Auckland Council gives regional fuel tax the go ahead

Drive 31/05/2018

Aucklanders will soon be paying 11.5c a litre more for petrol after Auckland Council voted on Thursday in favour of a regional fuel tax.

It’s hoped it will help plug the funding hole in its ambitious transport schemes.

Councillor Linda Cooper was one of 13 who voted for the tax, she told RadioLIVE’s Ryan Bridge & Lisa Owen that Auckland commuters want roads in the region fixed.

“We have to spend the money to make those changes. The number one feedback in our regional land transport consultation was safety.

The Government is expected to pass legislation allowing the change in the next month, before it kicks in on July 1.

Seven voted against introducing the fuel tax, including Councillor Daniel Newman.

He told RadioLIVE Drive that come July 1, the price of fuel in his constituency will go up 11.5 cents.

“Combine that with the increase in the Government’s petrol excise, we’re going to see 25 cents per litre additional tax at the pump every time my constituents fill up.”

Mr Newman says he represents some of the poorest people in Auckland.

“And I simply couldn’t support a measure that was going to be so regressive and so detrimental to the financial well-being of the people that I represent.”

It's expected to raise about $150 million per year but it’s just a fraction of what’s needed.

More than $28 billion will be spent fixing Auckland's transport network over the next decade, the council and Government said in April.

Mayor Phil Goff said not putting in a fuel tax would require the shortfall to come from rates increases, he said, which would be around 13 percent this year alone.

Listen to the full interview with Linda Cooper & Daniel Newman above.

Drive with Ryan Bridge and Lisa Owen, 3pm - 6pm Weekdays and streaming live on'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.