Rip Off NZ Confirmed. Kiwis In Oz Shocked at NZ Food Prices. Fat Cats, and the Cost of Medical Care

You may need a second mortgage to eat healthily in New Zealand. NZ prices on the left, Australian on the right. Photo / Facebook.

Both the Herald and Stuff today are publishing articles about Kiwis in Australia talking about their shock at NZ’s rip-off food prices.

Amazingly, some New Zealand produce is cheaper in Australia than in New Zealand. It makes you wonder who’s getting rich while low income families struggle to make ends meet.

New Zealand has more than its fair share of fat cats. Drive around any town or city and you’ll see evidence of that in the number of high-end cars cruising the battered and down-at-heel streets. Few countries have such stark evidence of a poverty gap as New Zealand.

To add insult to injury, New Zealand, a notoriously expensive place to live and with widespread poverty, has a 15% sales tax on food. Despite the country’s rampant obesity problem, junk/fast food is often far cheaper than healthy alternatives. Medical care is expensive too, and out of the reach of a significant proportion of the population.

Some would say its little wonder that so many people are caught in grinding poverty with no hope of ever getting out. New Zealand doesn’t even have food stamps, but it does have plenty of preventable third world diseases.

Why is NZ so expensive? because there’s no competition and a captive market that is bled dry for every last cent. Don’t believe the spin that tells you otherwise. How else could it be that NZ produce is cheaper in other countries than it is in New Zealand?

First up, the NZ Herald’s coverage of the RIp Off NZ food story:

Nikki Marie Batchelor said she believes groceries in Melbourne are nearly half the price compared to back home.

“Rip off alright! Food is heaps cheaper here! Can’t get tomato sauce for $1 in NZ like you u can here! Half price groceries every week in Melbourne! Can get 3 broccoli heads here for that price! Glad I moved to Aus! Financially better off here.”

Australian based Kiwis took the opportunity to compare prices between the two countries, with their findings backing up their initial shock at the price of food in New Zealand.

From one Australian supermarket fresh broccoli costs 87 cents – compared to $3.69 each in New Zealand, while Australia’s Joe’s Fruit World purple kumara cost 79c per kg in comparison to red kumara from Pak’nSave at $8.29 per kg.

Homebrand Australian butter came in at $3.60 per 500g while New Zealand’s Pam’s 500g butter cost $5.19.

One person noted that New Zealand’s Mainland products are cheaper in Australia – despite being produced in New Zealand – while avocados are close to $2.50 cheaper in Australia than back home.

While fruit, vegetables and dairy produce look to be more expensive in New Zealand, the cost of junk food appears cheaper in New Zealand, leaving Kiwis furious as obesity levels rise…read on

…and with GP visits costing up to $80 a time in New Zealand this is a double whammy for the country’s poor. Over half a million people in New Zealand can’t afford to see a doctor because of the cost.

By comparison, Australia’s medical care is free and its pharmaceuticals are cheaper than Rip-Off-New Zealand’s. Patients can access GP services using a system called Bulk Billing, which means that anyone, but especially those with chronic health conditions can make full use of the GP service. Patients are able to register with as many doctors as they want – unlike the free system in the UK where there are often waiting lists and long queues for some practices:

“14 percent of adults – half a million people – do not see a doctor in a calendar year because they cannot afford it.

The figure has hovered around the 14 percent mark year after year, since the survey began measuring it in 2011. In the most deprived areas, it jumps to 20 percent of adults – one in five. That figure has also not improved since 2011.

That places New Zealand second-worst globally – ahead of only the US – in terms of equitable access to primary care, Dr Miller says.

“So we quite often have situations where people with long-term conditions – maybe asthma, diabetes, heart disease – are getting their care delivered, albeit free, by an emergency department who aren’t set up to carry out the long-term relationship that’s required to make people well.” source


Red kumara prices in New Zealand (left) versus purple kumara prices in Australia (right). Photo / Facebook

But back to the Rip-off New Zealand food story. This is Stuff’s take on the matter:

When Tiffany Turner first arrived in New Zealand after living in Melbourne, she was shocked at the cost of food.

She said fruit and vegetables, bakery items, bread at the supermarket and things made on site seemed to be more expensive. She now spends about $220 a week on average but estimates she would be $35 better off each time if she were still in Australia.

It is something that other migrants have noticed. Jemma Barrett moved from Whangarei to Perth and said everything was “way cheaper”. “Even petrol on Monday was A$1.06 (NZ$1.10) a litre. Cheese is cheap as. And I just feel like our food shop is cheap compared to when I was home and I saw my mum’s trolley and I was nearly floored at the price she paid for her trolley at Pak’n Save.”

“I believe dairy is cheaper here. You can get three litres milk for A$3 here – not shelf milk either. Fruit and veges pricing is up and down – but bananas can be A$1.50 a kg, chicken breast A$8.99 a kg, lamb roast A$10 a kg.”

It’s something that New Zealanders living in Australia have highlighted on the Kiwis in Aussie Facebook group.

