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And in New Zealand, where food prices continue to soar as fruit and vegetables cost 23 per cent more than they did a year ago.

Official data agency Stats NZ released its monthly food price index on Monday, showing the largest growth since 1989, or in 34 years.

Grocery food prices are up 12 per cent, which Stats NZ says has been led by increasing prices for eggs, potato chips and cheddar cheese.

A man walks past a tree uprooted in Cyclone Gabrielle at Titirangi Golf Club in February. Credit:Getty Images

The rising prices come as New Zealand endures an economy-wide inflation challenge after COVID-19, exacerbated by wet weather and, most recently, huge storms.

“Vegetable growers have endured exceptionally bad growing weather for several months now,” Vegetables NZ chair John Murphy said.

“Months of wet, humid and unpredictable weather have affected growers’ ability to plant and harvest.

“Most graphic have been the pictures of onions in drains in Pukekohe and on beaches and in drains in Hawkes Bay, plus the news that up to 90 per cent of Northland’s kumara (sweet potato) production has been wiped out by Cyclone Gabrielle.”

In the past month alone, several crops affected by Cyclone Gabrielle have soared in price — broccoli was up 34 per cent, lettuce up 24 per cent and oranges up 13 per cent.

Tomatoes cost more than double what they did a year ago, with avocado and pumpkin also costing at least 50 per cent more.

The price of eggs has shot up by 11 per cent from January to February — they now cost 47 per cent more than they did in February last year.

Headline inflation in New Zealand is currently 7.2 per cent, prompting 10 straight rate increases by the Reserve Bank, with the official cash rate sitting at 4.75 per cent.


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