How much the fuel taxes will cost you

Getting around Auckland in a car is about to get more expensive.

Increased fuel taxes could affect low-income workers most - those who face longer commutes from outer suburbs and who drive older, less-fuel efficient cars.

If enacted, an increased to excise could see New Zealanders' fuel costs increase by 3 to 4 cents every year for the next three years. Aucklanders will also pay a fuel tax of 10 cents a litre.

Newshub modelling shows after the taxes come in, it will cost a night-shift commuter who lives in Papakura nearly $13 a shift to commute by car to Auckland Hospital - an increase of 77 cents. A person living in Grey Lynn and commuting for the same shift would pay $2.36 for petrol.

The taxes - one imposed by council and the other by Government - will help pay for improvements to Auckland's public transport system. Expensive projects like the city rail link will mean trains can come into the city more frequently, there are plans for more buses, and the Government's promised rail to Auckland Airport and a train to Hamilton.

The Government's argument for the tax is public transport spending will improve the roads for all users, with Transport Minister Phil Twyford telling Newshub better public transport will benefit low-income commuters.

Meanwhile, National's Jami-Lee Ross says the Government is making regional New Zealand pay for Aucklanders to get around. 

The Government's proposed increased excise on fuel is likely to be about  3 or 4 cents per litre each year for the next three years. If enacted, all New Zealanders, not just Aucklanders, will pay that tax. The annual increase is not particuarly unusual - there were three-cent-per-litre increases in 2013, 2014 and 2015, helping pay for Roads of National Significance. Road user charges increased by the same amount. 

Aucklanders will also pay a regional fuel tax on petrol purchased in the region. 

The new Government had an eye on cash-strapped, traffic-jammed Auckland when it wrote a bill allowing councils to impose their own regional fuel taxes. Such a tax was a key element of Mayor Phil Goff's 2016 election campaign. The bill is likely to pass in June, with the tax likely to be in place from 1 July.

Here's how the new taxes would affect a night-shift worker commuting to Auckland Hospital:

Our model driver has a medium-sized vehicle, which uses nine litres of petrol for every 100km driven. This is based on the AA's 2017 calculation for average fuel use for a medium NZ vehicle.

The cost of petrol down the road from Auckland Hospital is $2.05 per litre today. Add on an excise duty of 3 cents and Auckland's regional fuel tax and that would increase to $2.18 per litre.

Papakura - Auckland Hospital

By car

Journey length: About 30 minutes' driving, plus time to find a park
Journey distance: 66km return trip
Petrol cost with new taxes: $12.94/shift
Without the new taxes: $12.17/shift

By train

Journey length: About 1.15 hours
Cost: $12.40 return with an AT card

Henderson - Auckland Hospital

By car

Journey length: 15-20 minutes as there is hardly any traffic at night
Journey distance: 34 km return
Petrol cost: $6.67/shift

On public transport

Journey length: Nearly an hour, including 16 minutes walking in the dark
Cost: $10.60/shift

Browns Bay - Auckland Hospital

By car

Journey length: About 25 minutes
Distance: 44 km return trip

Petrol cost: $8.63/shift

On the bus

Journey length: More than an hour. 
Cost: $4.80 each way - a total of $9.60

Remuera - Auckland Hospital

By car

Journey length: Fewer than 12 minutes
Distance: 15.5km
Petrol cost: $3.04/shift

On the bus

Journey length: About 25 minutes
Cost: $3.30 each way - a total of $6.60.

Grey Lynn - Auckland Hospital

By car

Journey length: It takes you just 8 minutes to get into work at this late hour
Distance: 6km each way

Petrol cost: $2.36/shift

On the bus  

Journey: You can either catch two buses and not do much walking in the dark, or you could catch one bus and walk for 15 minutes between your bus stop and the hospital.
Cost: $3.80/shift