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Aucklanders pay $13.2 million in fuel tax

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 12/09/2018

Aucklanders have paid more than $13 million in the first month of the new petrol tax.

The fuel tax was introduced at the beginning of July to fund transport projects around the region and it is expected to raise $1.5 billion dollars directly over the next ten years.

Since the tax was introduced, petrol prices have topped $2.40 a litre in some parts of Auckland.

The $13.2m raised will be used to fund prioritised projects, the Auckland Council said.

It said $11m will be directly used to fund the transport projects, $1m of the funds will be used to pay a one-off set-up fee and the remaining money will be used to cover servicing and rebate costs.

The projects include rural road safety upgrades in Rodney and Franklin, new red light safety cameras, building the Matakana link road, ferry terminal upgrades and a new bus interchange.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said spending the revenue on road safety is the main priority.

"The human, social and economic cost to our community of the road toll is huge and spending on road safety will be an immediate priority from this revenue.

"Aside from road safety spending, the focus of new investment from the regional fuel tax is to fix Auckland's congested transport network," Mr Goff said.

The revenue allows the council to play catch-up after decades of under-investment in the region's transport infrastructure, he said.

"The RFT [regional fuel tax] allows us, at last, to take action to address growing traffic gridlock in our city which causes huge frustration, and costs the city and country billions of dollars in lost productivity," he said.

Auckland Council will report regularly on how the money raised by the tax is being spent, Mr Goff said.

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