Additional reporting by Luka Forman and Jordan Dunn
Shoppers are feeling the pinch of rising grocery prices, which means compromises have to be made at the dinner table.
Annual inflation remains stubbornly high, remaining unchanged at 7.2 percent – nearly a 32-year high.
The main drivers remain household costs, such as rent and maintenance, higher food prices and construction costs.
Outside the Countdown supermarket in Papakura, a customer said rising food prices were on her mind.
Chrissy wonders how she managed to put healthy food on the table when the price of fresh fruits and vegetables keeps rising.
“At a time when there is so much concern, especially about childhood obesity, it becomes extremely difficult to provide healthy meals,” she said.
She feared that the rising cost of living would spill over to other areas.
The extreme cost of living, she said, was the leading cause of ram raids and robberies across the country.
Her hope was that change would come soon.
“I think some price control is needed, I agree [the government] should look at removing GST from fruits and vegetables,” she said.
Other buyers in the area agreed.
One man said his grocery bill had risen dramatically in a short period of time, from $140 a week to $180.
Another said he had noticed the increase, but it hadn’t affected him too much.
“Yeah, there’s not that much money left… but we’ll manage,” he said.
In Christchurch, people felt the pinch too.
Business owner Colin said he would probably have to raise his prices to cover the extra costs.
“Ultimately you have to recoup the costs somehow, I have to make a living too,” he said.
Leigh, a cook, said she had to take a new job to cover her expenses because they had offered her more money.
It was also now more expensive to feed her three cats, she said.
“Cat food drives me crazy, it’s so expensive, it’s doubled,” she said.
“I keep telling them I can’t afford it, but they won’t eat the cheap stuff.”
Easing of price pressures was unlikely to come any time soon, as the Reserve Bank was expected to raise the official spot rate again next month to bring inflation under control.