The mayor of Auckland has called for a stop on all transport projects funded by the soon-to-be scrapped Regional Fuel Tax.
The government announced last week that the tax would come to an end in June.
Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said removing the tax would lower the cost of filling a Toyota Hilux’s tank by $9.20, or by $5.75 for a Toyota Corolla.
Mayor Wayne Brown has written to the chairperson of Auckland Transport, formally requesting them to stop work on projects funded by the Regional Fuel Tax immediately.
In a statement, he said Auckland Transport must not assume funding will simply be replaced by higher council rates or debt.
“The government’s announcement therefore creates significant funding uncertainty for a large portion of Auckland Transport’s capital programme,” Brown said.
The mayor requested AT review all RFT-funded projects where construction contracts had been executed to assess the options and costs of deferring, cancelling, or rescoping these projects.
This included stages 2 and 3 of the Eastern Busway, as well as the Reeves Road Flyover.
Last year, the mayor set out his proposal for the council’s Long Term Plan, which included a $14 billion capital investment programme for Auckland Transport.
The statement from the mayor outlined revenue from the RFT for at least another two years was critical in supporting the programme.
Work will be paused on programmes and projects set to receive partial funding from the RTF where construction contracts had not been executed, including the Great North Road cycleway, and Glenvar and Lake Road improvements.
Brown said he was hopeful the government will give Auckland the ability to set it owns transport plan, saying Aucklanders need greater say over the region’s transport programme.
“I agree that we need to stop wasting money on things that Aucklanders don’t want or need. But the government is also turning the tap off to fund the many things we do need.
“Auckland Transport should use this opportunity to reconsider how it can do things better, faster, and cheaper.”