'Not inconceivable' NZ petrol prices could reach $3 per litre within six to 12 months, says transport expert

The escalating price of petrol in New Zealand could reach $3 per litre within the next six months, warns a transport expert.

Road Transport Forum NZ chief executive Ken Shirley says the depreciating New Zealand dollar and the natural volatility of international oil prices could see the cost of petrol get far worse than the current $2 per litre plus levels.

"I hate to be a merchant of doom but it's not inconceivable it could go to sort of $3 a litre," Mr Shirley said on TVNZ 1's Breakfast today.

"The other side of that is it could drive more people into public transport and give a boost to electric cars."

And how soon in a worst case scenario could Kiwi fuel prices break the $3 per litre mark?

"Look I'm very loath to speculate on global fuel prices but given the instability we've got globally, we could expect that within six months, within 12 months. But it is highly unpredictable," Mr Shirley said.

If the fuel price were to reach these heights, those most affected will be rural Kiwis devoid of subsidised public transport, and low-income families working in the outer suburbs of cities, Mr Shirley said.

The depreciating Kiwi dollar is one of the main factors which have risen the price of petrol to it's current level above $2.10 per litre, Mr Shirley said.

Geo-political trends, and the instability of the Iran nuclear deal with US sanctions on the middle eastern country, are also influences.

"Absolutely, that kind of instability, or global outlook could create quite a shock in the global price," Mr Shirley said.

But despite all this, Mr Shirley believes the New Zealand fuel market is competitive considering our isolation. 

"I think we have a very competitive market in New Zealand, we have one of the dearest landed prices in the world because of our remote place on the planet," he said.

"Most of the big oil companies don't actually find the New Zealand market particularly attractive but it is a competitive market, and that's the reality that we can expect increasing prices."

Ken Shirely says the depreciating NZ dollar is responsible for the high price of petrol at the moment. Source: Breakfast



Teens linked with Upper Hutt College burglaries

Three teenagers have been referred to Youth Services over several burglaries at Upper Hutt College.

Police say the teens, aged 15-16, are "assisting police with enquiries" over the burglaries.

Police say computer and CCTV equipment was stolen during three burglaries over the last two months and, on one occasion, the school was extensively tagged and covered in graffiti.

They say on Sunday three people were found with stolen property after they were found leaving the school grounds after a possible burglary was reported.

A search warrant was then executed at a nearby address which uncovered a substantial amount of stolen property.

The teens will be referred to Youth Services Hutt Valley.  

Source: 1 NEWS

TODAY'S
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Wet and wild weather setting in today - and it's likely to stick around all week

Wet and wild weather will impact much of the country today, bringing thunderstorms, high winds and heavy rain - and it is likely to continue for most of the week.

The inclement weather comes from a westerly flow which could bring snowfall to levels above 400m at times in parts of the South Island.

Wednesday will bring even more of what's in store today, MetService says, and it is likely to continue into Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

NORTH ISLAND

In the North Island, people on the western coastline from Northland as far south as Taranaki may see thunderstorms this morning, with Waikato, Auckland, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty also having a low risk of storms.

By the afternoon the risk of thunderstorms will spread over almost all of the North Island, except Hawke's Bay, with especially high risk in Taranaki, the Kapiti Coast and Wellington.

Heavy rain watches are in place for the Taranaki region and the Tararua Ranges.

Strong wind warnings are also in place for Wairarapa from about Masterton southwards, as well as Wellington and Marlborough from about 2pm, and a wind watch is in place for Hawke's Bay south of Napier.

SOUTH ISLAND

In the South Island, the West Coast and Fiordland are likely to be most affected, from Nelson Tasman all the way south along the western coastline to Stewart Island, and inland as far as the Alps.

By afternoon the majority of the South Island will have a chance of storms, MetService says, especially in Fiordland and along the western coast.

Heavy rain warnings are in place for parts of Canterbury, Westland, Otago and Fiordland, with watches in place for Buller and Nelson areas.

Strong wind warnings have been issued for the Canterbury High Country all day today, and watches are in place for Otago, Southland including Stewart Island, the Canterbury Plains and Christchurch.

The Crown Range Road and Milford Road have active road snowfall warnings.

For a full weather outlook for your area, see our weather page here.

Breakfast weatherman Matty McLean has the latest update. Source: Breakfast