There's never been a better time to live outside Auckland.

Traffic congestion, astronomical house prices, and now skyrocketing petrol prices.

Not that they're alone in this. We're all feeling the pain at the petrol pump. It's just with the regional fuel tax, the pain is more acute for Aucklanders.

I experienced this myself during a recent trip to the City of Sails and had a double-take after pulling into a station to fill up and checking the listed price for 91.


Read more: Whangamatā fuel prices 'ripping off' locals
Petrol prices: The highest and lowest places to fuel up in New Zealand
Fuel prices across Tauranga vary markedly
Fuel prices soar but motorists should shop around

It's a feeling we should get used to — no matter which part of the country we live in — if projections for fuel price rises prove correct.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this week launched a scathing attack on fuel companies, telling reporters she thinks "consumers are being fleeced" at the petrol pump.

Given the concerns about "anti-competitive behaviour"in the fuel market, she says, the Government has prioritised the passing of the Commerce Amendment Bill, which would allow market studies to be carried out.

It sounds like a good move but, in my view, it is also an attempt to draw attention away from the introduction of the taxes which are adding to the cost of fuel.

The introduction of the Auckland regional fuel tax and the national excise tax to fund infrastructure at a time when fuel prices are rising sharply will anger consumers.

Last week saw the formation of a Facebook page calling for Kiwis around the country to refrain from filling up on October 26 in protest.

National Leader Simon Bridges has also weighed in on the issue, revealing the average New Zealand household is now paying $200 a year more in petrol taxes than this time last year.

Auckland families are paying an eye-watering $324 extra.

Bridges says every time a New Zealander puts $1 of petrol in their vehicle, 53c of that is going straight into the Government's coffers, and the Government's share and the costs faced by Kiwis is only going to get worse as fuel prices climb. In the long-term, investing in fuel-efficient or electric vehicles seems increasingly wise.

However, in the short-term, the Government faces a massive up-hill battle justifying why they are adding an extra cost to an already costly commodity.

* Dylan Thorne is a news director with the Bay of Plenty Times.