Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Zealand Police target users of Uber Taxi

Over the past few days I have read a few stories in the news about the New Zealand Police targeting users of the popular Uber Taxi platform.  They go as far as kicking passengers out of vehicles and leaving them on the streets, sometimes potentially compromising their personal safety.

As with a lot of countries, the New Zealand taxi industry is heavily regulated and there is good reason for this. However, it would appear that taxi drivers are losing market share to users of the Uber Taxi app. Hence, complaints from the taxi drivers to the police.

The word 'disruption' comes to mind. A term that I have blogged about numerous times as I have debated using both sides of the argument.

People vote with their feet. If they can find a better service elsewhere, then off they go. Every business needs to be agile enough to change their business model to better meet the needs of rapidly changing consumer behaviours. As New Zealand is reasonably isolated from the rest of the world, trends often take a while to become reality. The New Zealand taxi industry should have seen this coming from a mile off and changed their business model to suit.

Rather than fighting serious crime, the New Zealand Police seem to have little more to do than to punish the New Zealand public for using a new service. Yes, the Police are upholding the law, but just as quickly as consumer behaviours change, we need to be able to change the law to enable people to abide by the law through times of change.

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