Petrol giants under scrutiny: Z Energy defends $263m profit as BP heads to Parliament to explain price rises

The largest fuel retailer in New Zealand, Z Energy, has defended a rise in profit of $20 million over the last twelve months.

The Z Energy headquarters in Wellington reported a historic net profit after tax of $263 million for the 12 months ended March 31, 2018, Stuff reported.

In presenting the company's profit margin, Z Energy defended the existing petrol market, saying customers had a range of price choices at the pump.

"In our view a market review is likely to find a competitive market dynamic working effectively as demonstrated by the tension between volume and margin for existing participants, multiple new entrants investing capital due to the low barriers to entry, and customers have a wide range of choices for price and non price based offers."

However, the petrol industry as a whole is under scrutiny for its price setting practices.

BP is set to front up to Parliament today for a please explain over reports of a leaked internal pricing memo.

The document revealed a plan to raise fuel prices across parts of the lower North Island, with the hope rival petrol stations would do the same.

The Z Energy profit results outlined today reveal they are 10 per cent up on 2017.

Having secured almost half the market some are concerned Z Energy's ability to influence over petrol prices.
Source: 1 NEWS



Aussie's oldest professor, 104, travels to Europe to end his life - though he's not terminally ill

Australia's oldest scientist is on his way to Europe to end his life through voluntary euthanasia.

David Goodall, who doesn't have a terminal illness but whose quality of life has deteriorated at age 104, plans to visit family in France before dying in Switzerland on May 10.

There were a few tears but most of the friends and family who gathered to farewell Professor Goodall at Perth Airport on Wednesday afternoon had prepared themselves to say goodbye.

Dr David Goodall with Exit International's Carol O'Neil.
Dr David Goodall with Exit International's Carol O'Neil. Source: Supplied/GoFundMe

From his wheelchair, he hugged them all in turn, thanking everyone and wishing them a wonderful life before he and his nurse boarded the plane.

A GoFundMe campaign raised more than $20,000, well exceeding the target, to upgrade them from economy to business class.

Prof Goodall, an honorary research associate at Edith Cowan University, is being assisted by an organisation in Basel and Australian euthanasia campaigner Philip Nitschke.

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Midwives nationwide protests today: 'Isolation, burnout and attrition' spurs Health Minister to promise package to start addressing midwives issues

Midwives will be met on the steps of Parliament by the Health Minister today, and are expected to turn out in droves as they march around the country to campaign for better pay and working conditions. 

A petition will delivered outside the Beehive at midday, and rallies are expected around the country. Source: Breakfast

Protests are to be held in Wellington, where a petition will be handed to Parliament at midday, Auckland, Dunedin, Tauranga, Taupo and Hamilton. 

Minister of Health Dr David Clark said today he will meet the midwives on the steps of Parliament. 

Dr Clark revealed the upcoming Budget on May 17 will "include a package to start addressing the issues facing midwives", but he could give no further details. 

"Too many of our midwives are stretched beyond capacity, there are issues of professional isolation, burnout and attrition," Mr Clark said.

"This is not just a pay issue. There is more work to be done looking at hours of work, caseloads and how midwives can work more closely with the wider Primary Care sector."

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson will be speaking at the Wellington event today. 

The Ministry of Health also responded to the marches, saying it is working with the NZ College of Midwives "together with urgency on a maternity programme designed to address current pressure on the midwifery-led service". 

NZ College of Midwives chief executive Karen Guilliland said she was "pleased that the issues raised by the current workforce shortage will be prioritised for resolution; for example, continuing to provide rural primary maternity service provision in all areas".  

Laura Cox will be one of many marching today on Parliament demanding better pay and conditions for midwives. Source: Breakfast

Midwife Laura Cox spoke this morning on TVNZ 1's Breakfast to explain their demands.

"In the Waikato region there are 30 to 40 midwives that have left in the last six months," Ms Cox said.

"We have worked ourselves to the bone and tried to keep as quiet as possible because we don't want to alarm the public but this is a crisis point."

David Clark told 1 NEWS “the conversation is on-going with what needs to be done”.
Source: 1 NEWS