Energy minister Judith Collins announced an inquiry into petrol pricing at the pump in service stations  – and here Z Energy chief executive Mike Bennetts gives his response.

Bennetts recognises the public have questions about prices but says his company is confident its already public financial results will show it is not making excessive margins.

Where he believes it is ‘tricky’ is the variations in pricing around the country.  The Commerce Commission inquired into pricing issues when Caltex was taken over by Z and cleared the deal.  Bennetts says Z is willing to provide the government with the information relevant to that decision.

However he accepts the variations in prices around the country and, say, within Auckland of between 10 and 30 cents at times is hard for the public to understand.

Bennetts acknowledges the so-called Gull effect, where prices come down when the independent operator Gull is in a locality but claims that is a good sign of competition.

He speaks to Newsroom’s business contributor Rod Oram.

Tim Murphy is co-editor of Newsroom. He writes about politics, Auckland, and media. Twitter: @tmurphynz

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