Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Govt to improve monitoring of petrol pricing

Hon Lianne Dalziel
Minister of Commerce

7 August 2008 Media Statement
Embargoed until 12.30pm today

Govt to improve monitoring of petrol pricing

Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel today released an independent study of petrol pricing in New Zealand.

The study built on work carried out as part of an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) report on the price of unleaded petrol, and considered implications for the New Zealand market.

"New Zealand is not alone in its experience of rapidly increasing petrol prices, but it was right to check the market in New Zealand has been operating effectively. In New Zealand there has been confusing volatility in the price of petrol, so the government is going to increase monitoring in order to further improve the transparency of pricing."

Lianne Dalziel said the report showed that public perceptions that petrol prices had been fast to rise but slow to fall were just perceptions, no doubt affected by media reporting of increases.

"In fact the rise and fall in petrol prices mirror changes in offshore drivers, such as the price of crude, the value of the US dollar, as well as simple supply and demand which all impact on the price at the pump here.

"I certainly think that in recent times, probably thanks to pressure from the public and interest groups such as the AA, oil companies have got better at explaining price rises to the public."

The key findings of the review*, which focuses on petrol only and not diesel, are:

• The New Zealand petrol market is fundamentally competitive.
• Retail petrol prices are not fast to rise and slow to fall.
• Recent price rises are mainly due to increases in crude oil prices overseas.
• A Fuelwatch scheme like Australia’s wouldn’t benefit consumers, because our market works differently.
• More transparency about the makeup of importer margins and a move to report daily margin movements would be useful for consumers.

The review confirms the reality that petrol prices are set according to the international marketplace – 85 per cent of the price increase between January 2007 and June 2008 were due to offshore increases in crude oil prices. New Zealand has the fifth lowest petrol prices including taxes in the OECD and, unlike Australia, is ploughing all the fuel excise directly back into transport.
The report also shows that there is scope for more transparency about the makeup of importer margins - the difference between the retail price (less taxes and duties) and the landed cost of the refined product.

"This is an area where we can offer better information for consumers. We are currently working with officials towards this," Lianne Dalziel said.

The government has been working to ease the pressure of petrol prices on family budgets on several fronts, such as diversifying our sources of transport fuels and vehicle technologies, improving vehicle efficiency, changing driver behaviour and improving public transport.

• The Hale & Twomey report, commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) is available on the MED website:

Weekly petrol price data are linked from



© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>




Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>


Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>


Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>


(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>






Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election