Tauranga single dad struggling with cost of living after living 'like a king' Australia

  • 04/05/2022

A Tauranga single dad says he struggling with the exorbitant cost of living after living like a "king" in Australia.

Social worker Scott Harvey has two teenagers and a stable income, but with the skyrocketing cost of living, he has had to move back in with his father or face living in his car.

Harvey said weekly rent prices in the Bay of Plenty are around $650 to $700, on top of high food prices, bills and petrol. 

"I would be sleeping in my car with my kids if I didn't have the opportunity to live with my dad," Harvey told the AM show. "That is the same as so many whānau in Tauranga."

StatsNZ revealed that annual inflation in the year to March 2021 had risen 6.9 percent, the largest year-on-year increase since 1990. Food prices also rose to 7.6 percent high in March, with the price of fruit and vegetables increasing a whopping 18 percent 

Harvey moved to New Zealand from Perth to be with his sick mother, who sadly passed away in the first COVID-19 lockdown.

He said in Perth he was paid good money and could survive.

"We lived like kings over there, on a single wage."

His rent was $380 per week for a spacious four bedroom home, food was $150 per week and power was $127 per month.

"The Aussies moan about that," Harvey said. "I say you fellas need to live in New Zealand to see how people really struggle." 

But it isn't all good news in Australia, a housing shortage has caused prices across the ditch to go through the roof. However, property data has shown that Australian house prices are starting to slowly fall after two years.

But for Harvey, he would rather stay home in New Zealand with his family.