Jacinda Ardern will not say if petrol excise tax reduce will stay past August, says NZ ‘nicely positioned’ regardless of recession fears

“What I’m acknowledging, generally, is that it is a tough international environment right now but the underlying fundamentals for New Zealand are strong,” she said. “Our economy has still grown and seen more activity post-COVID than we did pre.

“We know that, actually, there is underlying strength in our economy; we’ve got low unemployment, we’ve got low debt – we’re well-positioned to navigate what is a very stormy, turbulent time internationally.”  

Ardern said, “a number of really difficult” economic factors were being created by the Russia-Ukraine war. Those factors were hitting Kiwis in the back pocket, with skyrocketing prices for essentials such as fuel – which has climbed back towards or above $3 per litre across New Zealand.

The average per litre price for 91 octane at New Zealand stations was $2.98 – that’s even with the Government’s petrol excise tax cut of 25c in March, which was subsequently extended to August. 

Despite petrol costs continuing to rise, the Prime Minister would not say if the tax cut would continue beyond August.

“I don’t want to give a prescriptive, ‘If X happens, if Y happens,” she told AM host Ryan Bridge.

“[There’s] a lot of volatility, a lot of movement that’s why, yes, we’ve done the 25c [petrol excise tax cut] but we’ve also done other things.”