OECD keen on road tolls, congestion charging, taxing work parking spaces

Drivers should be paying more, according to the OECD.

Drivers should be paying more, according to the OECD.

The OECD is keen on more road tolls, the introduction of congestion charges and the end of tax breaks for company cars and carparks. It's not keen on diesel.

Better mechanisms were needed to manage transport demand, particularly in Auckland where congestion levels were high, the organisation said in an environmental performance review of New Zealand published on Tuesday.

It recommended the removal of barriers to road pricing, such as tolls and congestion charging.

At the release of the review in Wellington, OECD environmental director Simon Upton said Auckland lacked access to the full suite of tools that could back up what it might want to do in terms of "spatial coherence".

Government and Auckland Council agree way forward on transport
Auckland traffic facing gridlock crisis
Joyce signals low and middle earners' top rates target for tax cuts


An example was road pricing, "which seems to me to be a crucial thing".

Such tools would be needed to change the mode of transport people used, the density of traffic, and people's behaviour.

"So one of the things we say is the Government really needs to look at the extent to which it's limiting the access to some of those tools."

The report said road pricing . . . combined with better mass transit service would help improve efficiency of the transport network, while reducing GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions and air pollution.

Ad Feedback

"Charging tolls on major routes can also encourage more compact urban development by creating incentives for residents to relocate into the city or close to employment."

Many cities in the OECD used revenue from road tolls to finance public transport, the report said.

Road pricing is limited to three roads in New Zealand, with revenue raised covering 5 per cent of the cost of road infrastructure. Legislation will be needed before tolls can be introduced on existing roads.

Heavy reliance of private motor vehicles resulted in air quality falling below required standards in areas close to highways and arterial roads, the report said. Transport-related energy use and GHG emissions were rising.

The price of petrol and the tax rate on it were low in New Zealand by international standards, while the gap for diesel was even greater.

Government charges favoured diesel over petrol but that was not justified from an environmental perspective. Diesel had a higher carbon content per litre and diesel cars were generally considered to have worse local air pollution effects than petrol.

"There is no environmental case at all for giving a break to diesel," Upton said. "It should probably be taxed more heavily."

The report said revenue raised by the fuel excise duty and by road user charges on diesel vehicles was mostly spent on the roading network but environmental impacts of road transport were not factored into costs.

Benefits from the personal use of company cars were taxed favourably, although that also happened in many OECD countries. Company car parks were not considered as taxable income, lowering the cost of driving to work.

In contrast, public transport expenses paid by employers were considered fully as workers' taxable income.

"In addition to be a cost for the public budget, the favourable tax treatment of company cars and parking lots tend to encourage private car use, long-distance commuting and urban sprawl," the OECD said.

The tax system for company cars and parking spaces should be reconsidered.

 - Stuff


Ad Feedback
special offers

Illegal dumping 'disrespectful'

The most recent bags of rubbish were dumped on the grass near Glasgow Park Hall's car park.

Large piles of rubbish have been left near Glasgow Park Hall on three separate occasions this year.

Aucklander drives city's donations to Edgecumbe

Marko Barber and his dog Louis. Marko is delivering donated goods to Edgecumbe for flood relief.

"We're only small but we'd donate what we could to help," said business owner Marko Barber.

Dignity for Australian digger hat

The digger or slouch hat has been worn by Australian forces since 1903.

The Anzac spirit is alive and well as an Australian digger hat is rescued at the Wellsford hospice shop.

Hunt for shooter video

Police were called to a house in Flat Bush just after midnight on Monday after a gunshot was heard.

Police search for shooter after person wounded in south Auckland in late-night incident.


The first Anzac Day

Marie Sophie Lesne, Mayor of Le Quesnoy, during the Anzac Day service.

A small French town has never forgotten the New Zealanders who helped save their town in WWI.

Diver dies at Titahi Bay

A diver died after getting into trouble at Titahi Bay on Sunday. (FILE)

The diver, believed to be a man in his 30s or 40s, died before a helicopter arrived.

Polluted stream frustrations video

A dead eel found in the stream earlier in April.

Clean-up reveals mayor's anger with slow progress - but council's landfill also under fire.

Wellington's magic bullets video

The original Bata Bullet sneakers. Regarded as quintessentially Kiwi, they were made here, but originated in the United ...

PVC gumboots, still made at Wellington's Bata factory, are as Kiwi as Fred Dagg.


Permanent Anzac tribute

Rangiora's Jason Williams will sport a new tattoo for Anzac Day.

 A former New Zealand soldier has had an Anzac tribute inked on his leg in time for Anzac Day.

Residents want action

Residents "don't particularly like the visible signs of homelessness and some of the substance abuse".

Linwood residents fed up with "visible signs" of homelessness and substance abuse in area.

Plague of midges

Shortland St man David Porter and his wife, Heather, continue to experience problems with midges.

The Christchurch City Council's spent $800,000, but still the insects come.

Concern over drinking water safety

The Christchurch City Council is working to replace shallow bores supplying water to the city's northwest.

Health authorities still not satisfied 80,000 residents have access to safe drinking water.


Punk show for Anzacs

Hamilton punk band BattleCat is leading an Anzac eve gig, with all door sales going to the RSA.

Hamilton punks are banding together to raise beer money for RSA members this Anzac eve.

Barefoot boy found

Tematau Wilson told his siblings he was going to walk from Thames to his nan's house in Waharoa.

