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