Revealed: The number of councils considering a fuel tax

Newshub can reveal at least 14 councils across the country have discussed the possibility of implementing a regional fuel tax.

This time next month, Aucklanders will be paying an additional 11.5 cents a litre for their fuel through the regional fuel tax - and it seems other councils want in on the action.

In response to a number of local government Official Information and Meetings Act requests, numerous councils across the nation admitted they were considering a fuel tax.

Those councils are:

  • Christchurch City Council
  • Rangitikei District Council
  • Bay of Plenty Regional Council
  • Thames Coromandel District Council (It was discussed as part of a Long Term Plan in 2015, but the idea has since been shelved)
  • Tauranga City Council
  • Gisborne District Council
  • Greater Wellington Regional Council
  • Hamilton City Council
  • Western Bay of Plenty
  • Waikato Regional Council
  • Waikato District Council
  • Westland District Council
  • Environment Canterbury 
  • Hurunui District Council 

South Waikato District Council had also discussed the possibility of a tax, but it was not supported. Ashburton District Council had also spoken of it, but won't pursue it further.

Another eight lower North Island councils had discussed the policy at a Mayoral Forum.

The law is currently making its way through Parliament - and while it was drafted to address Auckland congestion, the legislation doesn't specify that the tax should only be applied in the super city.

ACT leader David Seymour thinks the Government should have crafted the law differently.

"It's classic unintended consequences - the Government set out to solve a problem in Auckland, and now everyone's going to wear it," he told Newshub. 

"They could have written Auckland in the legislation. They made it nationwide and now these councils up and down the country are licking their lips."

When Newshub asked Finance Minister Grant Robertson whether he knew how many councils had discussed implementing a tax, he said he didn't know. 

But Mr Robertson explained that the legislation spells out that any councils other than Auckland will not be able to introduce a fuel tax for at least another three years.

"The legislation is very clear that they can't do that until at least 2021," he said. 

"In this term of government, the only council that's in a position to impose a regional fuel tax is Auckland. Other councils will no doubt mount cases as time goes on - that's up to them."

Mr Robertson also admitted the Government had not done any analysis on the economic impact of councils outside Auckland implementing the tax.