Around 100 complaints about price gouging over the lockdown have been sent to the Commerce Commission for further investigation.

Not all complaints are being followed up, however "a number" of investigations are underway relating to Covid-19 complaints.

On March 30, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Kiwis could alert the Government to suspected price gouging during the lockdown.

The Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment sent through any complaints it thought had raised concerns under the Fair Trading Act.


A total of 3726 complaints had been sent to Price Watch to June 15 since it launched a day after Ardern's announcement.

Kiwis took offence to the prices of supermarket staples primarily, products like butter, milk, eggs, flour, fresh produce, meats and bread.

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The number of complaints has been levelling out recently, with fewer than 10 complaints lodged for the second week in a row.

An MBIE spokesperson said the types of complaints remained consistent, "with the cost of face masks, petrol and milk being some of the most complained about items".

On May 6, while the nation was at alert level 3, it was revealed Kiwis were also complaining about the price of fast food and cigarettes.

Figures at the time showed there were around 3700 complaints about product prices.

In the 40-odd days since then, the rise in the number of complaints has been slight. Between June 4 and June 10, just seven complaints were made to Price Watch.

A spokesperson for the Commerce Commission said it was up to them to assess the complaints and decide whether or not to launch investigations.


"The vast majority of the complaints referred by MBIE were about issues that had already been raised directly with the commission," they said.

"The complaints referred by MBIE covered a wide range of issues including price increases, surcharges, travel and event cancellations and non-performance of contracts.

"We have contacted a number of traders regarding complaints about pricing to gather further information and provide them with information about their obligations under the Fair Trading Act."

A number of traders had been contacted in regards to complaints about pricing to gather more information, and to provide them with more information about their obligations under the Fair Trading Act.

The Commission spokesperson said they were unable to provide any further information about their Covid-19 investigations at this time.

Many of the reports from Kiwis about feeling ripped off were accompanied by supporting evidence such as photos of receipts.


A form was later created online where people were asked to send their price gouging reports instead of to the email address.

Kiwis could still report concerns around price gouging via the webform, the MBIE spokesperson told the Herald.