Is New Zealand Really That Expensive (Only Due to Curiousity) ?

Hi all Ozbargainers!

Long story short I am just back from a cruise trip which travels across New Zealand and then back to Aus. I found it really surprise that New Zealand goods and products are really expensive! For example a mobile sim pre paid plan $20 will get you only 2GB of data for the month. Also I went to Countdown (an equivalent to Woolworths in Aus) and found a rack of 12-eggs case on special for $7.50 each! The price of other products such as beef, veggies, fruits are also much more expensive compared to Australia. And while I was there the currency exchange between AUD and NZD is roughly the same.

Does anyone live in NZ or has been there share some thoughts on this? I'm not complaining or anything I'm just curious that's all.

Cheers

Comments

    •  

      Hope that kogan deal is around for April May when I go! Otherwise it's Sims direct @ $49 x 2

      •  

        If you have boost prepaid you can just pay $15 for 3gb of data roaming and top up prepaid Skype credits for calls.

  • +23 votes

    Worth it for competent leadership.

    • -19 votes

      Hope you're already there with that attitude. NZ's a great place but you couldn't pay me to live there.

      • +5 votes

        You're against competent leadership??

        • -7 votes

          I'm against empty rhetoric. If NZ had such competent leadership, their own people wouldn't be scrambling to move to Aus. To me, your own people preferring another country is a pretty damning indictment of your leadership, any leadership.

          • +1 vote

            @HighAndDry: Dunno if you're been following the bushfire news mate, but ScoMo has pretty much left the firefighters "HighAndDry";)

          • +1 vote

            @HighAndDry: Haha is that a joke? People migrate to other countries all the time, it's only statistical inevitability that kiwi's would move here, particularly given the geographic and political proximity. I guess that's too much thought for you though.

      • -2 votes

        Don't like criticism? Then don't vote in an inept, evil religious lunatic who tries to oppress his betters, from an endlessly incompetent party. In short: use your head instead of being a scared and easily manipulated sheep, if you're capable of that.

        • +2 votes

          There's a high correlation with right wing parties being elected and the power of the Murdoch media empire - UK, USA and Aus. Their media empire needs to crumble.

    • +4 votes

      Not entirely true. Whilst Jacinta may have nailed the disaster crisis handling, she is struggling on policy mangement. If you actually look below the spin we are getting on this to highlight our own inept government, Jacinta is actually not that popular despite a very ordinary opposition leader.

      • +1 vote

        Fair points. Compared to what we have had for the past few decades just about anything is an improvement. Scotty from Marketing is just the culmination of it all.

        Anyway, I feel we've spoken enough about politics. We're here for bargains.

  • +4 votes

    Agreed, found petrol and supermarket items quite expensive compared to aus. Smaller population = fewer consumers = less competition = higher prices, or something like that I guess. But a beautiful country, especially for snowboarding :)

  • +2 votes

    Just looking at it from eggs point of view isn't it somewhat comparable?

    https://shop.countdown.co.nz/shop/browse/breakfast-foods/egg...
    Caged $3.5 nzd

    https://shop.coles.com.au/a/a-national/everything/search/egg...
    Caged $3.5 nzd.

    Sure enough if you're after non bare essentials like free range maybe $5.5aud vs 7nzd.

    Though if you imagine NZ to be a more remote country. Like a more remote city in Australia you're probably going to pay a bit more for your non most basic items too. Paticularly before the likes of woolworths and coles popped up in less urban areas.

    Location wise they're a bit out of the way for shipping.

    Why would you have expected it to be much cheaper or around the same???

  • +1 vote

    Shaggin sheep is cheap as chups in NZ

  • +5 votes

    It's not just you, NZ can get very pricey, but it depends on what you're looking at. Some things to keep in mind:

