Viewpoint – Fuel tax defended

Last month we saw the biggest ever increase in investment in Auckland’s transport system. It is much needed.

The Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) sets out a $28 billion investment in Auckland’s transport system over the coming decade. Another $4 billion from a Government/private sector partnership will be invested in light rail.

ATAP will help unlock Auckland’s potential and transform our transport network. Vital projects including light rail, heavy rail and bus upgrades, safety improvements and more walkways and cycle paths will allow us to address growing congestion.

The package includes big wins for Hibiscus Coast locals and residents in our region’s far north, including a $200m investment for Penlink, the completion of the Puhoi to Warkworth motorway extension, and a significant increase in the overall safety programme.

This wouldn’t be possible without a Regional Fuel Tax. A tax of 10 cents plus GST per litre will deliver $1.5 billion over 10 years and matching government subsidies and development contributions increasing our investment in transport infrastructure by a massive $4.3 billion.

While nobody wants to pay more in tax, the cost of doing nothing and letting Auckland’s transport system descend further into gridlock is not a solution. The regional fuel tax will significantly improve all modes of transport and benefit the entire Auckland region.

My Million Trees programme is gearing up as the 2018 planting season approaches. Since launching the project in June last year, we’ve planted nearly 200,000 mainly native trees and shrubs across our region. This year we’re accelerating that activity and will put more than 500,000 further trees in the ground.

As part of the project, and to help celebrate Matariki, Council is putting on special public planting events across June and July. I invite all Hibiscus Matters readers, friends and family to get involved on Sunday, June 17 at Metro Park East in Millwater. Every volunteer will receive a tree to plant at home thanks to Trees that Count, and you’ll be helping to make Auckland a greener, healthier and more attractive place to live.

To register, email your name and contact details to