OPINION: Fuel tax an unnecessary burden

The Auckland regional fuel tax should be scrapped to alleviate some of the pain local motorists are feeling at the pump.

A Members’ Bill I’ve put together would repeal this fuel tax and remove the ability for the Government to roll out such taxes across New Zealand.

This tax added 11.5 cents a litre to the cost of petrol and diesel and every year it remains in place $150 million is being taken from motorists’ pockets.

The Government has increased fuel taxes in Auckland by about 25 cents a litre overall, adding to the high cost of living faced by locals.

This Bill would give MPs and the public the chance to properly debate the regional fuel tax’s merits.

The rising cost of living is one of the biggest challenges Kiwis are facing right now.

I hear a lot of feedback from people who are concerned about the rising cost of fuel.

It was revealed this week that Auckland Council underspent its budget on new transport projects by more than $260 million in the first year the regional fuel tax was in place.

The tax was implemented to allow the Council to boost its spending on projects to alleviate the city’s appalling traffic congestion and the revenue it’s collecting is not even being fully spent.

People may rightly ask where the Council will find an extra $150 million a year if the regional fuel tax is repealed.

The answer is by finding savings in its growing balance sheet, which has seen annual expenses increase by an average of $200 million in each of the past three years.

Despite this, ratepayers aren’t seeing an associated increase in the range or quality of services the Council is delivering.

Some people may even say the level of service delivery has been decreasing since the super-city Auckland Council was formed.

The Prime Minister has said Kiwis are being “fleeced at the pump” and a Commerce Commission study into the retail fuel sector said consumers are paying too much for fuel.

A public poll conducted after the regional fuel tax was introduced found 57 per cent of Aucklanders oppose it.

The regional fuel tax is unfair and unnecessary. It’s hitting Aucklanders where it hurts and it should be scrapped.

Jami-Lee Ross, MP for Botany


  1. Surely the government’s mega-borrowing to fund election bribery infrastructure projects eliminates the justification for a regional fuel tax?

    Mr Independent MP, ask the question of your peers.

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