Vegetable prices shoot up in July with lettuce leading the charge at 77 per cent

Vegetable prices shot up last month while fruit prices dipped, Statistics NZ revealed today.

Prices for vegetables rose 9.2 per cent last month, with lettuce up 77 per cent, tomatoes up 30 per cent and broccoli up by 24 per cent.

A 500 gram head of lettuce was $5.42 last month, compared with $3.07 in June and $3.30 in July 2017.

"Lettuce prices are now at their highest since the series began, and 2.5 per cent higher than their previous peak in May 2017," Statistics NZ consumer prices manager Geraldine Duoba said.

"July was particularly cold and wet in the North Island where a lot of our lettuce is grown."

After adjusting to seasonal effects, vegetable prices rose 3.6 per cent.

However, fruit prices saw a 7.9 per cent fall - partly due to the rising vegetable costs.

Seasonally cheaper avocados had the largest impact after going down 36 per cent, followed by nectarines and strawberries.

After adjusting for seasonal effects, fruit prices fell 2.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food have been "largely consistent", increasing by 3.2 per cent in the year to July 2018 - the highest annual increase since September 2011.

Rows of leafy green lettuce, curly kale, romaine lettuce, and other varieties of lettuce and vegetables are displyed in cold case in grocery store produce section. Fresh green vegetables are available for sale to customers shopping for healthy food.
Lettuce on supermarket shelf (file picture). Source:

Don't put out the washing - downpours due in Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga tonight

MetService says wet weather is in store for much of the country this week, with a front moving in from the west this afternoon.

Western and northern areas of the country will receive the first of the rain this afternoon and overnight, and MetService has issued Heavy Rain Watches for Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Nelson and Fiordland.

Auckland should see the worst of the rain between 10pm tonight and about 2am, with a heavy downpours totalling up to 34mm in those hours.

The front will then hit Hamilton and Tauranga between 2am and 4am tomorrow, with heavy downpours expected.

Strong winds are expected across the Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions from Tuesday evening, with speeds approaching severe gale force in exposed places.

For a full forecast for your region, see our weather section here.

Flax plant against stormy day background in Auckland, Sky tower in background.
Stormy day over Auckland (file picture). Source:


'Ceremonial' RNZAF war plane loses engine power, makes forced landing on belly in farmer's paddock near Ohakea

A Royal New Zealand Air Force plane performed a forced landing in a field near Ohakea Air Force Base this morning after its engine failed.

There were two RNZAF personnel onboard, a spokesperson said, and neither were injured in the landing.

The plane involved was a Harvard aircraft which the spokesperson said is "maintained and flown by RNZAF for ceremonial and display purposes".

The aircraft reportedly suffered from engine issues and was forced to land short of the runway.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand was called, but they have since been stood down.

A Harvard aircraft after it crash landed at Ohakea Air Force Base.
A Harvard aircraft after it crash landed at Ohakea Air Force Base. Source: 1 NEWS