Waiheke Island residents will not be exempt from a regional fuel tax but there is still hope for motorists on Great Barrier Island.
National MP for Auckland Central Nikki Kaye had sought a permanent exemption for the two Hauraki Gulf islands on the basis that the cost of fuel was already high there and residents would gain no local benefit from the tax.
But her amendment has been voted down in Parliament, where debate continued on the Land Transport Management (Regional Fuel Tax) Bill today.
"The Government has voted down my amendment. This means people on Waiheke Island, who already pay $2.60 per litre at the pump, will soon be paying up to 23 cents per litre more," Kaye said today.
"Waiheke and potentially Great Barrier will get hit three times with the regional fuel tax, national fuel tax increase, and the additional costs of living on an island. This isn't fair, and to top it all off they are not going to reap the benefits of new transport projects."
Transport Minister Phil Twyford had indicated that because Auckland Council proposed to exclude Great Barrier Island from its own fuel, he would also support it.
"I hope the minister will follow through and use his powers outlined in the legislation to exempt Great Barrier, where residents are already paying $3.30 per litre for petrol," Kaye said.
"The Government needs to start thinking about how this regressive tax is impacting communities, particularly those on Waiheke and Great Barrier who are already facing the high costs of living on an isolated island."