Middle-income Kiwis struggling as relentless cost of living crisis worsens

Middle-income earners say the cost of living crisis is worsening as they struggle to keep on top of basic costs.

Kiwis Krystine Nation from Foxton and Steve Christodoulou from Auckland appeared on AM back in March when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declined to call the cost of living spike a crisis.

Appearing on AM on Wednesday, the pair both agreed the cost of living crisis has gotten even worse in the last eight months.

"It's hard to keep on top of things and I am a middle New Zealander and I'm struggling so I really don't know how people at the other side of things are coping," Christodoulou told Ryan Bridge on AM.

Nation said it feels like every couple of months she is getting letters from power companies that they have to increase their prices.

"The three things that you should have full access to are housing, food and healthcare, and we are having to pick between which one is most important at that time, you can't have them all you have to choose," Nation said.

Nation said she has sacrificed sending her two-year-old to kindergarten because it is too expensive and sold everything in their shed they didn't use to get some extra cash for Christmas.

She started a vege garden to save money on vegetables, which have increased on average 17 percent. But what really hit her was when she went to the supermarket to buy basics she spent exactly the same amount as her previous shops that included vegetables.  

"It feels like a kick in the face when you are doing everything right," Nation said.

According to the latest Stats NZ data, annual food prices reached a 14-year high in October, fuelled largely by grocery food and soaring fruit and vege prices. 

With inflation running high at 7.2 percent, charities have said a lot more middle-income families are reaching out for help.

Christodoulou said he hopes the situation will improve but is frustrated with high government spending which he said is worsening inflationary pressures.   

"We all have hope but unfortunately I don't think we are going to see it."