Commercial Vehicle Safety Team (CVST)

Photo of an officer checking truck documents by the road

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Team (CVST), formally the Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit,  monitors all areas of the commercial vehicle industry, including trucks, buses, taxis, couriers, mobile cranes, and mobile homes.

CVST staff encourage commercial vehicles and drivers to operate within the safety regulations to protect the road network and all road users.

To do this, they:

  • encourage compliance with road safety laws by focusing on seasonal and local risks
  • work with road transport operators to make sure drivers and vehicles meet health and safety requirements
  • check loads are correctly secured
  • attend commercial vehicle crashes and advise police staff first on the scene
  • advise on and assist with dangerous goods transportation.

Contact a CVST area

CVIU areas - click to view enlarged version

Transport operators and drivers may contact one of the four CVST offices for advice or to discuss inspection reports.

CVST Auckland (Area 1 - includes Auckland and Northland):

Private Bag 92002
Auckland 1142
Tel 09 353 0807
Fax 09 309 0451

CVST Hamilton (Area 2 – includes Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua and Taupo):

PO Box 65
Te Awamutu 3840
Tel 07 872 0136
Fax 07 871 8294

CVST Ohakea (Area 3 – includes New Plymouth, Gisborne, Napier, Hastings and lower North Island):

PO Box 1
Sanson 4862
Tel 06 329 3098
Fax 06 329 3562

CVST Christchurch (Area 4 – all of South Island):

PO Box 5
Rangiora 7440
Tel 03 313 9717
Fax 03 313 9718

CVST staff – who does what

Constabulary staff

  • Police officers with additional specialist training in commercial vehicle enforcement.
  • Qualified to carry out inspections at levels 2, 3, 4 and 7.
  • May be based at one of seven compliance stations, or serve their local communities by responding to local and seasonal risks.
  • Attend all crashes involving commercial motor vehicles resulting in death or serious injury where roadworthiness is in question, and any crash that is likely to generate significant public interest. Report to Ministry of Transport within 24 hours.

Vehicle safety officers (VSOs)

  • Qualified mechanics with extensive experience and knowledge of commercial vehicles.
  • Authorised officer status within Police.
  • Qualified to carry out all levels of inspections.
  • Authorised to issue speeding infringements.
  • Attend all crashes involving commercial motor vehicles where the roadworthiness of the commercial vehicle is in question, and report to Ministry of Transport within 24 hours.

Dangerous goods inspectors

  • Provide advice and assistance on transportation of hazardous goods by road and rail, including labelling, carriage and driver training and licensing.

Commercial vehicle inspections levels 1-7

Level 1

  • Quick inspection carried out by a police officer to check for any obvious issues with vehicle or load, such as a TWIRL check

Level 2

  • Driver licence
  • Road user charges
  • Log book
  • Certificate of Fitness
  • Licence label
  • Load security
  • Safety belts
  • Alcohol breath test.

Level 3

Level 2 and vehicle inspection for defects that can be visually identified during a walk around of the vehicle and its load. It may include some or all of:

Truck driver pre-trip walk around inspection guide [PDF 260KB]

Bus driver pre-trip walk around inspection guide [PDF 185KB]

Level 4

  • Dangerous goods vehicle inspection.
  • May be carried out by constables and qualified vehicle safety officers (VSOs).

Level 5

  • A vehicle safety and compliance inspection.
  • Carried out by qualified vehicle safety officers (VSOs) or NZTA transport officers.
  • Hand tools and specialised testing equipment may be used but the inspections are not Certificate of Fitness inspections.
  • Results contribute to Operator Rating System (ORS)

Level 6

Level 7

  • Carried out by qualified vehicle safety officers (VSOs), constables or road police.
  • Focuses on exhaust.

Guides for drivers and operators