Cheap fuel finally hits Wellington while Waitomo gas station opens



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The Waitomo Group opens its first Wellington station in Upper Hutt this week, the only low-cost fuel supplier to enter the capital market so far.

The first Wellington fuel stop on Fergusson Drive brings price competition to the Wellington region as part of the company's nationwide expansion. A second Wellington site, Waitomo Tinakori, will open at Old Hutt Road in Thorndon in mid-July.

Wellington has paid higher fuel prices than the rest of the country because so far it lacked a low-cost supplier to compete with the large chains that operate manned stations.

The 24-hour unmanned fuel stop will serve both retail and commercial customers.

For 48 hours from noon on Tuesday May 14, Waitomo will reduce gasoline costs by more than its standard price, as a unique offering by selling Unleaded 91 at $ 1,899 per liter, Premium in $ 2,029 per liter and diesel at $ 1,199 per liter.

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Waitomo's chief executive Jimmy Ormsby said that was an important milestone for the company.

"The drivers down here have been suffering from the bomb for so long, and we are happy to correct that.

"From the huge response we had, you can tell what that means to Upper Hutt drivers. Not bad for a small third-generation Waikato family business to be the halt to Wellington's oil prices," Ormsby said.

Waitomo Group Executive Director Jimmy Ormsby. (File photo)

ROSA WOODS / STUFF

Waitomo Group Executive Director Jimmy Ormsby. (File photo)

The bulk fuel supplier switched to the fuel retail with its Te Uku station near Raglan in 2012, offering competition on the North Island to Gull, the fuel importer and no-frills retailer awarded with lower prices where wants her to open a station.

Known as the "Seagull Effect", prices could range up to 20c per liter in a city depending on having a Seagull station.

Waitomo's first fuel stop will open in Upper Hutt this week.

KEVIN STENT / STUFF

Waitomo's first fuel stop will open in Upper Hutt this week.

Gull is also on his way to the capital, announcing in March that he requested permission to build an unmanned station at Petone.

In December last year, the government decided that the competitiveness of the retail fuel market would be the first target of new powers handed over to the Trade Commission. It will look at the fuel margins; the investigation provoked by record prices at the pump.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at the time that motorists were probably being "stolen."

The industry was heavily scrutinized after a leaked e-mail showed that BP, a fuel retailer, planned to contain losses in its Otaki, raising prices, hoping its rivals would do the same.

The New Zealand Automobile Association (AA) complained that fuel prices were higher in South Island and Wellington for several years.

"These higher prices in Wellington in the south were subsidizing lower prices in the rest of the North Island. It was not uncommon for Wellington South prices to be 20 c per liter higher than the rest of the North Island." chief regulation advisor, Mark Stockdale said.

With Gull also entering the Wellington market and with the operation of the two brands, prices will fall, Stockdale said.

Waitomo Group's Jimmy Ormsby with Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Helen Down and Upper Hutt's new station site, Wayne Guppy Waitomo, on Fergusson Drive.

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Waitomo Group's Jimmy Ormsby with Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Helen Down and Upper Hutt's new station site, Wayne Guppy Waitomo, on Fergusson Drive.

"You can still see higher prices in Wellington's pockets."

And Christchurch, you're not being lost.

Waitomo is in the planning stage for a Christchurch station, due to open later this year, "all going well," Ormsby said.

Ormsby said there are half a dozen fuel stops in the south of the island as part of the expansion of the network, which will include its bulk business.

"We started to increase our fuel shutdown network based on the fact that our customers' transportation operators said that we really need you to grow in new areas because our operations are not just in Waikato," Ormsby said.

– The price of diesel has been corrected.

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