The Motor Trade Association says service station staff are being verbally abused by motorists angry at rising petrol prices and it takes issue with the Prime Minister for suggesting they're "fleecing" drivers.
MTA's members include owners and independent operators of several hundred small service stations around the country.
It says it's concerned about the abuse operators are being subjected to.
MTA chief executive Craig Pomare says the biggest influences on prices at the pump are the landed refined price of petrol and diesel, taxes and the value of the New Zealand dollar against the US dollar.
Competition also has a big effect in New Zealand, he said.
"It is well recognised that the deregulation of the market and the emergence of Gull, and other smaller independents such as Challenge and G.A.S. have affected prices in the areas where they operate. So too has the widespread use of discounting.”
Mr Pomare says the independent fuel retailers have minimal control over their daily pump prices.
“Most of these small businesses have contracts with the oil companies which give them very little wriggle room when it comes to setting their pump price," he said.
“We take issue with the Prime Minister for suggesting that service stations, or oil companies are ‘fleecing’ motorists. Last year’s review of pricing by MBIE found no evidence of this. Like others in the sector, and the public, we support a further detailed market study to give us all more information on pricing structures.”
Mr Pomare says if the Government is seriously concerned, there's plenty of precedent for reviewing fuel taxes and either lowering them, or holding off on further increases.
The head of independent fuel company Gull New Zealand has also pushed back against the PM's accusation that the industry is fleecing motorists.
Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday that the Government is taking steps to look into how and why petrol prices have risen so quickly, jumping by an average of 39 cents between the end of October last year and September 28 this year.
It's rushing through changes to the Commerce Act to give the Commerce Commission stronger powers, including the ability to force companies to provide commercially-sensitive information for studies on market competition.