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New publication reveals fuel spending impact on development

4 August 2014

New publication reveals fuel spending’s impact on development

New Zealanders are driving less, and using less petrol than a decade ago, but the cost has gone from $3.8b to $7.8b a year says commercial property, architecture, design and research company RCG.

In the launch issue of their publication Constructive Thinking, the company examines the influence fuel spending is having on Auckland household budgets, the economy and city development.

“Auckland households spend on fuel has increased to an average of $4,500 a year, an average that increases with distance from the CBD.” says John Polkinghorne, Associate Director of Research at RCG.

“Ultimately, these added costs percolate through the whole economy. We’ve investigated how much discretionary income has “gone up in smoke” rather than into investments, savings, or retailers tills.”

“When new homes are built on Auckland’s city fringe, instead of more centrally, the residents could easily spend $2,000 more on petrol each year. That’s a drain on their economic resources, and it’s an issue for the environment.”

“As a result mixed-use developments, and inner city living, will become more popular.”

Polkinghorne says the Council aren’t doing enough to enable intensification, and the Unitary Plan won’t help. “There are too many restrictions, and a complex approval process.”

“However, fringe living could be improved by making sure that the outlying areas have access to the services they need, like shops and employment.”

Constructive Thinking goes on to point out fuel spend has a bigger impact on retailer profits than online retailing.

“Internet shopping gets plenty of media attention, but that extra $4 billion spent on fuel has certainly been a bigger drain on the economy (and on retailers’ profits) than the Internet.”

Constructive Thinking is published quarterly, visit to subscribe to the free publication. For more information on RCG, visit

About RCG
RCG specialises in property consulting and development, architecture and design, and research and strategy for businesses seeking commercial success. Established in 1989, we provide expert services across a range of sectors from commercial, mixed use, educational, retail, hospitality and tourism to town centres, lifestyle precincts and transport hubs.

We are New Zealand’s leading creator of innovative environments for the retail sector and deliver well-considered, smart solutions that result in commercially successful outcomes.

With the ability to assist at all stages of the development process and with projects
of any size, RCG combines the best thinking, design expertise and skill to create environments that deliver tangible results. For further information please visit or call 09 303 1501.

About Constructive Thinking
Constructive Thinking is an insight-driven publication that helps clients and subscribers understand the new consumer and uncover commercial property opportunities. Published quarterly, Constructive Thinking is free to subscribers.
The first issue launches Monday 4 August 2pm. For further information please visit


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