Key signals possible Auckland congestion charge


John Key isn't ruling out a congestion tax for Auckland motorists to help unclog the city's roads.

A joint Council-Government report has been discussed by the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, and will be released later this week.

It could be a similar to a charge in London where commuters pay $20 every day they enter the central city zone, which is documented using number plate recognition technology.

The Prime Minister didn't rule it out at his post-Cabinet news conference on Monday.

"Technology is changing and it does provide, potentially, opportunities in the future - but it's not something Auckland motorists are going to be facing anytime soon," he said.

That's a change from the Government's previous stance, which was lukewarm on the idea.

But the game has changed, and with the next mayor likely to be Phil Goff - a huge fan of congestion charges - it's given the Government some wriggle room. 

We won't see it before the next election, but John Key has softened his stance.