OPOTIKI’S Gull station had the most expensive petrol in town on Tuesday while fuel pricing analysts are flabbergasted at the almost 50 cent difference between Opotiki and the rest of New Zealand. Photos Sven Carlsson OS0132-01-04

Gull self-serve has the most expensive petrol in Opotiki

AUTOMOBILE Association petrol watch spokesman Mark Stockdale is flabbergasted at the fuel price difference that exists between Opotiki and the rest of New Zealand.

He was also surprised to hear that on Tuesday, Opotiki’s Gull station had the highest price on 91 octane of the four town-based petrol stations.

Leader of the pack was Caltex on Bridge Street with a price of $1.817 per litre, followed by Mobil with $1.819, Caltex St John with $1.849 and remarkably last, Gull with $1.857.

Mr Stockdale said a price difference of “almost 50 cents” between the national price of $2.29 and the Opotiki prices was “remarkable”.

“You are substantially below the prices that most petrol stations are charging across New Zealand,” he said.

“Just getting fuel below two dollars is great.”
Mr Stockdale said motorists would, rightfully, ask “how is this possible”.

“That would be a really good question,” he said.

WHILE the price of petrol at Gull is $1.857 across Bridge Street at Caltex, the price of 91 octane is $1.817 per litre. Photo Sven Carlsson OS0312-04

Mr Stockdale said it was common for petrol stations in small towns to follow Gull’s pricing if they came to town.

“In terms of price matching, that’s what we expect,” he said.

“In a small town it isn’t possible to stand out by charging 10 cents more, as people will drive the distance to get the cheaper fuel.”

In Auckland there were often price variations across the city.

Mr Stockdale said the past six weeks had seen petrol prices stable in New Zealand, which was surprising since he, in May, said he expected prices to go up from the national price of $2.369.

“Globally, there has been political tension, including the standoff in the Straits of Hormuz and US president Donald Trump’s tariff tensions,” he said.

“But they don’t seem to be having a big impact on commodity prices.”

Mr Stockdale said these types of changes would have affected everyone in the world, but the impact had failed to materialise in this case.

“These tensions in the commodity trade have been offset by a slow-down of economy in different countries,” he said.

“They are balancing each other out, so we haven’t seen these commodity prices increase.”

Mr Stockdale said New Zealand had had a six-week period without an increase of the national price.

“The commodity prices have fallen a bit over that six-week period, but this has been offset by the fall of Kiwi dollar,” he said. “The landed cost of fuel hasn’t changed in the six weeks.”

When asked about what would happen to fuel prices in a recession, Mr Stockdale said it would become cheaper

“In a recession, the commodity price falls because globally, the demand for fuel drops,” he said. “There’s less goods being moved, and people are driving less.”

Mr Stockdale said during a recession, levels of unemployment could rise.

“People and businesses spend less, because they feel less confident, but that can also have a negative effect in the exchange rate.”