Regional Fuel Tax Regional Fuel Tax

A Regional Fuel Tax for Auckland set at 10 cents per litre (plus GST) was introduced on 1 July 2018.

About the regional fuel tax

A Regional Fuel Tax (RFT) was implemented in Auckland on 1 July 2018 to fund transport projects that would otherwise be delayed or not funded. 

The RFT applies to petrol and diesel until 30 June 2028. The tax is a maximum of 10 cents per litre plus GST, a total of 11.5 cents per litre. It is paid by fuel distributors when they deliver fuel to service stations and commercial users inside the Auckland region. 

The projected revenue from the RFT is $150 million per annum, or $1.5 billion over the 10-year period, based on current and projected fuel usage adjusted for expected changes such as the take-up of electric vehicles. This leverages a further $3.0 billion from other revenue sources such as development contributions and NZTA subsidies, meaning that the RFT enables a total of $4.5 billion in expenditure.

Read more about the RFT in Auckland, established by the Land Transport Management (Regional Fuel Tax Scheme-Auckland) Order 2018 and has been updated by the Amendment Order 2023.

The way it works

The Regional Fuel Tax of 10 cents per litre (plus GST) will apply to sales of petrol and diesel within the boundaries of Auckland Council (excluding Great Barrier Island) starting on 1 July 2018 for a period of 10 years.


RFT is intended to be applied only where fuel is used on the road. Where fuel has been used for specific non-road purposes, a rebate can be claimed by the end-user of the fuel. The government is currently considering possible changes to the rebate entitlement criteria.

The NZ Transport Agency administers rebates for the regional fuel tax. To find out more about eligibility and how to make a rebate or a claim visit the NZ Transport Agency’s website.

The Regional Fuel Tax can enable

  • more public transport such as faster, more reliable bus services, more ferry services, additional electric trains, more Park and Rides.
  • improved road safety – we aim to reduce the current levels of deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 60%.
  • extending the walking and cycling network across Auckland.
  • improving some of our major arterial roads.
  • supporting some of the key growth areas with transport infrastructure.

Projects it will fund

Auckland Council carried out a consultation on the projects proposed to be funded with regional fuel tax in early May 2018.

Below is a summary of the projects included in the approved proposal.

Project 1: Bus priority improvements

The implementation of bus priority improvements such as bus lanes are essential bus priority mechanisms that:

  • enhance overall road network usage.
  • increase bus network reliability.
  • improve bus travel times.
  • reduce bus operating costs.

RFT will allow Auckland Transport to begin to roll out a ‘whole of route’ bus priority programme, designed to deliver a step change in bus priority along selected Frequent Service Network routes.

Immediate routes that have been prioritised are: Sandringham Road, New North Road, Mt Eden Road, Remuera Road and Manukau Road.

Double decker buses are also being introduced on a number of key and well-patronised bus routes to help increase capacity on the network. Due to the height of the double decker buses, mitigation works are required to address obstacles within the road corridor, such as trees, verandas and poles, which may compromise safety.

The bus priority improvements project will deliver a new bus station and route at Sylvia Park.

Project 2: City centre bus infrastructure

With many of our final destination bus stops scattered around the inner city, drivers are forced to navigate through congested streets, while passengers must wait or disembark at disparate locations, often crowding pavements and obstructing pedestrians.

Major new bus projects such as AMETI Eastern busway and other bus improvements will add to the already increasing the number of buses into the city centre.

The Downtown Upgrade will create new dedicated bus terminals for central city bus passengers, by building terminals on the eastern side of Quay St for Eastern bus services, and on Lower Albert St for Northern services. Both terminals will offer users street-side boarding and departure points, weather-resistant shelters, and clearly displayed arrival and departure information. Cycle paths will be incorporated into the northern side of the East Terminal, and vehicle access will be maintained for businesses within the Britomart precinct. The creation of bus terminals is closely linked with the calming and streetscaping of Quay St.

The Wellesley St Bus improvements project helps enable the New Network bus routes to give access to growing numbers of customers into and within the midtown area of the city centre, particularly for North Shore and isthmus services to the Learning Quarter. The project is focused on providing bus facilities along the Wellesley St corridor and providing a new station near the Learning Quarter.

Project 3: Improving airport access

Auckland Airport and the surrounding area play an important part in the economy of Auckland and New Zealand, and activities are projected to grow substantially both for passenger numbers and for employment in the surrounding area. Initiatives to improve airport access funded by the RFT include:

  • Airport access public transport improvements – a range of medium term capital improvements to support the provision of enhanced bus services from New Lynn, Mt Roskill, Onehunga and Botany to the airport precinct.
  • Puhinui bus/rail interchange – provision of a new interchange at Puhinui Station to provide a high quality connection between the rail network and buses accessing Auckland International Airport.

