Mayor Wayne Brown hits out at Transport Minister Simeon Brown over axing of Auckland Regional Fuel Tax

Auckland mayor Wayne Brown is lashing out at the National Government's decision to scrap the Regional Fuel Tax saying it's going to see important infrastructure projects axed.  

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced on Thursday the Government will be scrapping the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax from the end of June.   

It comes after National campaigned on scrapping the tax within its first 100 days.    

Speaking to AM on Friday Transport Minister Simeon Brown said the axing of the fuel tax will result in several projects not being funded.   

"There are a bunch of projects which won't get funded. Some cycleways, some bus lanes and, I am sure the mayor will be happy, less speed bumps," the Transport Minister said.   

Brown said the fuel tax is millions of dollars that have been taken off road users that were meant to build roads and instead have been used on speed bumps and red-light cameras.   

"This is about priorities and ensuring that the money that is raised from Aucklanders goes to priority projects."  

He said National promised to scrap the tax and are now delivering on their pre-election promise.   

"We are a government which is delivering on our promises whilst retaining the remaining funding goes towards those priority projects."   

When asked by AM co-host Llyod Burr how National plans to pay for all the roading infrastructure Auckland actually needs, Brown said the Party will be releasing its transport policy in the next few weeks.  

"We need to have a range of funding and financing options on the table whether that's tolls for major new roads, whether that's value capture for public transport to ensure we are able to recoup some of the value that is created through this infrastructure, public private partnerships which we used when we were last in government,....we have a range of financing and tools that we will be putting on the table," he said.  

But the news hasn't gone down well with Auckland mayor Wayne Brown who hit out at National later on the show.  

Brown told AM co-host Melissa Chan-Green he wants fewer bureaucrats in Wellington telling Aucklanders what to do.  

"I am not going to be pushed around without having a fairly clear understanding of what we are doing," Brown said.  

He said he wasn't going to put up rates to make up the cost, which means Auckland will lose out. 

 "It's going to be a consequence on things that Auckland gets because I am not going to put up rates just to cover the fact they've taken away a bit of cost on fuel." 

Brown said the axing will see significant projects like upgrades to roads will have to be scrapped. 

The mayor said Auckland will be facing a shortfall of $1.2 billion over the next four years as a result.  

He said projects will need to be cancelled as a result which could include planned improvements to major roads such as Glenvar Road and Lake Road, as well as the fourth and final stage of the Eastern Busway and work to progress the proposed Airport-Botany Busway.    

Watch the full interview above.