NZ Performance Car - - Contents - Jaden Martin Email: jaden@per­for­mance­car.co.nz In­sta­gram: jaden_nzpc­magazine

At the time of writ­ing this, I have just filled up my ‘cheap’ basher of a daily with a fresh tank of 98 and it stung me a cool $2.52 a litre — why I con­tinue to buy the most ex­pen­sive off-the-pump oc­tane I do not know, but I just can’t bring my­self to pick up that 91 noz­zle and have the poor SR20 feel ever-so-slightly more slug­gish as a re­sult. If you wound the clock back 10 years, when I was fill­ing up my first car at $1.50 a litre, and asked me whether I thought gas was ex­pen­sive, I would prob­a­bly have said “Yeah”, as I tried to get a full tank out of my part-time job wages. Ha! If only I had known then what was coming.

Re­mem­ber when the per litre price hit some­thing crazy like $2.00 and we all lost our minds? The main­stream news was flooded with out­cries over these greedy petrol sta­tions cream­ing us at the pumps. Then prices dipped back un­der the two buck mark for a while. By the sec­ond time it crept back up, we were all kind of used to it, oil com­pa­nies blamed in­creas­ing costs in ex­trac­tion and ex­port­ing, and we all learned to live with it.

That was un­til a fresh gov­ern­ment came into power talk­ing the big talk and we were soon slapped with hefty tax in­creases at the pump; one came in, then an­other, and an­other — if you are liv­ing in Auck­land. The rip­ples started hit­ting neigh­bour­ing re­gions, trans­port costs went up, and the cost of busi­ness took a hit.

These in­creases, while mar­ginal for some, are af­fect­ing every­one at the mo­ment, and the out­pour­ing of up­set on­line hasn’t stopped since. I’m not go­ing to claim it’s all the fault of the gov­ern­ment, nor of the coun­cils that are opt­ing to en­act re­gional taxes that they prom­ise will go to­wards fix­ing road­ways but have ac­tu­ally been found to be fund­ing rev­enue-gath­er­ing speed cam­eras, nor of the mum and dad owned gas sta­tions — no; it’s the fault of those bring­ing the fuel into the coun­try, rid­ing the de­mand wave and blam­ing eco­nomic fac­tors that are barely worth men­tion­ing.

Although the cost of pro­cess­ing crude oil and ship­ping fuel world­wide has in­creased, we all know it hasn’t in­creased that sub­stan­tially. I could get lost div­ing into the fig­ures here, but it’s re­ally not all that in­ter­est­ing, and you’ve likely al­ready seen nu­mer­ous ex­am­ples of the same in­for­ma­tion pop­ping up on­line.

The fig­ure I want to draw to your at­ten­tion to is prob­a­bly the most con­cern­ing: the per­cent­age of Kiwi salar­ies spent on fuel com­pared to the per­cent­age in the rest of the de­vel­oped world. With an av­er­age cost of $2.53 per litre, the per­cent­age of the av­er­age Kiwi salary spent on fuel is 2.56. That doesn’t sound like a stupid fig­ure, re­ally, but con­sider coun­tries such as Nor­way, where peo­ple spend only 0.53 per­cent of the av­er­age salary de­spite fuel cost­ing an av­er­age of $3.18 a litre. Like­wise, Spa­niards, who spend only 0.67 per­cent, with fuel at $2.40 a litre.

It’s not just that we’re be­ing hit hard at the pump; we’re hit pretty hard when it comes to the cost of liv­ing by way of lower pay rates than those around the world. Our neigh­bours across the ditch, with doc­u­mented bet­ter fuel prices ($1.71) and salar­ies than we Ki­wis, spend an av­er­age of only 1.41 per cent of their an­nual in­come on fuel.

So, to sum it all up: we’re get­ting gypped pretty bad. Sure, we’re a lit­tle is­land na­tion that no other coun­try reeeeeally cares about all that much, but it doesn’t need to be this rough at the pump, does it? I just want to fill up my car and blast some back roads with­out tak­ing it out on the mort­gage.

Oh well, how does this Onzo thing work?

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