Mainland motorists tossing up between petrol prices should spare a thought for those forking out the big bucks in more isolated parts of the country.

On Great Barrier Island, for example, those hoping to fill up can expect to pay for at least $3 per litre at the pumps.

At Port Fitzroy Fuel, petrol was going for $3.10 a litre this afternoon.

A worker there said he was sure that that was the cheapest price in the area - saying he understood other pumps were selling petrol for an eye-watering $3.30 per litre.

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On Waiheke Island, readers who contacted the Herald yesterday said the Z Onetangi Service Station was selling 92 Unleaded at $2.65 per litre.

One local man said: "There are three competitors on the island - BP, Z and GAS - but prices are usually aligned or within a few cents of each other.

"Transport to the island is usually cited as the reason for the high price, but if you calculate the per litre cost of ferry transport for a petrol tanker, the maths does not add up.

"More likely a captive market, given it's an island and therefore limited competition and choice when filling up - compared to the mainland.''

Another Waiheke resident reported paying $2.76 per litre for 91-octane fuel.

"Too much,'' she said, simply.

Data provided to the Herald by fuel-finding app Gaspy found West Coast, Otago, Canterbury and Southland fuel pumps were the most expensive.

The cheapest fuel in the country could be found in the North Island, the Bay of Plenty topping the charts followed by Hawke's Bay and Taranaki.

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Gull Ōpōtiki and Caltex Bridge Station had New Zealand's cheapest fuel yesterday, with customers paying just 175.7 cents per litre for 91 octane.

Tourist hot-spot Wanaka had the mainland's two most expensive fuel stations for 91 octane, both BP 2go Wanaka and Caltex Wanaka asking 239.9c per litre.

However, a short distance out of Wanaka township, McKeown Wanaka had 91 for sale at 217.9c.

This week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern put her foot down among creeping fuel prices and said Kiwis had been "fleeced" at the pump for around a decade.

Her criticism followed a draft Commerce Commission report confirming the fuel industry was not as competitive as it should be - and Kiwis paid too much for petrol.

The Government had already started work on how it could drive down fuel prices, Ardern said.

AA Petrolwatch spokesman Mark Stockdale said transport cost was not the major reason fuel prices were more expensive in the South Island.

"Why are those places so expensive if it's not transport? We say that it's due to a lack of competition, which is what this Commerce Commission report is about."

Average 91 petrol prices for the North Island.
Average 91 petrol prices for the North Island.
Average 91 petrol prices for the South Island.
Average 91 petrol prices for the South Island.

No-frills fuel companies like Gull and Waitomo would likely see prices drop in Otago, Queenstown Lakes and West Coast areas.

"They don't have Gull and they don't have Waitomo, which have very aggressive price discounts," Stockdale said.

"[Those companies have] pay at the pump, there's no shops, no staff, so they have lower overheads and that's reflected in their price.

"They don't operate in places like Queenstown but if they did we'd see lower fuel prices as a result and that's what needs to change."

As it happens, both Gull and Waitomo said they were committed to entering the South Island market, he added.

Hastings retiree Rosie Marriott told the Herald she'll often afford herself a wry laugh at the thought of people filling their cars with fuel.

She bought her Nissan Leaf two years ago and said she had only spent $480 on it during that time, for a total mileage of 10,000km.

"It's just $240 a year to run," she said.

"I'm not a huge traveller, but I have taken it to Palmy and Taupō a few times and it's amazing."

The Nissan powers its way to Taupō quite easily and the ride was great. Living in Hastings, the return cost from Napier was only 80 cents, she said.

Rosie Marriott has only spent $480 on her Nissan Leaf in two years. Photo / Supplied
Rosie Marriott has only spent $480 on her Nissan Leaf in two years. Photo / Supplied

Before her Nissan, Marriott owned a Subaru Impreza and the costs were far higher in comparison then to now, she said.

Not only for fuel, but with maintenance costs and the usual warrant of fitness woes making for a strong headache. With her Nissan, however, life was a breeze.

While some electric vehicles were expensive, Marriott said her Nissan - which was second-hand but without much mileage - only cost her $22,000.

Friends of hers were forking out the equivalent for small cars which required fuel to run, which was "mad", Marriott said.

Asked whether she would advise other motorists to get on board with the electric-vehicle movement, she said yes, "I'm trying to talk everybody into it."