He disappeared last night after saying he was going to walk to his grandmother's house, 80km away.

Chiefs half cited for stamping video

Finlay Christie has been cited for stamping while clearing a ruck during the Chiefs' win over the Force.

Chiefs in danger of losing halfback for an extended period after he was cited for stamping.

New $1.5m snow maker arrives

Whakapapa Skifield welcomes its latest investment, a $1.5 million dollar snow making machine.

It's one of only ten in the world and guarantees opening day at Whakapapa.


Martial arts competition a hit

Red belt Brad Pollock hits his opponent in the chest.

Taranaki Multi-style Full Contact competition a resounding success.

Wedding stops traffic

Taranaki couple Jarred Wallace and wife Samantha get married on the Bertrand Road Bridge, near Waitara.

Taranaki couple go to great lengths to tie the knot at the foot of the historic Bertrand Road Bridge.

Price gets super call-up

Tukapa lock Leighton Price has been called into the Blues.

Leighton Price is off to the Blues for the remainder of the Super season.

Venue's doors still shut

Taranaki's Waiau Country Estate has been closed since October but the owners are looking for new tenants.

"A business needs to start thinking of the coming spring and summer season for weddings and functions."


Marching for science

A crowd of 234 people joined Palmerston North's March for Science.

Scientists urged to get out of the lab and spread the good word about what they do.

Suspicious blaze

Phyllis Maihi and her three children made it out of their burning house without injury.

Everybody in a Palmerston North house escaped the fire uninjured.

Internet ultimatum

This could be the future of Correspondence School learning, to the chagrin of those in remote New Zealand.

With internet-based home schooling on the rise, what happens to rural families?

Timber strewn on Linton road

The wood and nails were found on Tennent Drive, near Linton.

Timber scattered on the road has caused punctures for two cars' tyres.


Seas the day

Russell Blowers, left, with David Puklowski as after circumnavigating his way around the South Island to raise money for ...

After braving high seas and mechanical blips, Nelson's Dave Puklowski had a welcome home befitting his epic efforts to help a mate.

Locals rally to cause

Kelly Patchett, wants to see safe legal access to Medicinal Cannabis as part of a ...

Campaigners rally to demand legal and affordable access to medicinal cannabis.

Being fashionably slow

Becky Wyatt of ReStore with a rubbish skip at the Quarantine Rd shop that is emptied every two weeks having been filled ...

Drowning in clothes might sound like a great business model for op shops - but it isn't.

Our clean green fallacy

Angler and freshwater advocate, Dave Witherow, says the decline in freshwater  quality mirrors the rise in intensive ...

Chasing the dairy dollar has ruined our waterways, says a freshwater advocate.


Much needed pay rise

Aged care worker Carol Singleton, who runs her own business Carol's Home Care, welcomes the Government's pay equity ...

A wage hike for underpaid care workers will come in handy for bills and groceries.

Watertight by winter

Repairs have started on the stopbank behind Snowden Cr, Blenheim, which was at risk of breaching in a storm earlier in April.

Council to complete all high and medium priority repairs after stopbank scare.

Hobbit designer's winery concept

Jackson Estate directors Jeff Hart, left, and John Benton in front of the new winery and cellar door modelled on an ...

They call it collision architecture, an 1850s-style settler's hut wrapped into a new boutique winery.

Netballers try out new courts

The new netball courts at Lansdowne Park were a hive of activity on Saturday.

Lansdowne Park's development as Marlborough's sporting hub took another, giant, step forward on Saturday.

South Canterbury

Ronda Rousey visits SC cafe

The Running Duck's senior barista Layaura Beattie got a quick selfie with celebrity Ronda Rousey.

A South Canterbury cafe owner was left "star struck" when Ronda Rousey stopped by.

Flora on display

Timaru Horticultural Autumn Show was held at Caroline Bay Hall, pictured are Bruce and Shirley Cormack.

The Timaru Horticulture Show autumn show drew in large crowds.

Fridge sparks 111 call

Fire Service Southern Communications shift manager Riwai Grace said it was definitely one of the stranger call outs they ...

Firefighters called to house after occupants mistook fridge beeping for smoke alarm.

Service replicates 1917 original

Temuka RSA secretary and manager Vicki Howey said the 100th service would loosely follow the 1917 original.

Temuka will mark its 100th ANZAC service by replicating its first service from 1917.


Toheroa dig for Anzac Day

Southland District Mayor Gary Tong gathers toheroa on Oreti Beach. They will be cooked up for a Riverton RSA Anzac ...

Riverton's old diggers will be in for a feast of toheroa on Anzac Day.

Sporting smorgasbord

A 7,800 strong crowd stands during an Anzac ceremony ahead of the Highlanders vs Sunwolves game at Rugby Park, ...

"We are rapt with the crowd and another good result for the Highlanders in Invercargill."

Online plant nursery blooms

The Plant Store owner Michael Tither talks with Sreeraj Balachandran, with Julianna Franco and children Ajay Sreeraj, 4, ...

Online stores becoming "inevitable" for Southland's economy, strategy leader says.

New technology tells old stories

Southland Museum and Art Gallery history curator David Dudfield at the museum's refreshed Southland's War exhibition, ...

The Southland Museum and Art Gallery is using modern devices to tell a 100 year old story,

Ad Feedback