Auckland Council votes for regional fuel tax

Aucklanders will soon be paying 11.5c a litre more for petrol.

Auckland Council on Thursday voted 13-7 in favour of a regional fuel tax, to help plug the funding gap in its ambitious transport schemes.

The Government is expected to pass legislation allowing the change in the next month, before it kicks in on July 1.

It's expected to raise about $150 million per year. The council was widely expected to vote in favour of the tax, rather than hit ratepayers with double-digit hikes.

The money it will raise is only a fraction of what's needed. More than $28 billion will be spent fixing Auckland's transport network over the next decade, the council and Government said in April.

"As this expenditure enables the progressing of projects which in turn attract development contributions, the additional funds raised from Auckland are likely to be over $200 million a year," Mayor Phil Goff said.

"This in turn attracts in most instances a one-for-one subsidy from the National Land Transport Fund which will result in additional infrastructure spending of more than $4 billion over the decade."

Not putting in a fuel tax would require the shortfall to come from rates increases, he said, which would be around 13 percent this year alone.

Auckland Council says polling shows Aucklanders narrowly back the tax 52-43. Formal submissions on it were almost evenly split, but Mr Goff said thousands of those opposed were "put in by one lobby group designed to skew the poll".

The National Party has vowed to revoke the law that allows Auckland Council to charge the tax, if it wins the 2020 election.

"Regional fuel taxes are unfair on New Zealanders," leader Simon Bridges told The AM Show in April.

"They are regressive, and hit poorer New Zealanders the hardest. The fuel taxes the Government has announced will leave a typical Auckland family around $700 a year out of pocket."

The Government has hinted at increasing fuel excise tax at a faster rate than National did. In its previous nine years in power, National increased fuel tax six times, usually by 3c.

Current leader Simon Bridges has said that won't happen again if he becomes Prime Minister, telling The AM Show in April, "If you do things well, you don't need to."