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

'A glittering repugnance'

Kiwi artist Ross Forbes' "Star of Donald," depicting a 3-D plastic mould of President Donald Trump's head superimposed ...

Kiwi artist's golden Trump-head-on-a-cross is a hot ticket item in art auction.

Parking warden's trigger points

An Auckland Transport parking warden says he was unfairly dismissed, following alleged complaints about his interactions ...

'Confrontational' parking warden dismissed over his dealings with the public fails to temporarily get his job back.

Rapist, murderer leaves NZ video

Police officers clash with political protesters during a protest in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe.

He said he faced death back in Zimbabwe - but immigration minister refused to grant him a visa.

Showjumpers will showcase skills in Germany

Brayden Aarts and Leeshelle Small will ride in the German Friendship Games in July.

Two up-and-coming showjumpers will have an opportunity to show the world what they are made of in July.


Trains cancelled, trees down gallery

A ngaio tree blew on to cars in Todman St, Brooklyn overnight.

A night of wild weather has downed trees and caused disruption to trains.

Force 12 in Cook Strait

Cook Strait on Sunday, in a satellite image.

Winds whipping up seas in Cook Strait have reached hurricane force.

Lose yourself in the High Court

Musician Eminem at a New York premiere.(File photo)

Judge and nine lawyers listen to Eminem track as rapper's publisher takes on National.

'PC gone haywire' video

The Poplar Ave interchange withthe expressway, dark, running along the centre, between the Poplar Ave roundabout and the ...

Backlash as proposed Maori names for sections of old SH1 deemed "unpronounceable".


Coffice welcomes all

Coopers & Co convenience store creative director Jenette Thompson.

Coopers & Co has re-established in new premises near the heart of the Victoria St precinct.

Rescuer wins ACC fight

Bill Toomey described the post-quake scene at the PGC building in February 2011 as "horrific".

Bill Toomey suffered post-traumatic stress after pulling people from the collapsed PGC building.

Pike River mine re-entered video

Video footage shows robot and two workers inside the Pike River mine shaft, three months after explosion killed 29 men.

Video shows robot and two workers in mine drift, three months after fatal explosion.

Demise of a 'world-class' fishery

The Irwell River near where it flows into Lake Ellesmere.

Anglers once flocked to Canterbury's Irwell River. Now the water is green and the fish have gone.


Call to ban duck shooting

Auckland and Waikato's duck shooting season opens in the first weekend of May and runs for one month.

But others say the avians do enormous damage to the country's native biodiversity.

"Forever in awe" video

Eric Murray and Hamish Bond celebrate winning gold at the Rio Olympics.

The other half of the unbeatable pair said he never doubted his crewmate after retirement announcement.

Fire death rocks Little St video

Firefighters on Little St after being called to the fire at 3.30am.

Residents are shocked after a woman's body was found inside burnt-out Waikato home.

'Black spot' fix planned video

The favoured corridor to link Hamilton and Tauranga is marked E2 on this image.

New four-lane expressway planned between Cambridge and turnoff to Tauranga.


Fun for thousands

John Mahon, owner of Mahons Amusements and Mega Fun Carnival organiser Brent Taylor pictured at the carnival that has ...

The carnival will be back again next year, organiser Brent Taylor said.

One injured in crash

Emergency services are at the scene of a crash on Arawhata Rd, South Taranaki.

A woman has been taken to hospital after a crash in South Taranaki.

10 focus areas for city

The New Plymouth District Council wants a conversation with the community about  10 areas it wants to focus on for the ...

 New Plymouth District Council want community feedback on 10 areas it thinks are important for the future.

Man stabbed in Normanby

Two police units were at the scene.

The alleged offender was being held down by the victim.


Women's expo draws a crowd

Melissa Frank, left, and Renee Dingwall sample Bio Farm milk with James Tait-Jamieson.

Thousands of women, and some men, turned out for the women's expo.

Access problems

The Linton Military Camp's perimeter fences have remained virtually unchanged over the past two decades.

They are charged with protecting our country. But can they protect themselves?

Crosswell's courageous battle over

Jimmy Crosswell died on Friday after a short battle with illness.

GOOD SPORTS: Former Manawatu under-20s flanker Jimmy Crosswell's battle ends.

Comedy caper OK

Courtney Jelley as Michelle, Maggie Malone as Aisha and Judith Weavers as Barbara in The Supermarket Sisterhood, on at ...

REVIEW: Manawatu Theatre's new show has potential.


Winter is coming

A fresh dump of snow blankets the Western Ranges, near Nelson making for a chilly start to the morning.

The Nelson region has woken to its first dump of snow for the season.

A home for $45k?

Seddon Marshall has a proposal to address Nelson's affordable housing issue, by building small, relocatable homes.

Tiny, relocatable homes the size of a single car park mooted as a solution to the affordable housing shortage.

Suicide stats show system failing

A report that details the suspected suicides of those in mental health care reflects failings in the system.

Patients at risk of suicide are not getting the right treatment, psychologist says.

Night rescue from capsized boat

Two fishermen were rescued from the sea near Delaware Bay, north of Nelson, after spending 11 hours holding onto their ...

Two fishermen sang to each other to keep spirits up during an 11-hour ordeal.


Abandoned car set on fire

The fire is likely to be treated as suspicious.

"Cars do not just burst into flames by themselves," fire officer says of blaze.

Force 12 in Cook Strait

Cook Strait on Sunday, in a satellite image.

Winds whipping up seas in Cook Strait, where a storm warning remains, have reached hurricane force.

The 50-year decision

Marlborough faces a $63m question about schooling in the region, but how much input will young people have?

The future of education in Marlborough is hanging in the balance, and soon the community will have its say.

Landing ... on SH1

Air Kaikoura Aero Club, pictured with its training plane near Mt Fyffe, supplied a service between Kaikoura and Clarence.

Cars can't use this part of State Highway 1, but Kaikoura aero club wants to use it for planes.

South Canterbury

'Great' fun for all at colour run video

Ziah Tatuava, 6, of Waimate is having a roaring good time at the second-annual Colour Me Fun Run in Timaru on Sunday.

Colourful 'old ladies' and a family of 'dalmatians' took part in Timaru's annual Colour Me Fun Run.

Three-vehicle crash 

A man is seriously injured after a three vehicle crash on SH1 east of Geraldine. (File photo)

State Highway 1 closed, man seriously injured after crash near Geraldine.

Scooter bros 'buzzing'

Kahurangi, left, giving his brother Makaia a pep talk before he competed on Saturday.

Timaru's scooting brothers have 'incredible' time at Australian Scooter Championships.

Museum social push

The South Canterbury Museum is looking to expand its social media reach beyond Facebook, using Instagram and YouTube, ...

South Canterbury Museum may use Instagram and YouTube to expand social media reach.


Who will be the next deputy mayor?

Invercargill city councillors, Darren Ludlow, Lindsay Thomas, Toni Biddle, Lindsay Abbott, Lesley Soper, Lloyd Esler, ...

Cr Lloyd Esler said there were one or two members of the council who would be putting their name forward. 

The Southland divide

Infometrics senior economist Benje Patterson.

Some Southland towns are flourishing, while others are on the decline.

Immigration used to cut wages

Labour MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard and Invercargill Labour candidate Liz Craig at ILT Stadium Southland.

Immigration has been a hot topic for the Labour Party leading into this year's election.

Special win for Otautau video

The Otautau rugby team and supporters after their win on Saturday.

The Otautau rugby team's win on Saturday meant a lot to the western Southland community.

Ad Feedback