Find out more about improving airport access

Project 4: AMETI Eastern Busway

The Eastern Busway will improve transport options by making public transport, walking and cycling realistic and safe choices. It will enable improved connections between the area and the rest of Auckland. The Panmure to Pakuranga phase (1) of the Eastern Busway is scheduled for completion in 2020 to 2022.

The RFT would enable stages 2, 3 and 4 of the AMETI project. These stages consist of several major pieces of infrastructure including completing the urban busway between Panmure and Botany; associated key stations at Pakuranga and Botany; the Reeves Road flyover at Pakuranga town centre; and new/improved pedestrian and cycle facilities.

Find out more about AMETI Eastern Busway

Project 5: Park and Rides

Park and Ride facilities are an integral part of the public transport network. They provide access to the public transport network. Auckland currently has approximately 5,500 park and ride car spaces, 85% of which are occupied by 7.30am and nearly 100% by 8.30am. Although the overall demand for Park and Ride exceeds supply there are some facilities that could be replaced or complemented by improvements to feeder bus services or improved walking and cycling infrastructure. The Park and Ride project seeks to take a systematic approach to investment in the new facilities which will maximise access to public transport.

The project is expected to add approximately 1900 new parking spaces. The specific location and timing of the new and improved park and ride facilities will be the subject of future business cases are are part of the wider transport system that supports access to the rapid transit network. A number of sites are under consideration with a more regional focus. These include but are not limited to:

  • North – Hibiscus coast area
  • Northwest – Westgate/Kumeu area
  • South – Drury and or Paerata areas

Other areas that may be delivered after further prioritisation include:

  • East – Pine Harbour or Highland park/Howick
  • New or expanded facilities along the south rail line – Pukekohe/Puhinui

The Matiatia initiative is considered separately as the primary transport gateway for Waiheke.

Most of the improvements are scheduled for delivery later in the 10 year period.

In addition, and as part of the RLTP we are currently working on delivery of additional park and ride capacity at;

  • Takanini (approx. 300 spaces by year end 2018)
  • Albany (approx. 135 spaces in 4th quarter 2018
  • Silverdale (approx. 90 spaces in 2019 depending on the outcome of an Environment court ruling)

Further, investigation work is proceeding on;

  • Papakura (potentially 300 additional spaces to be delivered in 2020)

Find out more about Park and Rides

Project 6: Electric trains and stabling

Auckland’s rail network forms a key part of the city’s strategic public transport system and freight network. Investment in rail over the past 15 years has resulted in substantial growth in rail passenger boardings, reaching over 20 million trips in the year to December 2017. The rail network also plays a key role in the movement of freight, especially to and from the Ports of Auckland, and the Port of Tauranga.

Strong growth in passenger rail boardings and rail freight are expected to continue into the future. Meeting this growing demand will require more passenger and freight trains on the rail network, increasing conflict between services unless ongoing investment occurs. More intensive use of the rail network will also require investment to increase capacity, improve network resilience and maintain safety.

The RFT will fund a further order of 20 new trains, planned for later in the decade. This will:

  • provide additional capacity.
  • increase the frequency of trains
  • cater for the growth that is expected to follow the opening of the City Rail Link.

Provision for stabling, cleaning, and maintenance facilities is also included.

Project 7: Downtown ferry redevelopment

The Downtown Ferry Terminal is one of the busiest public transport hubs in Auckland. All berths are used during morning and evening peaks. This project will increase the capacity of the terminal as well as improving the customer experience.

The Relocation of Piers 3 and 4 is the first step towards moving all ferry services to Queens Wharf West. The remainder will follow when a new Downtown Ferry Terminal is built.

Moving the berths to Queens Wharf West will add capacity for more efficient operations, especially for those ferries currently using them for the increasingly popular east and west Auckland services.

The relocation also helps clear the way for the creation of the Downtown public space to be built on the fringe of the Ferry Basin, and be a place for all Aucklanders to gather and enjoy the waterfront.

Project 8: Road safety

The Road Safety 2018/28 project includes expenditure to deliver major, minor and mass-action safety engineering projects at high-risk locations and areas across the network to reduce road deaths and serious injuries (DSI) on Auckland’s roads

In the last 5 years (2013 to 2017) Aucklanders have experienced a 67% increase in road deaths and serious injuries. The social cost for 2017 road deaths and injuries in Auckland is estimated at $1.38 billion, a level of road trauma not seen since 1996. This social cost includes 64 deaths and 749 serious injuries in 2017.

