Daniel West Blog on Petrol Taxation

Dee and Steve West have four children.  The oldest of the kids attends Albany Junior High School, and was given a blog assignment this weekend to discuss the petrol tax.  He researched and wrote this all of his own volition.  We are most proud of his ability to rationalise both the positive and negative implications of the proposed tax on petrol.


We have gotten his permission to share this widely on his behalf.  We are so proud of you Daniel!  


I believe that it is an amazing idea to add a ten cent per litre tax to fuel for the reasons I have listed below. However, there is one problem which I will explain.


The first reason I believe a tax on fuel is a good idea is that it encourages people to carpool. Nobody wants to pay money when unnecessary, so when the price of fuel goes up, it means that there is another reason to carpool. If people start carpooling more, or catching public transport more often, there will be a substantially smaller volume of traffic. This means that people can get to where they need to be sooner, so they can have more time to sleep in or prepare, giving them another reason to stop driving by themselves. As you can see, this tax could encourage people to use public transport, which has an abundance of benefits.


Another reason is that if there is a tax on fuel, people will stop driving to places unnecessarily. For example, if you needed something from the dairy – which in this case is around a block away – instead of driving there, you would walk, because you know it’s easy, and you will be saving money. Two side-effects of this are lower co2 emissions, and a healthier body. By not using your car, you are not releasing gas from your exhaust into the atmosphere, adding to global warming. Global warming has literally swallowed 5 ISLANDS in the pacific, and is getting bigger everyday.globalwarming As well as that, walking there gets you exercise, and because of the increasing trend of obesity and obesity caused diseases, more exercise benefits us all. Because of all of the side effects from such a small thing, it should be incomprehensibly unmistakeable that this tax has some good outcomes.


Thirdly – on a more personal note – It is good for some businesses. My parents business is centered around getting more people to buy electric cars, so the carbon emissions lower, by putting in charging stations where people can charge their electric cars. By adding a tax on petrol, more people will buy electric cars, which may have the domino effect of electric cars trending, and they might eventually become “the norm”, and carbon emissions will lower.Totara-St-Dargaville-ChargeNet-EV-charger-launch1 And it’s not exclusively my parents’ business, there are plenty of other businesses that are centered around electric cars. In addition, the car companies will benefit because almost all have them have said they will make at least one electric model in the near future. As you can see, this tax can be beneficial to not only people, but companies too.


Relating to my first point about how there will be more carpooling and public transport use, there could be less accidents on the road. If there is less traffic because of more public transport usage and carpooling, there is a smaller chance that cars will hit each other. 318 people have died on the road this year in New Zealand according to the New Zealand Transport Agency, an appalling number of deaths which could have been avoided, but with this new tax, this number could half.


The downside to this is that New Zealand has a sort of poverty crisis at the moment, and this would not help. Lots of people are barely surviving with their income at the moment, and adding this tax is just adding fuel to the fire. Also, electric cars are quite pricy, but that is changing as we speak, and buses will become more expensive because of the tax, but Auckland is one of the few cities which have said to buy only electric buses by 2025. So there are a couple downsides to this tax, but they are definitely outweighed by the good outcomes.


To conclude, a tax on petrol is extremely helpful for an abundance of reasons, such as less traffic, lower carbon emissions, more fitness, and business benefits. Hopefully from the reasons I have provided you, you are able to consider the usefulness of this tax, and that you shouldn’t despise it.


  • Daniel West



My prior knowledge







No Fireworks for the Hobbits this Year

We’re NOT Buying Fireworks


It is November in New Zealand.  People can buy fireworks for private Guy Fawkes parties and events, for the next few days.


We will not buy any fireworks.


We used to have a big party and display every year.  I adore fireworks.  I like the smell, and the sound, and shiny display.  Reminds me of summer nights in Edmonton with my best friend Jill at Klondike days.  Or the end of the day at Disneyland.


Now, I would still attend a public display and enjoy it, but fireworks are, in my 40-year-old opinion, not worth the damage they incur.  Animals are spooked at best and severely traumatized and injured at worst.  We had a horse in the local equestrian club put down last year because someone threw fireworks through the fence and spooked the beautiful beast so it bolted and broke two legs.  The thought of this still makes me desperately sad and angry.


I am not hating on people who still Love their fireworks.  If managed responsibly and animals and nieghbours are kindly and considerately treated during events, then I guess tradition can stand for the 5th of November.  Personally, I do not feel that it is a very good thing to be celebrating in the first place, and the environmental and social impact of fireworks just doesn’t seem worth the risk.


Fireworks are just an example of things that have changed in my life and opinion over the years.  The care and concern I have for the hole in the ozone layer was not present when I was an awkward 13-year-old hillbilly in Alberta, spraying my bangs to stand straight up and my “puppy dog ears” sides straight out.  Oh my, that will show my age a bit won’t it.


DJ Tanner (Candace Cameron)

My soul sister and heroine Maya Angelou said it beautifully:  “Do the best you can until you know better.  When you know better, do better.”


None of us are perfect, none of us are doing all we can to help the planet, our communities, our families, friends, animals or the oceans.  But we are learning.  As we learn, we are changing things.  As things change NEW problems and opportunities present themselves.


What I am saying is simple.  Try and gain knowledge about the impact your decisions will have, and be impactful in the best direction your knowledge can steer you.  And while none of us will get it right the first time or every time, I think as long as each of us is putting forth a genuine effort to improve, then the whole crazy messed up world will improve right along with each and every one of us as we do.


And on that note, I am going to take a leaf out of the vegan playbook and have a nice dahl with rice for dinner tonight, because, although I have found it difficult to be a vegetarian, far less animal protein in diets would curb carbon and be a step in a beautiful direction for animal welfare.  I still REALLY love cheese and butter and baking though… sorry vegan friends.

Kay.  That’s my first blog for a long time, sorry if it’s not stellar, and thank you so much for reading.