Jacinda Ardern is promising no new regional fuel taxes while she is Prime Minister and is accusing National Leader Simon Bridges of spreading "utterly, incorrect, false" information about a Wellington fuel tax.
Under the recently passed law providing for the Auckland regional fuel tax, other regions are able to seek approval from the Government for their own regional tax from 2021
But speaking in the House today, Ardern ruled out implementing any other regional fuel taxes.
"The regional rule tax legislation puts in a date, but I can give this guarantee to this House, and to consumers, there will be no other regional fuel taxes while I am Prime Minister."
Later in Question time, Ardern said the only reason she made the promise today was "for the sake of clarity in the wake of the Opposition leader throwing down what's called loosely, a dead cat."
Her comments come after Bridges told The AM Show this morning Wellington City Council confirmed it was in early discussions about a fuel tax.
Bridges said he had been told the Government was had been in discussions with Wellington City Council over a regional fuel tax.
"What we've seen is a spokesperson from the council make clear, actually they were in discussions in with the Government and then being heaved out of that position," he told reporters this afternoon.
Bridges was adamant this was the case.
"There's no doubt that was in the mix.
"My source, in good faith, has made quite clear to me, they know there has been recent discussions."
But Council spokesman Richard MacLean told the Herald this was not the case.
Wellington City Council spokesman Richard MacLean told Newshub the council had been in early discussions with the Government but Wellington Mayor Justin Lester later told the broadcaster the council had not had discussions with the Government and "absolutely, categorically ruled out" having one.
Transport Minister Phil Twyford also ruled out a Wellington fuel tax.
"This is not right, this is not true, there's no discussions," he said in a statement this morning.
Twyford also said in a statement Bridges' comments were categorically wrong.
"The Government has explicitly ruled out a regional fuel tax in Wellington," he said.
Asked in the House when he knew about the Government's decision to rule out any new regional fuel taxes, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones said learned about when Ardern informed the House today.
Ardern said in the House Bridges was making "a habit of mischief-making, throwing out this morning completely fake false information about regional fuel taxes that by law cannot be introduced by this House."
Asked if she, or any of her Ministers, had spoken to any other regional councils aside from Auckland's, the possibility of implementing a regional fuel tax, she said it was a matter of public record that a number of councils around the countries have asked for one, but her Government would not be providing one.