Regional fuel tax bill has first reading

The first reading of the Land Transport Management (Regional Fuel Tax) Amendment Bill is an important step towards helping Auckland meet its transport challenges, Transport Minister Phil Twyford says.

The Bill allows regions to apply for a regional fuel tax, initially for Auckland. The tax would be on petrol and diesel for a period of no more than 10 years.

Phil Twyford says this period of time gives the region the funding certainty it needs to plan and build major projects.

“This Bill will enable Auckland Council to seek funding for specific transport-related projects. Funds raised in the Auckland region can only be spent there.

“A regional fuel tax will allow Auckland Council to generate an extra $170 million a year as one contribution to the big transport investments the city needs.

“It will help fund the vital infrastructure Auckland needs to get moving. Its infrastructure can no longer support the massive population growth it’s had in recent years.

“This has resulted in lost time and productivity for so many Aucklanders. Auckland can no longer afford to do nothing. We need to create a world-class transport system in our biggest city, with better infrastructure and a wider range of transport modes to choose from.”

Under the Bill, Auckland Council must first consult with residents on the proposed projects it wishes to fund. It must then obtain Government approval before the regional fuel tax can be implemented.

Despite advances in transport technology, every day people in Auckland struggle to get to where they need to go on time.

“This Bill is a chance to fix a problem people in Auckland face every day – a gridlocked transport system that is only getting worse,” Phil Twyford says.

The Bill will be referred to the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee, which will call for public submissions. The law is expected to be passed in June, ready for a fuel tax to be put in place in the Auckland region from 1 July.