Auckland, February 16, 2017
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has expressed his disappointment at the government’s decision to rule out a regional fuel tax despite Auckland’s worsening traffic congestion.
Following is his statement received by us:
While the Government has the power to rule out a fuel tax, it has a duty to the people of Auckland to come back to Council with alternative solutions.
Aucklanders are fed up with sitting in their cars on the motorway for hours at a time.
It is lost time for them and lost productivity for the city.
People want the government to work with Council to find an agreed solution. In my view a regional fuel tax is a fair, effective and efficient way of helping close the current $400 million a year gap in transport funding.
Putting the burden of resolving the transport funding deficit onto ratepayers would result in rates increase of about 16% next year.
I do not intend to do that.
Ratepayers have been shouldering the burden for too long. We must find new revenue streams to fund our much-needed housing and transport infrastructure rather than continuing to load the cost of growth on ratepayers.
The Auckland Transport Alignment Project was a good start in getting the city and Government working together.
However, it does not go far enough in solving Auckland’s congestion and already faces a funding gap of $4 billion over 10 years.
We need a solution now and cannot afford to wait another 4-6 years to deal with this problem.
I am committed to working with the government to develop new transport funding measures. If they remain adamantly opposed to a regional fuel tax, they need to urgently come up with another workable and sustainable solution.