Hike in petrol price to pinch South Auckland families

The proposed double-tax hike on petrol is likely to disproportionately hit South Auckland families and courier drivers.

Photo: 123RF

A regional fuel tax in Auckland of 12 cents per litre will come into effect in July. The government is now looking at increasing excise tax of between 10 and 14 cents a litre over the next three years. This could be introduced as early as next year.

Aucklanders could be paying up to 26 cents per litre more at the pump.

Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board chair Lotu Fuli said this would disproportionately affect families in her South Auckland area.

“We‘ve got issues around housing affordability, even when mum and dad are both working and they tend to be working in lower paid jobs,” she said.

“They just can‘t afford the high price living in Auckland – the rent and everything else.”

A positive aspect could be an increase in use of public transport, walking and cycling, she said.

Speedy Couriers operations manager Shannon Berridge said the petrol price increase would significantly affect his drivers.

“It‘s a real up and down industry so there‘s times where [drivers] live week to week – very lean,” he said.

About 30 of his 40 drivers lived in South Auckland, where there were already many other barriers, he said.

“They have big families – a lot of kids to feed. I see a lot of them struggling and it is pretty demographic, we have no drivers from Remuera,” Mr Berridge said.

“It‘s going to hurt them and they will consider going elsewhere.”

There was an acknowledgement from the Mangere-Otahuhu community that money needed to be spent to upgrade infrastructure, local board chair Lemauga Lydia Sosene said.

“I would be raising and highlighting the deprivation that is within our communities.”

The government said the excise increase would be spent on local road improvements, regional roads and increasing road safety and traffic management.