Poll reveals price of food is top of mind for New Zealanders

Wed, Feb 1

Chris Hipkins has made his first announcement as prime minister — re-extending the fuel and public transport discounts.

That means the petrol excise duty will continue to be discounted by 25 cents per litre - while publicly-run buses, trains, and ferries will continue to be half-price to ride.

The road user charge discount will also be re-introduced — having ended yesterday — all of the renewed discounts will continue until the end of June.

"We know how to do it and we know how to do it quickly," Hipkins said today.

He said the increase in fuel costs is putting a significant amount of pressure on families that have no choice but to continue to fill up the car.

Hipkins wants to focus on the common bread and butter issues that affect Kiwis and it's the high price of food which is on the minds of many.

The Government says the extension is estimated to cost about $718 million.

"We are paying for the extension from savings identified in the most recent baseline update," Finance Minister Grant Robertson said.

Hipkins made the announcement while visiting Auckland — amid the region's flooding.

Poll reveals price of food is top of mind

In a 1News Kantar Public Poll, we asked: 'Should the Government's top priority be bringing down the price of common food items?'

More than three quarters of New Zealanders — 77% — said yes. About a fifth (19%) disagreed and the rest didn't know (4%).

"Look, we acknowledge that food is a major challenge — this announcement that we're making today will have an impact," Hipkins said.

The fuel subsidy has been in place for almost a year now but food prices keep on going up. National wants the Government to tighten its belt, to fight food inflation.

"When you get to a block of cheese costing $16 to $20 — that's the reality of it and every New Zealander can see it," National leader Christopher Luxon said today.

A 1News Kantar Public Poll in December showed an overwhelming majority of voters support permanent half-price public transport. Seventy-nine per cent said it was worth keeping around permanently, while only 14% said no.