[2 July/Farmers Weekly]

The Auckland fuel tax could cost some individual vegetable growers up to $100,000 per year. The industry was annoyed, calling the introduction chaotic and rushed. Horticulture New Zealand Chief Executive, Mike Chapman, was unsure why KiwiRail was exempt from the tax but offroad vehicles used by growers, horticulturalists and farmers who would have to seek a tax rebate are not. Auckland fuel consumers started paying an extra 11.5c per litre to fund new city roads and to upgrade public transport. Director of Balle Bros, Dacey Balle, said half of its two million litres of fuel they use in Auckland was off road, and 500,000 litres was used by company vehicles travelling outside of Auckland. The Government failed to develop a simple system for claiming rebates. A Transport Agency spokesman noted growers should keep accurate records of fuel used.