Richie Leef posted photos of fruit and vegetables at a New Zealand supermarket, saying: “Check this out ppl OMG They need Aldis back home aye What a rip-off poor kiwis.”

His photos showed broccoli selling for $3.69 each, 500g butter for $5.19, a kg of courgettes for almost $9, a kg of red kumara for $8.29, avocados for $5 each and short cucumbers for $3.69.

An online shopping comparison shows milk at Coles in Australia for A$1 a litre. In New Zealand it is NZ$2.29.
Broccoli was about A85c, whereas Countdown has it for NZ$2.79, and tasty cheese for A$6 a kilogram, against NZ$12.50 here…read on

New Zealand has long held a reputation for being a rip off destination, but when its own expat citizens can’t believe their eyes when they look at food prices you know something is seriously messed-up with the country.

Had enough of getting taken advantage of? Join E2NZ on Twitter


New Zealand has a price. Only the rich can afford it.


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Yet more examples of the social disconnect that pervades New Zealand:

Rip-off New Zealand – Pharmacy Prices a Bitter Pill

Shame on the pharmacists of New Zealand who over-charge sick tourists during holiday periods.

New Zealand’s pharmacy prices are already among the highest in the OECD with a wholesale mark up of 10% over the manufacturer’s price plus the pharmacy’s mark up (in the USA the wholesale mark up is around 2-4 %). But that doesn’t stop unscrupulous owners from over charging visitors who need essential medications.

How many pharmacists do you know in New Zealand who brag about how much money they’re making. It’s all well and good to get on in life and good luck to them, but at what cost to the sick and needy?… read on


Kids will still be bombarded by junk food adverts under new rules

The Advertising Standards Authority’s new children and young people’s advertising code comes into effect on July 3. It includes rules about identifying commercial messaging, and restrictions around the depiction of anti-social behaviour, sexual imagery and unrealistic body images and occasional food and beverage advertising.

But Jessica Wilson, a spokeswoman for Consumer NZ, said a major weakness was that it did not apply to product packaging, particularly in relation to junk food.

“[That’s] despite the fact marketing targeted at children is widespread on food packaging and often on products high in fat, sugar or salt,” she said…read on

Migrant Tales – Ripoff NZ Not a Shangri-La of Utopian Values

I will start this with an apology, as the content of my letter does contain a fair bit of profanity. However, it isn’t written glibly, without meaning, but in fairness to myself, it is heartfelt. I think it will strike a chord with many, and may cause pause for thought to some, who might otherwise think NZ is a Shangri-La of utopian values.

I have HAD IT with New Zealand’s rip off culture. Its official, I am sick to death of it. They can stick their over-inflated prices up their arses.
NZ has to be the biggest rip-off country in the world when it comes to pricing, well, for just most things. My latest occurrence was when trying to purchase a demolition drill bit for a particular drill I have had for years. I rang around for ages trying to find anyone who stocked them. It was as if I was trying to find a stockist of rocking horse shit. Eventually I managed to find a company in Timaru, who said they had one in stock, but they weren’t sure of the price??!! It’s not the first time I have come across that here, a company who has what I want, but doesn’t know by how much to rip me off… errrrm, charge me for. Eventually I got a price out of them. It would be $120 plus 15% GST plus postage, which might be around another $20 on top. So, circa $160 all up. OUCH!!!

18 thoughts on “Rip Off NZ Confirmed. Kiwis In Oz Shocked at NZ Food Prices. Fat Cats, and the Cost of Medical Care

  1. Again for me, one of the single worse things about living here is not even junk food is cheap. Not only do they overcharge you for everything when compared to the rest of world, they then still try to rip you off by making you pay for things that you used to get for free, from swapping your sides over to even asking for extra plates and napkins, knives and forks ! But that’s always been problem about this place. When you live on two small isolated islands in middle of nowhere new like New Zealand you live in what’s called a captive market where there’s little to no competition for things so everybody gets to charge what they like. That’s why things are so expensive here. Hopefully the internet will change all that … 😦

    • The NZ government will claim that this is to protect local retailers, but the import taxes and sales tax make little difference. Even with an additional 20%, that $300 item brought into New Zealand will cost you $360, rather than the local price of over $1,000. And, most of the time the sales tax an import duties can be bypassed. You just need to buy from places that refuse to charge NZ sales tax (almost anywhere in China), keep the purchase under a certain dollar value, or buy it as a “gift”.

      • It is ridiculous and we always hear same old excuses about how it is so much more expensive here due to transport costs and low population yet we saw Old Mout for GBP3.50 per bottle in pubs in the UK and it’s $8.50 a bottle over here.

  2. No surprise here – Heck even leaving the country they’ll charge you at the airport. When I bought my ticket out for good, it clearly specified an allowance of two check in luggage and a carry on. Once at the airport, AirNZ staff electronically barred all passengers checking in the specified two pieces of luggage – Stating that ‘that’s one extra piece of baggage too much – its going to be $120 extra for additional luggage as you are only allowed one piece checked in’. Needless to say nearly the entire group of passengers were tourists heading back to North America with two check in pieces of luggage and were not at all hesitant in voicing their displeasure… My answer? ‘Mate they aren’t gonna let you through…Its just how it is here.. Its a blatant rip off wherever you turn’. – Thank you for visiting New Zealand… I paid my $120 to get out for good.

