19 Apr 2018

Majority of Aucklanders favour regional fuel tax - survey

8:33 pm on 19 April 2018

An opinion survey has found majority support in Auckland for a regional fuel tax.

Fuel pump.

Fuel pump. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

An Auckland Council survey last month found 52 percent in favour of the planned 11.5 cent a litre tax, and 43 percent against.

Suport was strongest in central Auckland at 57 percent, followed by 51 percent in the south, 50 percent in the west and 49 percent in north Auckland.

The survey of 4000 Aucklanders was done before the government made its surprise announcement that it was also considering a similar tax for the whole country.

The level of support was similar to feedback collated near the end of the council's consultation on its 10-year budget.

The regional tax would raise about $150 million a year for transport projects, more than twice the amount currently raised by a flat levy on ratepayers.

The list of projects it would help fund is expected to be released soon, following formal agreement between the government and the council.

The tax is expected to be in place this year.

Meanwhile, Auckland's remote Great Barrier Island may be exempted from the proposed regional fuel tax.

Councillor Mike Lee, who represents the Gulf islands, told a council meeting the island had no electricity network, so most residents used fuel to run their own generators.

He said they would get no benefit from transport improvements, having no public buses on just 113 kilometres of road.

Councillors have stopped short at this stage of recommending to the government that the island's 1000 residents should be exempt.

It will argue for the ability to decide exemptions when legislation bringing in the 10-cent-a-litre tax is passed this year.

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