6 Aug 2020

Bill requiring fuel sector to advertise wholesale price passes final reading

5:52 am on 6 August 2020

A bill aimed at improving transparency and boosting competition in the wholesale fuel market has passed its final reading.

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The bill requires Exxon Mobil, BP and Z to publicly advertise the wholesale price of fuel coming through their terminals. Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

The Fuel Industry Bill is the government's response to recommendations to the Commerce Commission's fuel market study.

Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods said it would deliver lower prices to motorists by making the sector more competitive.

The bill requires the three largest companies, Exxon Mobil, BP and Z, to publicly advertise the wholesale price of the fuel coming through their terminals.

This may mean low costs brands like Waitomo and Gull can access fuel more cheaply and in more locations.

The bill also establishes rules to ensure contracts between wholesale fuel suppliers and their wholesale customers are fair and support competition.

Woods said she expects the benefits will flow through to the prices at the pump.

"Motorists have waited too long for action on the entrenched problems that we see in our fuel market. We know that the cost of fuel is a significant issue and we make no excuse for acting with speed for allowing competition to flourish", Woods said.

While National voted for the bill, its energy spokesperson Jonathan Young said he was sceptical that it would deliver cheaper prices at the pump.

Young said New Zealand already had a competitive fuel market.

"Let's hope in the next year or two, three or four years, we can look back and see whether these provisions actually work or just make it more expensive, more regulation, more complexity, that in the end could reflect in a higher price for motorists," Young said.