Existing AT safety engineering investment is at a level of approximately $13M per annum and currently addresses 2 to 3 of the 300 high-risk intersections and 10km’s of the 1,000kms of high-risk roads per annum. It is clear from the last 3 years DSI results that this existing level of funding has been unable to make an impact on growing road trauma.

It is proposed to lift the level of investment by an additional $552 million over ten years. The RFT will enable this investment to improve:

  • urban high-risk intersections and routes.
  • through roundabouts.
  • red-light cameras.
  • segregated facilities.

And to improve rural high-risk routes in the Rodney, Franklin and Waitakere areas through:

  • better signage.
  • improved skid resistance.
  • more roadside barriers and markings.

It will also enable a greater percentage of speed management projects on the network including lower speed limits, and safety cameras, and provide more safe crossing opportunities to and from town centres, public transport, neighbourhoods and schools.

The combined impact of these accelerated programmes is estimated to reduce DSI by 60% over ten years from the 2017 baseline, as well as contribute towards additional congestion reduction benefits and increased health and environment benefits. This project is part of a wider, multi-agency approach to road safety and two key dependencies include enabling Investigation resource of $30 million over ten years as well as the legislative ability to install and operate a greater number of safety cameras.

Initiatives Cost of Project Timing of Project Benefits
Safety Cameras $552 million 2018 to 2028

$30 million.

Road deaths and serious injuries reduced by 488 over ten years or 60% from the 2017 baseline (total package).

Congestion reduction from reduced crash-delays.

Health and environment benefits from increased active transport and reduced emissions.

Rural Road Safety Programme
Urban Road Safety Programme
Safer Communities & Speed Management
Minor Safety Improvements
Enhanced Investigation to enable the above Accelerated Programmes $30 million

Find out more about Road safety

Project 9: Active transport

Improving the walking and cycling infrastructure is a priority to transform transport in Auckland. Providing quality, connected cycling routes and improved walking facilities give Aucklanders more transport options.

38% of Aucklanders ride bikes, and over 1 million people walk for 10 minutes or more twice a week.

The Regional Fuel Tax will deliver Auckland Transport’s new Walking and Cycling Programme over the next 10 years, making streets safer for everyone and delivering health and environmental benefits.


City centre and city fringe infrastructure will continue to be connected and improved. Parts of central, west, north and south Auckland benefit from major improvements as the network is rolled out across the region.

Initially, projects are planned for the city centre, city fringe, Sandringham and Henderson.
The programme seeks to increase cycling mode share and reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries affecting people on bikes, by providing safe and attractive infrastructure.

It also includes connections key links to rapid train, bus and ferry services, as well as town centres. Infrastructure investment will be supported by behaviour change activities and bicycle parking facilities.

Providing quality walking and cycling infrastructure encourages people to leave the car at home for shorter, local trips.

Project 10: Penlink

Penlink is a new, seven kilometre, two lane, toll road - and bridge across of the Weiti River - to link Whangaparaoa Road at Stanmore Bay and SH1 at Redvale with construction to start within the next decade.

The three key benefits of Penlink are to:

  1. reduce congestion and improve travel times and reliability.
  2. improve network performance and resilience.
  3. facilitate economic and residential growth, (the opportunity to live, work and play close to home) in the northern sector of Auckland and; provide transport mode choice.

Penlink is 5.8 kilometres shorter than the existing route (12.5km) and is projected to reduce the journey time from Whangaparaoa to the city by 12 – 18 minutes. By reducing demand, it will also save four to five minutes for motorists continuing to use the existing route.

Uptake is projected to be approximately 10,000 vehicles per day and tolling the road will be used to manage demand. The toll is expected to be in place for the foreseeable future, with toll charges rising as necessary to meet costs and manage demand.

$66m of which will be funded from the Regional Fuel Tax (RFT). The majority of the funding is budgeted for the years 2025-2028.

Formerly envisaged as a project for the second decade, the project has been brought forward following a review under ATAP. This took account of growth in the north of Auckland following the adoption of the Auckland Council’s Unitary plan.

ATAP also considered the project suitable for a Public/Private Partnership, however, a decision on this will be subject to the final procurement and delivery model that is adopted. This will be finalised later in the year with expressions of interest sought by the end of 2018.

Key features of Penlink are:

  • 7km of new two-lane road linking Whangaparaoa to the Northern Motorway (SH1) at Redvale,
  • A new 540 metre-long, two-lane bridge over the Weiti River.
  • provision for pedestrians and cyclists
  • 100km/hr speed limit
  • Fast and frequent public transport with reliable journey times

Penlink is a legacy project from Rodney District Council and initial plans were for a four lane road. Auckland Transport now estimates that, with tolling as a demand management tool, two lanes will meet current and immediate future demand. Nevertheless, the corridor will be future proofed for expansion to four lanes in the future.

