Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Mike Hoskin: What is the point of Commerce Commission reports?

There's a small sense of satisfaction for me as the second quarterly monitoring report from the Commerce Commission came out on the petrol industry.

Do you remember the Commerce Commission and the petrol industry? We were being fleeced by them, so a market study was conducted and, for better or worse, nothing really came out of it.

There was a little bit of loosening when it came to access at wholesale level and some signs to be put out advertising their high octane prices. But the famous claim from then-minister Kris Faafoi that we would save over 30 cents a litre was shown to be bollocks.

It's sort of ironic if you think about it.

Faafoi and his claim have now left the building and he's off doing consulting work. The Prime Minister who told us how fleeced we were getting is long gone as well, presumably about to resign next month with news of her new ventures elsewhere. They come, they go, they make their claims and then they're forgotten.

Anyway, the second report. Hold the front pages - the Commission has worked out that if you shop around you can save money.

What a revelation.

In Auckland, prices on Unleaded 91 vary 22 cents, it's 29 cents for premium 95 and 98 and 31 cents for diesel.

I seem to remember that’s what I said before the study ever started.

There is no scandal, there is no fleecing, price, by and large, is dependent on where you are, what day, what brand, what type and how far you are prepared to drive.

And that’s before you get to the apps telling you where the bargains are anyway.

In other words, anyone with a brain already had it worked out and what the Government were calling for was never going to come to pass.

By the way, one of the great upsets before the study was places like Wellington seemed to pay more on average than anyone else.

This latest report tells us that Wellington pays more on average than anyone. So that hasn’t changed, has it?

The report concludes that if you shop around you can save up to $348 a year. That, as they helpfully point out, all adds up.

Sort of like the money required to conduct market studies that lead nowhere. We've had reports on petrol, building supplies and supermarkets. Are you seeing the change?

Are you noticing the savings? Are you monitoring the upheaval post the Commission reports?

Or is it business as usual?

Sometimes the so called scam or fleecing is really only a politician looking for a bit of noise and a cheap headline.

Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The crazy pricing issue. When visiting Bluff a couple of years ago, we refuelled at the petrol station opposite the bulk tanks on the wharf where the petrol is unloaded from the sea tankers. We asked him why his price was so high. His answer : because he is in a pricing block that covers Invercargill for comparable pricing decisions. But the Invercargill storage tanks are in Bluff!!! Check google to see how far apart and how different Invercargill and Bluff are. This is how petrol companies manipulate prices. Fake comparative pricing zones.