What sacrifices will you need to make if your household budget is hit by a large rise in the price of petrol? Drone strikes in Saudi Arabia have pushed up the price of fuel at some pumps and a national warning of a possible $3 per litre has some saying it will hit everyone in the pocket. Reporters Jean Bell and Cira Olivier speak to those worried about how a rise will impact them and their businesses.
The looming threat of a fuel hike has transport-related businesses and commuters bracing for pain at the pump.
A survey of 12 Rotorua petrol stations yesterday found prices of 91 between $1.94 and $2.09 while in Tauranga, 10 stations had 91 prices varying between $2.037 and $2.219
Rotorua man Mark Palmer's commute to Port of Tauranga for work cost between $160 and $200 a week, and the thought of having to pay even more would mean he would have to rethink his entire life.
"I might need to find a new job, it's quite expensive to get over there," he said.
Palmer guessed between 10 and 20 per cent of his income currently went to the commute and he filled up in Rotorua which he said was "way cheaper" than Tauranga.
He said he would struggle to save if the cost of fuel rose and he would need to make cuts to his food budget.
Pāpāmoa resident Neil Alberts believed a significant fuel price hike would have a significant impact on his family, along with "98 per cent of other families".
The South African immigrant said the price of fuel was 98 cents when he arrived in New Zealand 15 years ago.
Te Ngae Mobil Rotorua owner Mitesh Patel said yesterday had been particularly busy as people filled up after warnings the price of fuel could creep up to $3 a litre.
He said customers were not happy.
Mitesh said he would try to keep the prices lower for as long as possible.
Mainfreight Rotorua general manager Gregg Conning said the rise in fuel would affect everyone and everything, in Rotorua and across the nation.
"It's a massive impact, more to the customers and the owner-drivers because they run their own trucks," he said.
These customers included local dairies, liquor stores, industrial businesses, and the hospital.
"It's basically everybody. Without trucks, New Zealand stops really."
Conning said the office team used hybrid cars and a large portion of forklifts were battery-powered, a switch they began to make about five years ago, which was quiet, cost-effective, and clean.
Tauranga Freight Services owner Geoff Seavill said any increase in fuel price would, unfortunately, be transferred to consumers.
"We don't have a lot of control over it."
He spent around $8000 to $10,000 on fuel for his fleet of eight trucks, but said for larger customers "every cent counted."
Rotorua Taxi Society chairman George Melrose said there would be no change to the price of a taxi trip in the short-term but that could change in three months if fuel prices remained high.
A change to a taxi fare needed to be applied for through the New Zealand Transport Agency and the two-week process cost "a lot of money," he said.
"Drivers will certainly suffer . . . they will lose money but they would just have to absorb it."
He said Rotorua was lucky with usually cheaper prices but said if it increased to $2.30 or $2.40, "then we need to start getting worried".
Tauranga Taxi operations manager Jacqui Coffey said the company had switched to hybrid vehicles about 18 months ago due to the rising cost of petrol and had not looked back.
She believed the company's drivers would not be sweating the price increase as their fleet was all hybrid vehicles.
"It shouldn't be anything too drastic."
AA principal advisor for regulations Mark Stockdale did not believe fuel would hit the $3 per litre mark and said the price jump was likely to be short-lived.
He said other sources would be able to offshoot the decrease in supply due to the Saudi Arabia attacks.
Fuel companies around the country increased their prices, with Z and BP both added 6 cents per litre to their fuel prices in response to the Saudi Arabia attacks.
Spokespeople from Gull, Mobil and Z said future fuel prices could not be predicted.
Gull said it would raise not its prices until the weekend, while BP said fuel availability was not affected at this stage.
Caltex said the company was operated by independent retailers who would set their own price.