Newshub-Reid Research poll: Kiwis want fuel tax cut extended as expert warns major price shocks on way

To help with the cost of living, the Government's previously cut 25 cents off a litre of petrol with a tax cut due to expire in January.

But the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll shows Kiwis overwhelmingly want that tax kept off.

Just under $2.50 a litre at a central Wellington servo is not the worst but also not great.

"They're a bit high at the moment," one person said of petrol prices. 

"We actually have a price in Naenae that's really cheap," said another.

"Just too high, just terribly high," added a third. 

But prices could be 25 cents higher without the fuel tax cut which Kiwis are currently set to kiss goodbye to in January.

"We haven't yet made a decision around what will happen then at the end of January," said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

"We wanna do that closer to the time so we have a better read on things like energy prices."

In our latest Newshub-Reid Research poll we asked, 'should the Government extend the fuel tax cut after January?'.

An emphatic 81 percent said yes - keep the tax cut - while 12 per cent said no, put it back on. There is also 5.9 percent who don't know.

Newshub-Reid Research poll: Kiwis want fuel tax cut extended as expert warns major price shocks on way
Photo credit: Newshub.

"They should definitely be cutting the tax on fuel, for sure," said one Kiwi.

"They're just making more and more tax money out of us and we're already getting it hard."

But Kiwis paying less at the pump costs the Government $31 million a week.

If the tax cut were to be extended from the end of January until, say November when the Prime Minister has hinted the election could be, that could cost another $1.3 billion. That's almost the equivalent of three years of road policing.

The path to cheaper fuel could be one lined with potholes.

"We don't want a reduction in spending out of the land transport fund, not with the current conditions of the roads," said Terry Collins, the principal policy advisor at the AA.

Collins said there are major fuel price shocks coming as international Russian fuel sanctions kick in.

"The timing of this would not be fortunate at all with sort of three hits over consecutive months."

Ardern said: "We will look again closer to the time what energy prices at that point in order to inform what our next steps are."

It's leaving the fuel cap open for cheaper petrol sticking around.