Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says New Zealanders are being “fleeced” by fuel companies, and believes a new Bill will force the industry into greater transparency.
At a post-Cabinet press conference on Tuesday, she appeared visibly angry as she explained just how rapidly our petrol prices have risen.
“I am hugely concerned at the level of price consumers are currently paying at the pump for fuel,” she told media.
In 2008, New Zealand had one of the lowest pre-tax fuel costs in the OECD. Ten years on, we now have the highest.
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The oil companies, along with the banks and the telco’s, have long been one of the country’s cozy little cartels.
Of course, Jacinda’s government hasn’t helped by hiking up the tax.
One website that becomes quite interesting when you start looking around its map is petrolspy.com.au which lets you plug in a postcode anywhere in Australia and you can see what service stations are selling petrol for.
$A 1.43 is a typical price around Sydney.
Wait a minute — isn’t the $A only worth about 10% more than the $NZ? So if we were paying the equivalent, shouldn’t the price here be about $1.59 a litre?
One positive consequence of the ridiculous prices is that people may start trying to use less. One important way is to go easy on the gas pedal and watch your revs. Most car engines can be easily kept under 3,000 rpm and those in recent cars can be kept under 2,200 rpm most of the time. Reducing unnecessary weight inside and keeping tyres inflated at the right pressure will also help.
Another way, of course, is to use buses and trains, or simply walk or cycle.