Vege prices surge 31 percent in a year

Kiwis are paying record prices to stay healthy.

Staggering lettuce prices, which reached $7 a head last month, helped push vegetable prices up a record 31 percent over the past year, Statistics NZ figures show.

Overall, Kiwis are paying 3.1 percent more for food.

Consumer prices manager Matthew Haigh says the price of veges has reached a six-year high due to a wetter-than-usual autumn.

The year until May this year saw the highest increase in vege prices, partly due to good growing conditions pushing down prices the year before.

The average price for 500g of lettuce was $5.28 last year month, with some people forking out $7 for a head of lettuce. A year ago the average price was just $2.12.

Dairy prices also rose the year to May, with butter prices reaching record levels. A 500g block cost $4.80 last month, compared to $3.73 the year before.