    • It sometimes depends on where you are in NZ. For example, Queenstown is a very expensive place (which I reckon is due to its isolation in respect to other towns and cities, has a small permanent population and large number of tourists).
    • There are fewer exemptions to the GST (15%) in NZ, so it is applied to meat, fruit and vegetables (unlike Australia).
    • A lot of the fresh fruit and vegetables are imported (e.g. bananas are typically from Ecuador, not Australia). However, prices for NZ-grown fruit and vegetables were largely comparable with Australia. For example, in Queenstown late last year, royal gala apples were NZ$4.29/kg, tomatoes were NZ$2.89/kg, loose cup mushrooms were NZ$11/kg…
    • I generally found New World and Countdown a bit pricier when compared with PAN'nSAVE, but they're all generally pricey when compared with Australia… As a side note, I paid NZ$3.99 (AU$3.87) for a half-dozen of free range eggs in Queenstown late last year!
    • As far as I know, NZ doesn't have the same regulations on payment surcharges that we have in Australia, which is a bit of an issue since Australian-issued cards cannot use the NZ EFTPOS network. One cafe I went to in Whakatane slapped a 5% card fee on credit transactions! I also found that only Westpac and BNZ ATMs did not charge an ATM fee when I went to use my Australian-issued card, which on some occasions made it a bit tricky for me to find fee-free ATMs. As a "friendly" bus driver in Christchurch once put it to me, this was thanks to the greedy big four banks in Australia owning the major banks in NZ…
    • If I remember correctly, petrol is very expensive (e.g. NZ$2.10-NZ$2.60 per litre) due to the public road taxes and levies applied to it. However, this also means that car registration fees are lower in NZ (e.g. my friend's relative told me he only paid $100 a year in registration fees for his car). You may have noticed that diesel was much lower in cost (e.g. NZ$1.40 per litre) when compared to petrol in NZ and that is because a lot of the larger diesel-powered vehicles (e.g. log trucks) travel on private roads. Instead, these vehicles have to pay road tax upfront for a set number of kilometres (e.g. 50000kms) and then constantly log the number of kilometres travelled on public roads.
    • The telcos aren't exactly cheap in NZ, especially when you compare it to the choices we have in Australia. However, I found Skinny to be a good choice for my three-week stay in NZ, because of their bonus data weekends, plus their referral system meant that I got 4GB of bonus data (thanks to Choice Cheapies). Just don't do what my friend did and go to a convenience store to buy a SIM-only pack for $10…
    • +2 votes

      Yip that pretty much nails it. NZ has lower income taxes and no stamp duty, so the locals gain some, lose some. The gst is the big difference. So many exemptions here to what is meant to be a single rate sales tax. NZ didn't go for any of that rubbish. Kept it fair and even. So that adds 15% to your eggs etc. Ironically for a country producing so much diary, cheese, butter and milk seem particularly expensive.

    •  

      Rego is much cheaper in NZ because it does not include third party injury insurance.

      •  

        But they have to get our equivalent to a 'Road Worthy' every 6 or 12 months (Can't remember)

        • +1 vote

          They need a 'Warrant of Fitness" You'll see signs outside auto-repair shops with the letters WOF. Not sure how often they need it and plenty of Japanese imported cars that you don't see in Australia.

  • +2 votes

    Their technology prices are like the 1980s.

    Their food Prices are like 2080

  • +2 votes

    It's been expensive for years. I lived there between 2006-2010 and end up there every now ad again for work and personal reasons. IT used to be a bit more on par, but it seems more expensive every time I go back. Supermarkets, cafes, restaraunts are all quite pricey in comparison. Even worse for the locals as the salaries over there were a long way off what they are in Oz from what I have seen.

  •  

    lol I lived there for a year in 2010. I was in Auckland cbd. Survived by shopping at the asian grocers. Would go to Countdown once a month or so. You could get a tray of 24 or so eggs at the grocer for like $15, these were probably from a smaller farm vs a big commercial factory. Would also avoid buying produce at the big stores in favour of independent stores.

  •  

    I found petrol to be hideously expensive when I was there last year. NZD$2.40 per litre or thereabouts.

    •  

      Depends where you go. I found that Northern NZ, Bay of Islands areas petrol was $1.93. Down South in Invercargill/Bluff area more like $2.35 - $2.40. Anywhere in NZ the petrol (unleaded) is more expensive than in Oz.

  • +2 votes

    I lived in Auckland for 3 years and it was so expensive I had to come home.
    I was lucky in the sense that my friends are from NZ so we all shared a house together but in terms of food, petrol and my phone it was too much. I'd spend $40 on phone credit which would give me a few gbs,then top up $10 every few days just for data.
    Food was crazy. Buying meat was a luxury for us. It was cheaper for me to live off take away and they have awesome roast shops so I'd have a roast dinner almost every night for around $10. I remember when I left Australia you could get $3 coles brand chicken nuggets, but over there it was roughly $15.

    The minimum wage is also really low. I was a manager in a warehouse type environment getting paid $17 p/h. Once rent,petrol, food and my phone were paid I'd have next to nothing left for myself.
    It's such a beautiful country but there is a reason why they all move here. It's too difficult to live.

  • +1 vote

    Price comparison for two biggest cities; Sydney and Auckland
    https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?cou...

    •  

      That just a hit and miss, best comparison would be a price of a big mac meal in any country.

      •  

        That's what I was going to say. Check things that are universal such as Big Macs, Apple/Google songs, global publications etc. Products/services that are identical in both countries should cost the same once you take into currency conversion. If it doesn't, I guess then you can say one country is cheaper/dearer than another.Within reason of course, there needs to be a few factors taken into consideration.

        What I found when I was in NZ 15 years ago, were things were pretty much on par, but that was 15 years ago.

  •  

    The things you talk about are food. NZ has GST on everything unlike Australia. PLUS it’s 15% not 10% like Australia this makes food much more expensive. Also remember the market in NZ is much smaller than Australia so the costs of distribution and supply are higher. On the other hand the top tax rate is lower than Australia so the better off are better off. Either country the worse off are always worse off. But hey you had a cruise right?