  3. As a country where agriculture plays an important role and that is significantly underpopulated, two things that SHOULD be inexpensive in NZ are food and housing — neither are. There is really NO excuse for either of these being the price they are.

    It is also important to realise that the food that IS available, is all the junk that doesn’t make the grade for export. It isn’t even the same quality as what you could buy overseas for far less. This is how you end up with tasteless cheese, bone filled chops, kiwifruit covered in marks, etc. etc.

  4. This place stinks of greed. I’ve just come back from Oz and NZ are paying through the nose. Petrol 80c more, milk double the price. Fruit and vegies up to 3 times as much in most cases. Meat about 1/3 more. Grog is cheaper there. If you shop at Aldi you could save about 2/3rds of what you’d pay here but the big 3 here won’t let an Aldi here. It’s basically a cartel in NZ
    This place is a rip off and the government don’t give a shit. They’re voted in to maintain the disparity between the haves and the have nots. Only the well off bother to vote at the elections. There’s no real opposition. That’s why the NATs always win. Party of miserable bastards that look after their rich mates.
    I hate this place. Its a shithole.

  5. these complaining kiwis in Australia have forgotten that there are so many Asian grocery shops in NZ who sell at cheap prices. Why have these complaining kiwis forgotten about this? Are they not smart enough to shop at these cheap Asian grocery shops in NZ? I always shops here and the quality is good yet cheap. Sadly, many are racist and do not want to shop at Asian outlets. Its their stupidity that is all

    • I live in the city, and walk to the supermarket. I’m not willing to pay a king’s ransom to sit in gridlock to visit the Asian Supermarkets. Therefore, I’m stuck being charged $6.50 for a single avocado.

    • It may be racist but is also our country. In saying this, I agree with you, there are a lot of things that suck here. This being said by a Kiwi, of 6 generations, on Dad’s side, and God knows how many on his Moms side. She was Maori

  6. ouch, I wonder if this will be a wake up call for New Zealanders. My guess is that people will keep on drinking the NZ kool aid and nothing will change. So the cycle of stupidity will continue as people here have no clue how ripped off they are being by supermarkets, pharmacists, government agencies etc.
    E2nz are you thinking about doing an article on how kiwi’s are trying to rip off the lion’s supporters that have come from England, Scottland, Ireland and Wales? Kiwi’s here are trying to overcharge them in regards to hotels, motels, house letting and food prices. Just look at the prices for someone that wants to rent out a house. This country lack’s basic hospitality, friendliness. I find this extremely sad. Oh well, just be the like the rest of them “suck it up”, “harden up”, “she’ll be right”, “yeah, nah”, “stop complaining”. You just have to laugh because everything here is just such an obvious lie.

  7. Also heard today that Judith Collins announced a programme to provide 50 % funding to landlords and low income home owners in order to insulate their homes,well what a good deal,I immediately applied and received a call back to say that my location is not covered in this programme? Ok I’m 40 minutes from central Wellington and on state highway 1 ,Judith went on to victim blame in her interview,saying that home owners and land lords had been lax at taking advantage of the programme she offered?yeah more Bullshit from the well healed politicians in this country,so I guess this programme only applies to people who live in a house built out of marble and you can apply on a Tuesday between 11.58 pm and 12.00 am you must live three steps from the address listed or you are a lazy uncaring landlord,lies lies and more lies.Unfortunately this country becomes more uncivil and confused every day.

    • We had our place “insulated” a while ago. This consisted of putting cotton wool type material in the ceiling, and a plastic sheet under the house. There was no double glazing installed, nothing done about draughts. You can still stand by the front door, and feel the gale that blows in through all the gaps. Consequently, the house is STILL freezing in the winter, and boiling in the summer. The Kiwi idea of insulating a house simply isn’t the same as what it is overseas.

  8. Also someone more internet savvy than I should post the N.Z Heralds Koolaid response to high food prices as reported today,basically what they’re saying as exporters get more money if they send bulk lots of food out of N.Z so let the fools who live here pay a fortune for their sustenance they old economics of scale bullshit again

  9. I have finally thrown in the towel on this overpriced shithole,I was born and raised here and it was a completely different country up until about 1990,there is no compassion in this place and as mentioned the prices for everything are beyond ridiculous.I no longer care about the bait of one day being able to receive a retirement income here as that’s 27 years away for me and god knows it’s a struggle to survive now despite my assets ,the old people here are retiring in poverty on their $320 per week pensions ,what the hell will that buy you? On the other side of the coin retirement homes are making record profits fleecing the baby boomers !we are talking big money here .I will always remind myself no matter where I am that it’s better cheaper and warmer than N.Z .This is a country that greed and lack of respect for humanity and the fellow man have reached biblical proportions .

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