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Wairarapa’s petrol prices a pain at the pump

MARY ARGUE
[email protected]

Despite a relief package extension, Wairarapa’s petrol prices for 91 octane continue to flirt with $3 per litre as import prices reach record highs.

A survey of 18 petrol stations across the region on Sunday revealed an average of $2.98 per litre for 91 octane petrol, ranging from $2.83 to $3.06.

The cheapest petrol in Wairarapa was at Pak’nSave Masterton, while several stations in Masterton and Greytown shared the region’s most expensive petrol.

Fuel prices
GRAPHIC/TIMES-AGE

The pain at the pump was unlikely to end anytime soon, with the cost of importing petrol hitting a record high, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment [MBIE].

MBIE said importers paid $1.59 per litre for 91 and $1.62 for 95 in the week to May 20, a 10-cent increase on the previous record set the week before.

The price for imported petrol had risen steadily this year, from $0.91 per litre of 91 in January to a whopping $1.37 in mid-March.

MBIE data showed the import price for 91 continued to fluctuate before hitting a high of $1.48 in May.

Masterton’s Pak’nSave
Masterton’s Pak’nSave has some of the cheapest petrol in Wairarapa. PHOTO/MARY ARGUE

In March, the government announced a cost-of-living package that would cut 25 cents off a litre of fuel for three months.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the cut to the fuel excise duty responded to “the global energy crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine”.

The recent Budget 2022 extended the subsidy a further two months.

The Reserve Bank cited oil price inflation as a factor in hiking the Official Cash Rate to 2 per cent last Wednesday.

“On the global side, oil prices and their pass-through to domestic petrol prices have played a particularly large role in the recent increase in tradeables inflation.”

The Reserve Bank said the margins for refined oil products had risen significantly and were expected to contribute to high fuel price inflation in the near term.

Wairarapa MP Kieran McAnulty said the world was facing record fuel prices, and no country was immune.

He said the extension of the relief package was welcome.

“Thank God the government took 25 cents off. We’re still around $3; having 25 cents on top of that would be a major blow for people.”

McAnulty said the government indicated there would be a review of the relief package but said it could not last forever as the fuel excise paid for much-need roading upgrades.

He said he had noticed the difference in petrol prices across the region, noting Masterton was fortunate to have competition and consistently lower prices than other districts.

“We consistently have cheaper prices than in Wellington, which is crazy as it comes from there.
“There is no rhyme or reason to it.”

BP Masterton
Of all of Wairarapa’s petrol prices BP Masterton, is one of the most expensive petrol stations in the region.

South Wairarapa had the most expensive petrol, while Masterton had the greatest variance in petrol prices for 91 octane.

Masterton Pak’nSave offered the cheapest at $2.83 yesterday morning. However, by the end of the day, it had increased to $2.89, matching Gull Chapel St.

Masterton’s Waitomo petrol station priced 91 at $2.92 per litre compared with $2.96 at Waitomo in Wellington.

Masterton’s GAS, BP, and Mobil Western Auto all tipped $3, selling 91 at $3.06.

Carterton’s GAS and Mobil stations were both selling 91 octane for $2.93, while Greytown’s only petrol station, Challenge, was at $3.06.

Featherston residents were paying $3.01 at their local Mobil. Caltex Rimutaka in Upper Hutt did not offer much better, with prices at $3.00 per litre of 91. Martinborough’s two petrol stations had a 10-cent price difference, with prices for 91 sitting at $2.95 at Allied and $3.05 at BP.

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