by Geoffrey Churchman

At present the typical price at the pump (net of loyalty scheme discounts) nationwide for 91 octane is about $2.60 per litre; of that over half comprises taxes levied by the Jacinda government. But you only need to look at the declining $NZ value since the announcement of Jacinda’s traffic light system which came into effect on 3 December to realise the price at the pump is going to climb.

The graph shows the cost of $US 1 in $NZ over the past 12 months and the trend in the last 3 months is obvious. At present it’s $NZ 1.50 and it doesn’t look like falling any time soon. As long as the Jacinda government remains obsessed with eliminating the mild Omicron virus with draconian restrictions and the economic damage that is causing, it will continue to rise. If she accepts that, like the common cold, it’s always going to be with us, and the more that people are exposed to it, the more that herd immunity to it will develop, then that should change — but when is she likely to abandon her futile restrictions?

In the meantime productivity, as everyone knows, is taking a massive hit as is the normally huge income from foreign tourism.

Believe it or not, NZ’s gasoline a.k.a. petrol prices are not actually the highest in the world — there are some countries where it’s worse, see this list which was last updated 3 weeks ago, although we’re not far off.

The general impact of rising prices for anything is that people will buy less of it, but in the case of something like fuel it’s not so easy. The government’s plans to lower speed limits across the country will see some savings in consumption, and people treading more smoothly on the accelerator should help significantly too.