An Auckland taxi company with a fleet of 200 cabs has had its operating licence revoked.
The NZ Transport Agency said AA Yellow Cabs Ltd had seriously breached regulations intended to protect the public.
Its status as an "approved taxi organisation" was revoked with effect from 5pm yesterday after the agency's investigations uncovered significant breaches of commercial transport law.
Twice in 2009 the company was successfully prosecuted by the NZTA for breaches of transport law, and another three charges are pending.
NZTA regional manager (access and use) Andy Thackwray said revocation was initiated as a result of two NZTA investigations, which were prompted by concerns about the company's ability to operate in a safe and legal manner.
The investigation identified numerous offences under the Land Transport Act 1998 and associated legislation.
Mr Thackwray said the issues were brought to the attention of the company's management last year, and the company had been given ample opportunity to make the improvements needed to bring standards to the required level.
While revocation was a last resort, the action demonstrated the NZTA's commitment to improving compliance in the taxi industry.
"These are serious breaches of regulations which are intended to protect the public, and this company has demonstrated an ongoing inability to operate in a safe and acceptable manner on numerous fronts," Mr Thackwray said.
"While we always endeavour to work alongside companies that are willing to improve their standards, if a company is either unable or unwilling to become compliant we will not hesitate to take action in order to protect the safety and security of the travelling public and ensure a level playing field for the industry."
Mr Thackwray said the agency's advisory team had spent several years working with the company to help them to bring their operation into compliance with transport legislation, but when they were unable to do this NZTA was left with no option but to revoke their operating licence. The company can appeal the decision.
In the past two years 10 other taxi companies in New Zealand had their approved status revoked.
LOG OF ISSUES
The Transport Agency says the specific issues the firm repeatedly failed to address include:
* Allowing an unlicensed driver to drive a taxi.
* Failing to maintain a register of members and drivers.
* Failing to notify the Transport Agency of a serious complaint against a driver.
* Failing to comply with log on/log off requirements for drivers.
* Failing to ensure drivers adhered to published work rosters.