Christmas with GST on overseas online purchases yet to change Kiwis' shopping style

This Christmas marks the first since the Government introduced GST on foreign online purchases - but Kiwi shoppers say it hasn't changed their approach to picking up gifts.

With two days to go, new figures show Kiwis have spent even more than last year.

New Zealand's biggest mall may not be everyone's idea of a good time before Christmas - but with Monday marking the first day off for many, it has been their first chance to get those last-minute gifts.

"I think everyone has started to head out and get their groceries as well now, it's trading well," Sylvia Park Centre manager Helen Ronald told Newshub.

Despite the rush, shoppers at Sylvia Park have found things to be relatively peaceful. 

"It's quieter than last year. Last year was packed," one shopper said.

"I found a park okay, I haven't actually found it that bad - everyone has been pretty chilled out," said another.

Shoppers say the introduction of GST on online overseas purchases hasn't changed their habits.

"It hasn't so far - but it definitely will," one said.

"I buy stuff online too, so that added some extra taxes," another shared.

New Zealanders have been flocking to the tills once again this year.

Paymark statistics released on Monday show Kiwis have spent $8.3 billion so far since November 13 - a 3.4 percent increase from 2018.

The busiest day so far was Friday, December 20, with $297 million spent through 5.1 million card transactions.

"Our foot traffic was pretty heavy on Friday, we traded pretty heavily until 11:30pm, so that's good to know," Ronald said.

However, it's not just gifts and groceries. Some have been buying goods for those less fortunate, with "blankets, toothbrushes, moisturiser and chocolate" topping one considerate shopper's pre-Christmas list.