerned and issued a green sticker on his vehicle. He just keep repeating that his car was unsafe…
    now yes we understand my partner should not have been driving his car etc but we requested a 14day or even 7 day compliance and the officer rudely just said that if he did that my partner would probably just continue to drive it.
    He also said during one part of the conversation that tyrefittrs dont know anything and their qualification means nothing but refused to comment when we asked if he was qualified to know what he was talking about.
    We have some of the conversation on recording and want to make an official complaint and i guess we are just looking for some advice. I previously had been rolled in my vehicle and i got compliance so how come my partner doesnt get the same right?

    Thanks and sorry its an essay 🙂

    • johnbrett

      Hi Kate- sounds as if the cops were a bit rough with your partner. I’ll just ring up the Police Commissioner and arrange an apology (Yeah right).
      Best wishes


  • Ashton

    can you still get a pink/green sticker if the car is 90mm from factory and not been touched

  • Claire

    Hi I have a cert plate for 19s by 9.5 mags but had 18s by 9s on I got pulled up and green stickered first time ever being pulled up but as my car still would have a wof can I just take it in and have wheels cleared or do I need to get a whole new wof thanks

    • johnbrett

      Hi Claire
      The procedure used to be that you needed to get the LVV Certification plate changed to show the different wheels. A lot of things have been changed, and this may not still be correct. I suggest that you phone or email the LVVTA to find out what is now required.


  • Maraina

    Hi i just got green stickered because the constable said my exhaust was too loud and he couldn’t hear his radio in his car. I’ve had my Forrester as is for 2 and 1/2 years have always maintained and up to date with rego and wof. In this time I’ve always passed my wof or got minor things fixed to pass, I’ve also been pulled up more than 10 times driven through heaps of check points and never had warning or any issue with the noise until tonight. I’ve never had a green sticker before please tell me what to do lol

    • johnbrett

      Hi Maraina. According to the law, you now need to get a Low Volume Vehicle Noise test done, and present this at a WOF agent to have the green sticker removed. The LVV test may cost $200 upwards, if you can find a certifier in your area.

      Good luck


  • Mr.Hyde

    Yea, a Cop tried to threaten me with a pink sticker today, I build cars, friends dad owns garages, friend of a friend is a LVV certifier..

    Thing is the car needed a big gas to prevent it from stalling (still needs fine tuning with the ignition) so he folloows me, asks me if i like revving my engine, wouldn’t know I said and paid little in reaction seems to had straightened him out to a degree. They have been flocking in doves since a week ago. Got stopped just 3 days ago by another guy, this one was however a good fellow, gave me a fine for he was confused about a personal plate I owned, which I later went back to find him and show him, what the deal was, anyway having that sorted meanwhile. These low iq fuckers, former bullied or bullys feel thretned by real men, they work for big brother and specially made some nice revenue collecting points in Whangarei Highway, The Port Road Near the Werehouse and a few other places where you cant even find any crashes. Collecting Revenue from pathetic traffic stuff instead of catching criminnals who are robbing, maiming, thieving and killing people. Seems the Police State in work as usual are trying to push their weight again, If ever SHTF god save these poor nzpopo saps, they are not even armed.

    • johnbrett

      I suggest you get it running properly as soon as possible.
      It’s no fun driving a car that needs constant revving to keep it going, it’s probably not performing its best, it annoys people, it attracts Police, and it makes you look like a plonker.

      Best of luck


  • Sam

    Hi, if my vehicle has been passed fit by an LVV Certifier, am I able to drive it while waiting for the cert plate? I made sure to get all the work done professionally (hence why its taken 4-6 weeks) but I’ve heard that the cert plate could take up to another 3-4 weeks?

    Would showing my invoice from the certifier suffice (if stopped by Police)? Or will I have to suck it up and continue to use the bus until I receive the cert plate?


    • johnbrett

      Hi Sam
      The Certifier should have given you a form to say it is passed. It should only take a day to courier the LVV Plate out to the Certifier.
      I would contact the Certifier to gask when he will get the plate, or to write you a note.
      If you can’t get any help from the Certifier, get in touch with the LVVTA to ask where the Cert plate is-
      Hope this helps


  • dmfwesty

    By removing a pink sticker off a car does that give the police to impound the car again due to getting pulled over with removal of sticker or does the occupant of the car get fined ????

    • johnbrett

      I am no expert in Police procedures, but I know that the pink sticker orders the vehicle off the road until made safe. The Pink sticker can legally only be removed by an authorized agent, e.g. VTNZ, VINZ etc. If you remove it yourself, you are then knowingly driving an unsafe vehicle, so I would expect the Police to fine you AND impound the vehicle. If however the pink sticker was removed by an agent authorized to declare the vehicle safe, then no offence has been committed.

      Hope this helps- please don’t drive unsafe vehicles on the road!

  • Koko

    Hi I recently brought a car through a private sale I did my research on this vehicle and found out that it was pink stickered so I went to the VTNZ Station and had given the plate number I was told that the reason why the car was pink stickered was for the Exhaust Noise Level so from there I was told I needed to get it certified I had the car checked over at the exhaust shop and the guy said there was absolutely nothing wrong with the exhaust as it was standard so my thinking from then onwards was maybe the cop wanted to be a prick and decided to stick it with a ppink sticker I’m going to get the exhaust certified by the specialist but what I would like to know is can I make a complaint to the police station about this problem ? Or am I wasting my time and just get the exhaust certified which is going to cost me a couple of hundreds Help! I need advice please..

    • johnbrett

      Hi Koko
      Sorry I cannot help you much with this. It is possible that it did have a noisy exhaust when the Police stickered it. Then, the owner took it home and put the standard exhaust back on.
      As to having to get it Certified, I suspect that you might have to, because a pink sticker had been issued.
      VTNZ will know the rules on this, and will have dealt with it before. They are usually very helpful.
      I recommend you take your car to them, and ask them nicely if there is a more sensible way ahead.

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