Transport projects to be funded by a proposed Regional Fuel Tax (RFT) will be considered by Auckland councillors next week.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says that an additional $4.3 billion could be available to fund projects which would not be possible without the RFT.
Mayor Goff said, “The RFT is expected to raise around $1.5 billion directly over the next decade, but will be leveraged by the development contributions it makes possible and subsidies from the National Land Transport Fund to allow a much higher level of investment.
Fuel tax a fairer option: Mayor
“To raise the equivalent amount of money we would have to strike a rate increase this year of 13 per cent to 14 per cent. A 10 cents a litre plus GST charge on fuel is fairer with payments related to how much we use our transport system,” Goff said.
“Without the RFT, Auckland would be able to do little more than fund the operation and renewal of the existing system and projects which have already been committed to.
“That would leave congestion caused by Auckland’s annual growth in population of 45,000 a year to get much worse, causing growing frustration at increasing gridlock and imposing billions of dollars of lost productivity costs on New Zealand’s economy.
Auckland to meet share of investment
“Aucklanders are expecting the government to meet its fair share, reflecting the taxes paid by Auckland, but we know we have to meet a fair share of the costs ourselves. We are not expecting to be subsidised by the rest of New Zealand.
“With 52 per cent of Aucklanders polled by Colmar Brunton in favour of the RFT, and 43 per cent against, most Aucklanders acknowledge the reality that we have to help pay to tackle the congestion problem.
“The expenditure made possible by the RFT will meet the cost of transport infrastructure across all forms of transport, benefiting the entire Auckland region,” Phil Goff said.
“It will raise the capacity and accessibility of public transport with major investment in improving bus services and bring forward busway construction in East Auckland from Panmure to Botany.
“It will create bus priority lanes and strengthen bus infrastructure in the central city. Access to the airport will be improved and more park and rides will be built.
“Downtown ferry services will be redeveloped for all those people who use the facilities from all over the city and more electric trains will be purchased and facilities built to house them.
“Safety improvements will be made to our rural and urban roads to tackle the huge growth in serious injuries and deaths on our roads in the last five years."
“Cycleways and walkways will get a major boost to promote safe, healthy and environmentally friendly active modes of transportation.
“Major roading programmes like Mill Road and Penlink will commence and road corridor improvements will be made to a variety of routes including Lincoln Road, the Matakana Link Road and Glenvar Road.
“Road sealing will be extended in particular to the Rodney region while capacity improvements will be made to existing networks and infrastructure created to allow new brown and greenfield housing developments.
“The council’s governing body will vote on the proposals next week to go out to Aucklanders for consultation before Council votes on the Regional Fuel Tax on 31 May,” Phil Goff said.
Find out more
Read the full list of proposed projects to receive funding from the Regional Fuel Tax.