Call for investigation into Ruapehu fuel prices.
Mayor Weston Kirton has written to the Commerce Commission urging them to conduct a comprehensive study into factors that may affect competition in the Ruapehu District's fuel retail market.
"I am urging the Commerce Commission to help ensure transparency, fairness, and equitable pricing in Ruapehu's fuel retail sector," he said.
"Fuel price comparisons with townships neighbouring Ruapehu suggest a lack of true competition within our retail fuel outlet operators. Despite Ruapehu's central North Island location with good road links surrounding townships consistently offer significantly cheaper fuel.
Taumarunui which has three major fuel retailers is a good example. People have consistently expressed their frustration over significantly higher retail fuel prices compared to neighbouring townships such as Te Awamutu, which is located just 1.5 hours north of Taumarunui.
On at least one occasion this month, the price difference was a staggering 46 cents per litre for 91 fuel, with Te Awamutu consistently offering prices at least 40 to 42 cents cheaper in recent times.
In addition to other matters, I have asked the Commerce Commission to consider factors that may be hindering competition, any issues that may affect new suppliers entering the market, and pricing comparisons with other rural districts like Ruapehu.
Mayor Kirton noted that Ruapehu communities, businesses and farmers rely heavily on affordable fuel for their daily needs.
"With the current cost of living crisis, we need to ensure we have reasonable and competitive pricing for essential commodities such as fuel.
I believe that a comprehensive study by the Commerce Commission into the fuel retail market in Ruapehu is the only way to provide the insights we need to ensure a fair and competitive environment," he said.