Petrol hike looms, but NZ prices ‘low’

Prices at the pump are set to go up fol­low­ing a tax hike to­mor­row but New Zealand mo­torists still get one of the best deals on fuel in the OECD. Laura Wal­ters re­ports.

Taranaki Daily News - - Business -

Ki­wis are so used to ris­ing petrol prices they’ve prob­a­bly for­got­ten an­other hike is com­ing thanks to a tax in­crease, but mo­torists should not get too revved up as New Zealand’s fuel prices are still among the low­est in the OECD.

In 2012, Trans­port Min­is­ter Gerry Brown­lee an­nounced the Govern­ment would in­crease petrol ex­cise duty by three cents a litre on July 1 in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Road-user charges for people us­ing diesel would also in­crease by an equiv­a­lent amount.

Ma­jor re­tail­ers Z, Mo­bil and BP are sell­ing 91 oc­tane for $2.209 a litre but mo­torists will be pay­ing about $2.239 af­ter the tax hike to­mor­row. This will bring fuel prices close to their in­fla­tion-ad­justed all-time high of $2.46 a litre, reached in 1981 in the wake the Iran Revo­lu­tion oil-shock.

AA Petrol­Watch spokesman Mark Stock­dale said af­ter to­mor­row, Ki­wis would be pay­ing more than 56 cents a litre in tax.

How­ever, New Zealand had the fifth-low­est petrol tax in the OECD, mak­ing it the eighthcheap­est coun­try out of 25, be­hind the likes of the United States, Canada and Aus­tralia.

New Zealand mo­torists were not ‘‘cash cows’’ for the govern­ment like road users in other coun­tries, Stock­dale said.

Ex­cise tax on petrol and road-user charges went to­wards trans­port costs, in­clud­ing build­ing new roads, road re­pairs, road-safety en­force­ment and pub­lic trans­port, which ev­ery­one ben­e­fit­ted from, he said.

On the downside, New Zealand driv­ers were still pay­ing too much for fuel, Stock­dale said.

New Zealand fuel prices are based on the in­ter­na­tional com­mod­ity price of oil, which has been ris­ing due to the un­rest in Iraq.

Iraq pro­duces 3 mil­lion bar­rels of oil a day and the most re­cent cri­sis, caused by al Qaeda splin­ter group, Is­lamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis), has the world wor­ried about dis­rup­tion to the global sup­ply.

Stock­dale said even though com­mod­ity costs had risen dur­ing June, re­tail­ers shouldn’t have lifted prices as the ris­ing New Zealand dol­lar had off­set the im­pact of the price rise.

‘‘There’s al­ways room for them to ab­sorb some small in­creases.’’


Pump­ing prices: New Zealand has the fifth-low­est petrol tax in the OECD, mak­ing it the eighthcheap­est coun­try out of 25.

Mark Stock­dale

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