GISBORNE people will have another alternative to where they buy petrol with the opening of a Gull service station next month.
Gull business development and marketing manager Ulrik Olsen said fuel in Gisborne was more expensive than the general price up and down the country.
“We hope to change that. People can certainly expect fuel prices to be more competitive and the people of Gisborne will soon have a choice to the big four,” he said.
The Gull station would be on Awapuni Road beside McCannics.
“The good thing about this site is that it will be unmanned. Drivers will pay using eftpos or credit card, anything with a pin, and due to this we have low overheads with no staff there and can pass on the savings to the motorists.”
Mr Olsen said a Gull ambassador would be on site to help operate the system but there would be “no fancy shop or anything like that”.
“The low overheads mean we can pass on fuel savings.”
Mr Olsen could not confirm how much those saving would be yet but said it would be enough to make a difference to everyone’s budget.
Petrol pump prices are largely determined by global markets, according to a report by Edison — New Zealand Petroleum Sector Yearbook — out last week.
The average weekly retail price for petrol was $2.01 last year, and $1.69 three years ago.
Even the refining fees charged by the Marsden Point refinery, which meets around 70 percent of demand in New Zealand, are set from international refining margin benchmarks.
The relatively high New Zealand dollar — at 81.2 US cents this morning — is protecting consumers from even higher petrol prices.
Mobil Portside owner John Hopkins has noticed less fuel and items being bought from his business.
Mr Hopkins said customers had expressed general concern about the rising price of petrol
“If fuel prices go up 20 percent that is 20 percent you have to find from your budget somewhere.”
“We are all waiting for it to come back down,” he said.
Gisborne Taxis manager Tim Donelan said he had not received any complaints from his drivers about the “forking out” of more money to fill their vehicles.
“They just accept it and get on with the job. There is not a whole lot we can do about it. We just have to go forward and hope it comes down.”
A Gisborne taxi driver said his work colleagues were feeling the price rise pressure.
“You have got to be more alert and watch you don’t travel unnecessarily. We are especially busy at nightime and during the weekends.