Auckland fuel crisis: More flights cancelled, 10 stations out of 95 petrol

  • 20/09/2017

The fuel crisis in Auckland has deepened on Wednesday with further flight cancellations and petrol stations running out of 95 unleaded petrol.

Ten Z Energy stations are without 95 petrol, and flights continue to be cancelled today. 

Twenty-eight passenger airlines have been affected by the shortage, cancelling and rerouting flights.

As of Wendesday morning there have been 22 domestic flights and 13 international flights cancelled.

Air New Zealand has also now begun to restrict ticket sales on flights as airlines scramble to reduce fuel usage from Auckland airport.

Fuel Industry spokesman Andrew McNaught told The AM Show on Wednesday motorists should not panic.

"There will be isolated product shortages, for example Z has made a conscious decision not to bring 95 into the city but from a 91, from a diesel perspective there will be sufficient fuel."

On Tuesday Z's corporate communications manager, Jonathan Hill, said the company had prioritised the import of 91 and diesel into the city instead of 95.

Minister for Energy and Resources Judith Collins said she had given up campaigning in her seat of Papakura to focus on the crisis.

"My big focus is about making sure that we we have the fuel in Auckland as much as possible and to have as many of the planes able to fly."

Ms Collins said she had spoken to Z Energy chief executive Mike Bennetts about the shortage and he had assured her 31 deliveries of fuel have taken place overnight. Affected stations should have 95 premium petrol by midday on Wednesday, she said.

Ms Collins said the pipeline will be repaired between Sunday and Tuesday.  Once the pipe is fixed, it will remain shut for 30 hours to allow for certification and the oil to "settle" before it is able to run again.

Ms Collins said she would like more storage to be built for fuel at Auckland Airport in future.

Executive Director of the Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand Justin Tighe-Umbers said that airlines were working their hardest to minimise disruption to travellers. 

Mr Tighe-Umbers said that airlines were bringing in bigger planes and carrying more fuel from international flights to ensure fuel usage could be cut to 30 percent of normal use. 

He said that there was potential for the disruption to get worse, but he was hopeful that airlines would be able to stabilise the number of cancellations.

The stations currently out of 95 premium petrol are:

  • Z Green Bay  
  • Z Royal Oak  
  • Z Sylvia Park  
  • Z Manurewa  
  • Z Glen Park  
  • Z Kepa Road  
  • Z Takanini   
  • Z Otahuhu   
  • Z Panmure   
  • Z Harris Road