New Zealand Labour Party

Time for truth on petrol prices

If you drew breath after filling up your tank and forking over a lot of hard earned dollars, you have every reason to feel annoyed, says Labour's Energy Spokesman Stuart Nash.

"It seems every summer without fail the petrol companies put up the price of petrol, but this is now part of an upward pricing trend that we must get to the bottom of. This time both diesel and petrol importer and retailer margins are up to the highest point in years according to the official Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) statistics.

"Two years ago when margins were high I personally asked the powerful parliamentary Finance and Expenditure select committee (FEC) to undertake an investigation into pricing, and we decided that if margins reached such levels again we would initiate a investigation. Well, both importer and retailer margins have continued to increase for petrol and diesel so now it is time for action.

"The MBIE information shows that margins are more than double they were 10 years ago and that we pay the highest out of every OECD country for our petrol before taxes. The only losers are good hard working Kiwis and the only winners are big oil companies.

"This type of monopolistic behaviour is exactly what the Commerce Commission was concerned about when Z Energy took over Caltex NZ and gained over 50% of the retail market.

"I urge the new energy Minister, Judith Collins, to support an official FEC investigation into petrol and diesel margins so we can get to the bottom of these exorbitant prices. The last Minister wrote a letter to the companies involved stating he was watching their pricing strategies closely: this Minister is much more a person of action and I am prepared to work closely with her in the best interests of Kiwis.

β€œIt's now time to stand up for Kiwis and get to the bottom of the petrol and diesel pricing scam," says Stuart Nash.