  •  

    The things that are cheap are take away food i.e fish and chips, bakery pies etc Spent 2 weeks in NZ over Xmas and gained 4kgs living off a diet of pies, fish & chips and beers. Good times, love being home for summer.

  •  

    I know what you mean! Got back from NZ earlier this year and found eating out super expensive: $40 for mains seemed to be standard, even in quiet suburban areas. Agree with previous poster that pies were tasty and good value!

  •  

    Wow, that's no good, was planning to visit NZ this year with the family. Last time I was there, probably nearly 20 years ago, I remember reading it was expensive - eg a Thai dish that would have cost $10 here was $17 - $20 there, but at least that was balanced a bit by the stronger aud, which we no longer have.

  •  

    These would be priced according to the distance you would be prepared to walk.
    Those further from the plank would be substantially much cheaper than this on the warf.

  •  

    I agree across a 'full basket' of items (but only as a 4-week tourist), NZ was a bit more expensive when I was there in 2019. But I agree fuel prices are much higher in NZ. This must be really tough considering, I think, that wages are about 30% (or more)lower than ours. My worst problem there was what some of them call their 'National bird' - midges. And the security at their airports was the most stringent and excessive I've seen - including Egypt, Russia and China in 2019.

    •  

      Petrol is dearer but you're not spending as much petrol waiting in traffic. I managed to get around 6L/100km in a Corolla.

  •  

    For anyone in NZ its normal pricing so no point asking them

  • +1 vote

    I live here. Wife is Australian so have lived in Aussie too so can compare.
    It is more expensive in NZ. Wages less also. Quality of living WAY better (i.e. fewer racists and prominent rich old white men dictating to the peasants).
    I have decided the main cost difference is GST if you're not a rampant consumer. 15% on everything, full stop.
    There are great deals available at local fruit shops, ethnic stores so we can eat for pretty cheap, but the supermarkets run a duopoly and don't tend to compete much. Produce is ridiculously priced, but that's because people will pay it rather than seek out their local grocer due to ?time constraints or the like.
    Petrol is 226.9c for unleaded 91 as of today; that includes a 10c (plus 1.5c GST) regional levy in Auckland to pay for PT which was neglected for 40 years. Lots of tax but without tax you don't have public services.
    Electricity is comparable to Aus since the market was opened up a few years back and made more transparent (and Aus has got way more expensive than 2007 when I first lived there). And a lot of it is renewable here too which is good.
    Phone plans are a rip here; lack of competition. However, like the fruit and veg, you can get good deals if you look and budget. My plan is $13/28 days (used to be per month) on vodafone; the plan isn't available anymore but i get 1.25mb data, 100 minutes and 50 texts to oz or nz and they rollover, plus there are often bonus packs for 50c or $1 which get you more data.
    Standard beer is way cheaper here, Haagen 12 for $14 on special, decent drop.
    Wine is a bit more expensive thanks to no Dan Murphy's.
    And eating out is WAY more expensive in Australia. Maybe that's where I eat, but the standard cafe dish in Melbourne is like $20-25, whereas you can always get something good for less than $20 here, and often stuff is $13-16. Depends on taste and location I guess.

    It can be done.

    • +1 vote

      This post is essentially bang on - I live in Auckland currently, and all of the above is what I observe too.

      On the eggs, I normally buy in 'bulk' (say, 3 x tray of twenty) when they are on special, subject to eggs not lasting forever of course. Last time I bought them was about ten days ago, and it was NZ$4.99 for twenty, so about NZ$0.25 each - that was Pak N Save.

      Last time I was in Melbourne (and Sydney), prices seemed quite extortionate, but then I was a tourist, and didn't know where to go for a bargain (and wasn't looking for one really either), so my perception would have been very skewed I would expect.

      Alan.

  •  

    Wow interesting to see so many different opinions on this. I personally feel it is quite expensive and hard to live in NZ financial wise. Not only the eggs but also other products I observed such as petrol, coffee, mobile phone cost, etc are all ridiculously high and I heard that wages are much lower compared to Aus (like others have stated).

    However I love the country though. Beautiful landscape, good weather and nice cities with architecture and building structures to appreciate :)

    Will definitely come back to visit New Zealand one day.

  •  

    Also…

    New Zealand's median income is $52,000. Sixty per cent of four-person households earn more than $102,500. Feb 12, 2019

    Youch

  •  

    Going to AUK tomorrow for 2 weeks, will need a SIM card, advice?

  •  

    Does anyone know if Border Security is strict with Quarantine? Was looking to bring over to Queenstown some chickens nuggets and other nibbles. Are these items allowed?

    •  

      Don't know about nuggets per se but they are strict, you are told to toss any food before you get to the formalities inbound.
      Coming out is a bit different; you can't bring any dairy into AUS except from NZ. I thought we would have to ditch some cheese a few years ago but Kiwi dairy is so clean, it's allowed in. And it is predictably excellent, especially Puhoi cheeses…

    •  

      Yes they are. Theres bins and warnings to discard any food before you hit customs (even food from the plane).

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