Kiwis spend $158 million during Boxing Day sales

New Zealanders have swiped away more than a quarter of a billion dollars on last-minute Christmas shopping according to the country's largest electronic transaction company.

Shoppers spent $272.6 million on Christmas Eve, the busiest shopping day of the year, according to Paymark, up from $263.5 million the year before.

Boxing Day sales also gave retailers an extra boost, with speciality foods and booze particularly bountiful, says chief executive Mark Rushworth.

"Boxing Day sales have traditionally been strong and we've seen an increase in spending among cafes and restaurants," he said.

Liquor merchants were boosted by more than a third more sales while speciality food outlets also recorded a sizeable 18.3 per cent bump.

Overall, around $151.7m was spent through Paymark's electronic transaction system on Boxing Day.

File image of a shopper carrying many bags. Source:

Paymark handles about 75 per cent of electronic transactions in New Zealand.