Marl­bor­ough fuel price soars

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - OUT & ABOUT - JOHN AN­THONY

Fuel prices in the South Is­land have risen on av­er­age more than 100 per cent more than North Is­land prices in the past month, fig­ures show.

New Zealand-owned tech­nol­ogy com­pany Gaspy al­lows mo­torists to track how much petrol costs at com­pet­ing petrol sta­tions, us­ing crowd­sourced in­for­ma­tion to up­date prices in real time.

Fig­ures sup­plied by Gaspy show that be­tween April 14 and May 11 91 oc­tane petrol prices in the South Is­land had risen on av­er­age 9.3 cents a litre com­pared to 2.4 cents a litre in the North Is­land.

Marl­bor­ough had the big­gest in­crease of 11 cents per litre fol­lowed by Otago with 10.1 cents a litre and Nel­son in­creas­ing 9.9 cents per litre.

Mean­while Auck­land’s av­er­age petrol price rose just 1.7 cents per litre. Gis­borne prices rose 1.1 cents per litre and Taranaki ex­pe­ri­enced the low­est in­crease of 0.7 cents per litre.

The av­er­age price across the North Is­land on Fri­day was $2.06 com­pared to $2.20 in the South Is­land.

The West Coast had the most ex­pen­sive fuel with 91 oc­tane cost­ing on av­er­age $2.23 while Taranaki had the cheap­est at $2, Gaspy fig­ures showed.

The petrol in­dus­try’s pric­ing tac­tics have been un­der scru­tiny after a leaked in­ter­nal email sent by a BP man­ager re­cently re­vealed it was or­ches­trat­ing price rises across its cen­tral North Is­land sta­tions in an at­tempt to ma­nip­u­late com­peti­tor pric­ing.

The rev­e­la­tion prompted En­ergy Min­is­ter Me­gan Woods to call the com­pany’s se­nior man­age­ment into the Bee­hive for a meet­ing.

Since then New Zealand’s ma­jor petrol com­pa­nies raised prices to a fresh three-and-a-half year high in many parts of the coun­try with Z En­ergy, Cal­tex and BP sites across Welling­ton all in­creas­ing the price of reg­u­lar 91 oc­tane petrol by 2 cents a litre by Mon­day morn­ing, to $2.199 a litre.

Gaspy co-founder Larry Green said South Is­land mo­torists were get­ting a rough deal.

‘‘They’re an easy tar­get and they’re a long way from Auck­land,’’ Green said.

‘‘It’s like they’re the poor kid get­ting ham­mered by the bully and no one is do­ing any­thing about it.’’

Fuel com­pa­nies ap­peared to be ris­ing prices ahead of the 11 cents per litre Auck­land re­gional fuel tax which will come into ef­fect on July 1, he said.

‘‘Price spread­ing will be ab­so­lutely hap­pen­ing.’’

By sub­tly in­creas­ing prices in the lead up to Auck­land get­ting its tax, mo­torists across the coun­try were less likely to no­tice, he said.

‘‘What they’re try­ing to avoid is back­lash from con­sumers.’’

Come July 1 fuel com­pa­nies would prob­a­bly spread Auck­land’s 11 cents per litre re­gional fuel tax across to other re­gions, he said.

‘‘They will dou­ble hike for sure if they can get away with it.’’

PHOTO: GE­ORGE HEARD/STUFF

Gaspy co-founder Larry Green Fuel prices are climing rapidly in the South Is­land, and nowhere faster than Marl­bor­ough.

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