Thousands of New Zealanders have joined a Facebook movement to boycott petrol stations across the country today - including some in Rotorua.

However, local retailers have not felt much of the impact.

A Facebook event, New Zealand Nationwide Petrol Strike, showed 18,000 people had committed to the strike, in protest of the rising fuel tax and prices, and a further 19,000 showed interest in joining.

Rotorua woman Rangihuia Woods was taking part in the boycott as the high price of petrol affected "every aspect" of her life.

Advertisement

"It is only a matter of time before we see a rise in food prices, public transport costs, and with an already limited budget we are having to compromise on necessities," she said.

Woods said she worked two jobs and her husband worked fulltime as well.

"We have given up most luxuries to be able to live in the black week to week," she said.

Woods said if the nation stood up against big oil corporations a difference could be made.

"If the government won't have our backs, then our neighbours will."

Despite many petrol stations offering discounts to entice road users in, organisers of the nationwide strike were urging people to hold firm on their commitment to the boycott.

Organiser Julia Roche said in a Facebook post that if people needed to fill up to try and avoid the "main ones" of Z, BP, Mobil, Caltex and to shop at independent petrol stations.

"Many of these companies are offering discounts today to entice us in, it just proves their manipulation, so don't let them win! We are the consumers so we have the power!" She said.

Challenge Malfroy Rd owner Harpreet Singh said he had not noticed a change in customer behaviour and the station was "having a good day".

Singh said his station had always looked out for the community and the community was still supporting his business today.

"At the end of the day it comes down to pricing and I always try to make sure our prices will keep the community happy," he said.

Singh was not sure how much impact the nationwide boycott would have but said if it caused the Government to look at current taxes in place, it would only be a good thing.

Z Energy external communications manager Sheena Thomas said Rotorua's Z petrol stations also had not noticed any change in customer behaviour.

Thomas said the company wanted to keep customers shopping at Z so it did concern her that customers were unhappy.

"We understand the impact high prices have on households and businesses," she said.

Thomas said it was the high price of crude oil and the weaker New Zealand dollar that was "at play".

Because the international price of oil had decreased, Thomas said prices at Z petrol stations had been discounted.

"It's just how our business works, we pass on changes in our costs, whether it's the cost of the oil we buy or taxes, and we pass on both increases as well as decreases."

Thomas said it was important for motorists to remember service station staff did not set the price of fuel and to not take frustration out on them.

BP's communications and external affairs manager Leigh Taylor said it was "business as usual" at all BP Connect sites today.

She said the company was mindful of the impact of fuel prices on customers and reviewed BP Connect prices daily to ensure they were as competitive as possible.

Mobil's leader country manager, Andrew McNaught, said Mobil supported the right of consumers to choose and strived to offer competitive prices.

He said recent changes in Mobil's fuel prices were driven predominantly by a combination of factors beyond the company's control.

"This includes increased excise duty and other taxes, increased product costs and fluctuating exchange rates.

"There has been a reduction in prices over the last couple of weeks, predominantly driven by more favourable product costs, and these savings have been directly passed on to the consumer."