Three Bay of Plenty councils are among 14 throughout the country who are considering regional fuel taxes similar to the 11.5 cent per litre one in Auckland.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty Council have all been identified as considering introducing the fuel tax.
The list of councils - which is less than a quarter of all 78 in New Zealand - was obtained by Newshub through a series of Official Information Act requests.
Unlike Auckland, where the tax kicks in during July, those councils won't be able to enforce one until 2021 at the earliest.
The option of a fuel tax has become available thanks to the Land Transport Management (Regional Fuel Tax) Amendment Bill, which was introduced to Parliament by Transport Minister Phil Twyford in March.
The bill, currently before select committee, allows Auckland to adopt a fuel tax from July.
From 2021, New Zealand's remaining regional councils will be able to apply to the Government for a maximum of 10 cents per litre fuel tax (plus GST).
A number of councils had already shown interest in the tax bill by early May.
He says the council is making a submission only to take advantage of what he describes as a rare change in legislation.
“I would prefer for the government to fund it all,” says Greg. “But if the government takes us down another track and we don’t have the option of a regional fuel tax, where will the money come from? Ratepayers can’t afford it, and the government isn’t being particularly free with money for our area at the moment.
“Will it come from tolls? We’re faced with some hard choices at the moment.”
He says it’s ‘crazy’ not to at least have the option available.
“We’re not pushing for a regional fuel tax, but if it becomes an option for everywhere else in the country, we should have it too.
“How many more years can we languish here with nothing happening? We’re wonderful at talking and group hugging, but I don’t see anything happening yet on these transport problems.”
Local Government New Zealand president Dave Cull says his group supports the bill but wants the tax to be made available to all councils, not just regional councils.
"There is a need for more and more sustainable funding mechanisms for local government in general," says Dave.
The AA saw both sides of the argument.
Its petrol prices spokesman Mark Stockdale says a regional fuel tax would appeal to councils looking to raise revenue while avoiding rates rises.
However, it didn't support a tax outside Auckland.
Many regions already paid higher fuel prices than Auckland, he says.
"It would be unfair and unreasonable to impose yet more taxes on fuel in those areas that pay much higher fuel prices."
ACT leader David Seymour wasn't happy with the bill.
"It's classic unintended consequences - the Government set out to solve a problem in Auckland, and now everyone's going to wear it," he told Newshub.
"They could have written Auckland in the legislation. They made it nationwide and now these councils up and down the country are licking their lips."
Councils considering a fuel tax:
- Bay of Plenty Regional Council
- Christchurch City Council
- Environment Canterbury
- Gisborne District Council
- Greater Wellington Regional Council
- Hamilton City Council
- Hurunui District Council
- Rangitikei District Council
- Tauranga City Council
- Thames Coromandel District Council
- Waikato District Council
- Waikato Regional Council
- Westland District Council
- Western Bay of Plenty
- Additional reporting by Stuff.co.nz