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Fuel tax a win-win for all New Zealand regions

Fuel tax a win-win for all New Zealand regions

“Ten cents a litre extra in fuel tax, collected across the country and regionally distributed, would provide the Auckland region will $100 million annually for network completion. That is what I am peddling,” Auckland City Mayor Hon John Banks today.

“With this proposition no one subsidises anyone else. What is collected in Southland will be spent in Southland. However, I believe, before we start looking at additional fuel taxes, all revenue collected from existing fuel taxes should be directed into transport infrastructure.”

Mr Banks’ comments follow news out today about the potential options Auckland and Government officials are investigating to address the region’s huge transport funding shortfall.

“The money raised via an additional fuel tax would also give us the platform to fund a borrowing programme.

“A fuel tax is just one of the options currently on the table between Wellington and Auckland. Other options are needed to raise up to $10 billion over the next 10 years, and that cost doesn’t include an additional harbour crossing.

“This Government is engaging in Auckland’s problems to give the region a complete ‘toolbox’ to fix and substantially fund its own solutions. What is good for Auckland will be good for the country.”

Mr Banks said the toolbox of funding options would likely include private-public partnerships, tolls, additional government funding, and importantly the ability for the region to borrow.

“Let’s not forget that every New Zealand citizen and driver is already paying, with gridlock traffic in Auckland costing the national economy up to $1 billion each year in wasted time and wasted fuel.

“We are making progress with Auckland’s seven mayors and the ARC all heading in the same direction. We are all committed to network completion and raising the cash to make it happen,” he said.

Mr Banks reiterated that a set of ‘toolbox’ recommendations would be presented on 12 December for the region’s leaders and the Government to debate, with finalisation of the options expected in February next year.

Ends For further information, please contact: Hon John Banks (021) 474 474 or Cameron Brewer (0274) 514 421. Ref: CB

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