New Zealand Taxpayers' Union gives about 50 Aucklanders their petrol tax back in pointed exercise directed at Government

Driving away from the pump waving spare cash in the air certainly isn't what drivers have been doing of late, with petrol prices soaring across the country. 

But for a group of lucky Aucklanders, that's exactly what happened on Thursday. The New Zealand Taxpayers' Union took a stab at the Government for the percentage of tax Kiwis are paying on their petrol and decided to give that tax money back to petrol-buying punters.

"On every litre of petrol, about a $1.40 is tax, that means in Auckland it's 52 percent. It's a little bit higher in Auckland because of the regional fuel tax. 

"Nationwide on a litre of petrol, about 48 percent is Government taxes and levies," says Louis Houlbrooke of the New Zealand Taxpayers' Union.

Word of their deal got out fast.

"I've just paid $111 in petrol, and I got a $59 payback for tax," one person says.

"I thought hey, better come down, save myself $40, buy a box of beers for the weekend," another says.

The deal only lasted for half an hour at the Takapuna Gull station as a pointed exercise by the union.

Fuel costs are currently undoubtedly high. Based on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's reported prices, depending on the car, this time last year $100 of 91 could get you from Wellington to Warkworth. 

But with current petrol prices, $100 would only get you to Hamilton.

"With shipping and other costs, it equated to a barrel of oil landing in New Zealand last week costing $111, that's the highest it's been in a year and it's still predicted to go upwards," says Terry Collins, AA principal advisor.

"I would say it's going to go up or at least staying where it is for another six months."

Energy Minister Megan Woods says climbing prices are largely due to the price of global crude oil being at record highs, geopolitical causes, and pandemic interruptions - factors outside the Government's influence.

She says for the Government's part, it's made a commitment not to raise fuel taxes this term. 

But driving off from the pump with cash in hand, like about 50 Aucklanders did on Thursday, probably won't be a reality - for now.