The Penlink alignment is designated, resource consents have been obtained and land has been purchased ($31.2m).

Find out more about Penlink

Project 11: Mill Road corridor

The Mill Road corridor is a priority network improvement in the Auckland Plan.

Significant growth, with up to 42,000 new dwellings and 35,000 jobs, is expected in the area by 2041. Special housing areas will see 3,845 new houses within 10 years. The benefits are:

  • More capacity to accommodate growth.
  • Improve safety and provide resilience to network in South.
  • Upgrade intersections with pedestrian facilities including safe crossing facilities for cyclists
  • A new bus priority lane westbound from Hollyford Dr only.

The eastern/mid-section of the corridor serves as a rural arterial, to the wider East-Manukau
area and heading west it becomes an urban arterial, catering for a wide variety of uses including public transport, walking and cycling.

Growth around the Mill Rd corridor will double traffic volumes and the upgrade will cater for this.

Find out more about Mill Road corridor

Project 12: Road corridor improvements

Lake Rd

The RLTP has $47M allocated to the Lake Rd Improvements project (including Esmonde Rd works), starting from 2018/19.

AT has completed an Indicative Business Case (IBC) determine how best to improve transport within the Devonport peninsula, focusing primarily on Lake Road, which included extensive public consultation and engagement with the Local Board, who have put forward additional funding of their own for cycling projects on the supporting network

The IBC found an emerging preferred option to improve the people-moving productivity of the route whilst seeking to avoid road widening. This option includes:

  • Conversion of the existing bus lane along Esmonde Rd to a transit lane up to the ramp signals, as part of an existing investigation with NZTA.
  • Targeted use of transit lanes along Lake Rd (between Roberts Ave and Napier Ave).
  • Provision of continuous upgraded (separated if possible) cycle facilities along Lake Rd (between Seabreeze Rd and Hurstmere Rd), connecting to a supporting local network being worked on by AT’s Cycling team.
  • Separated cycle facilities along Bayswater Ave (between Lake Road and the ferry terminal).
  • Provision of technology to assist with real time journey information (e.g. real time journey planner apps and websites, traffic advisory apps, public transport tracking app) and investigating roadside variable message signs.
  • Improved bus/ferry integration and roll out of the New Network for the North Shore.
  • Continued delivery of Travel Plan programmes with local schools and key organisations, in particular the Navy.
  • Ongoing intersection optimisation improvements.

The next phase of the project would develop the design further to determine in more detail the exact costs, benefits and issues for decision-makers. Further community engagement and consultation will not occur until confirmation of project funding.

Lincoln Road

Lincoln Road currently has up to 48,000 vehicles travelling on it daily (including Saturdays). Lincoln Road is a major arterial connection for West Auckland and is a major component in the regional major roads network. It is also highly congested route.

The project is designed to redesign the poorly performing sectors to enable the road to perform to its potential. We will future proof the road by adding a T3 lane and cycle lanes. We will also work with NZTA to improve the motorway interchange.

NZTA is currently improving the Lincoln/Westgate sector of North Western Motorway.

Changes included in the Lincoln Road project:

  • widening of Lincoln Road and the approaches of intersecting roads in the sector Te Pai Place to the motorway, to allow:
    • better performing intersections.
    • the addition of a T3 lane on both sides.
    • for the movement of oversized loads.
  • installation of a raised median to help "stream" the traffic flows and prevent turns.
  • traffic light controlled u-turns at the major intersections.
  • an off-road cycleway and separate footpath.
  • purchase of 18 properties outright and a strip of land from the frontage of a further 76 – total 94 affected.
  • properties, each with an individual property agreement.
  • re-positioning property front boundaries and relocating all underground services.
  • building footpaths and cycleways.
  • new bus stops/shelters and appropriate kerbs.
  • new stormwater reticulation and treatment systems.
  • a new service road to Daytona Reserve.
  • appropriate lighting and extensive planting.
  • a rebuild of the road itself.

Construction will begin in 2021 and should be complete by 2023.

Find out more about the Lincoln Road upgrade

Project 13: Network capacity and performance improvements

This project is focused on maximising the efficiency of the existing transport network through initiatives such as traffic signal optimisation, improving key congestion points and using technology to monitor and actively manage the network in real time.

Project 14: Growth related transport infrastructure

Provision has been made in the second half of the decade for transport infrastructure to support the expected growth in the south (Pukekohe, Paerata and Takanini), north (Silverdale, Dairy Flat, Wainui and Warkworth),and north-west (Kumeu, Redhills, and Whenuapai).

For more information

Contact Auckland Transport