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Old 06-19-2014, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Aotearoa
100 posts, read 124,151 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonah K View Post
As soon as other Pacific Island groups get retail establishments from the continental United States, such as Safeway, Whole Foods, Wal-Mart, Costco, Target, etc., a true comparison can be made. For instance, New Zealand's "New World" supermarket chain (that has around 140 stores) isn't really directly comparable to the Safeway chain (that has around 1,324 stores in the continental United States and 21 Hawaiʻi) because of "economies of scale" and supply chain differences.
You will hear about economies of scale (and the lack thereof) in New Zealand and even Australia. It is not the main reason things are expensive. Case in point: Mitre 10 is the Kiwi equivalent of Home Depot. Even down to the orange and black color scheme...except it is very, very expensive. They charge extra for the convenience. But if you're a contractor, you get a 30% discount. How high of a markup do you need to be able to give a 30% discount and still turn a profit. The real reason things are expensive is a lack of competition. I suspect Honolulu was similar before the giant chains started moving in.
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Old 06-19-2014, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 24,949,991 times
Reputation: 10632
Quote:
Originally Posted by McFrostyJ View Post
I can see why most of us compare Hawaii to the mainland. However, you make a very good point. We really should be comparing it to other Pacific Islands.
Exactly. Every time a new transplant starts bitching about how expensive food is in Hawai'i, we should answer them with, "Hold on Mate, do you have any idea what that costs in GUAM!?!"
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Old 06-19-2014, 06:41 PM
 
1,871 posts, read 2,415,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonah K View Post
As soon as other Pacific Island groups get retail establishments from the continental United States, such as Safeway, Whole Foods, Wal-Mart, Costco, Target, etc., a true comparison can be made.
So when talking about the cost of living, would you say that it is more fair to compare the Hawaiian Islands with other Pacific islands or with an average area on the mainland?

Bottom line is that if you are thinking about moving to Hawaii, you should compare it to where ever you are currently. However, if you are talking about how expensive things are in Hawaii, the most remote islands in the world, you really should try and find places that is at least similar for comparison. For example, Quartzsite Arizona is nothing like Hawaii.
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Old 06-19-2014, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Montana
293 posts, read 309,719 times
Reputation: 193
Safeway in central Oregon has gone sky shigh in the past year, and last year they started tacking a dime a gal. on if you used a credit card or debit card. It's much cheaper to buy gas at COSTCO here. Today $3.739 a gal and uppppppp.
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:17 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
25,257 posts, read 33,194,242 times
Reputation: 52081
Quote:
Originally Posted by McFrostyJ View Post
............ We really should be comparing it to other Pacific Islands. ........
I don't really see the point in that. Very few of the other Pacific Islands are part of the USA, and comparing prices from one country to another isn't all that meaningful. Economies are different, currencies have different values that don't really translate well, how far the money goes on the local economy is really different.
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Old 06-20-2014, 01:30 PM
 
1,871 posts, read 2,415,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
I don't really see the point in that. Very few of the other Pacific Islands are part of the USA, and comparing prices from one country to another isn't all that meaningful.
Maybe because things like location, cost of shipping, limited amount of land, being surrounded by the ocean, weather, nature, being in "Paradise"...


Maybe you would say that Kansas is a more fair comparison?


Don't forget, I also said that if you are thinking about moving to Hawaii, you should compare it to where ever you are currently.
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Old 06-20-2014, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Kūkiʻo, HI & Manhattan Beach, CA
2,624 posts, read 6,516,289 times
Reputation: 2396
Quote:
Originally Posted by 72andsunny View Post
You will hear about economies of scale (and the lack thereof) in New Zealand and even Australia. It is not the main reason things are expensive. Case in point: Mitre 10 is the Kiwi equivalent of Home Depot. Even down to the orange and black color scheme...except it is very, very expensive. They charge extra for the convenience. But if you're a contractor, you get a 30% discount. How high of a markup do you need to be able to give a 30% discount and still turn a profit. The real reason things are expensive is a lack of competition. I suspect Honolulu was similar before the giant chains started moving in.
I suspect that the real reason that some things are relatively expensive in New Zealand is not entirely attributable to the "lack of competition" -- the 15% "goods and services tax" (GST) that's tacked on plays a major role as well. The official 4% (or 4.5% on Oʻahu) "general excise tax" (GET) in Hawai'i looks almost reasonable in comparison.
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Old 06-20-2014, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Kailua
10,464 posts, read 13,709,316 times
Reputation: 5211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonah K View Post
I suspect that the real reason that some things are relatively expensive in New Zealand is not entirely attributable to the "lack of competition" -- the 15% "goods and services tax" (GST) that's tacked on plays a major role as well. The official 4% (or 4.5% on Oʻahu) "general excise tax" (GET) in Hawai'i looks almost reasonable in comparison.
Also, exchange rates are very different than in the past. In 2009, you'd get nearly 2 New Zealand Dollars per USD. Now it is like 1.15. On the flip side, that makes everything seem much cheaper to someone from New Zealand in 2014.
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Old 06-20-2014, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Kūkiʻo, HI & Manhattan Beach, CA
2,624 posts, read 6,516,289 times
Reputation: 2396
Quote:
Originally Posted by McFrostyJ View Post
So when talking about the cost of living, would you say that it is more fair to compare the Hawaiian Islands with other Pacific islands or with an average area on the mainland?

Bottom line is that if you are thinking about moving to Hawaii, you should compare it to where ever you are currently. However, if you are talking about how expensive things are in Hawaii, the most remote islands in the world, you really should try and find places that is at least similar for comparison. For example, Quartzsite Arizona is nothing like Hawaii.
Considering that the cost of living is not uniform in Hawaiʻi, it's best to directly compare one particular locality with another particular locality. For instance, the overall cost of living in Kapolei is higher than the cost of living in Hilo, even though both are located in Hawaiʻi. Similarly, the overall cost of living in Phoenix, Arizona is higher than the overall cost of living in Quartzsite, Arizona, even though both are located in Arizona. Thus, the proper "frame of reference" (e.g. "neighborhood to neighborhood," "city to city," "state to state," "country to country," etc.) is more important than "geographic similarly" when it comes to cost of living comparisons.
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Old 06-20-2014, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Kūkiʻo, HI & Manhattan Beach, CA
2,624 posts, read 6,516,289 times
Reputation: 2396
Quote:
Originally Posted by whtviper1 View Post
Also, exchange rates are very different than in the past. In 2009, you'd get nearly 2 New Zealand Dollars per USD. Now it is like 1.15. On the flip side, that makes everything seem much cheaper to someone from New Zealand in 2014.
That's true.

Moreover, the exchange rates also affected the prices of New Zealand's imported and exported goods. And, we forgot to mention the impact of the inflation rate. However, I'm not sure if the OP wants to do a complete longitudinal analysis of New Zealand's economy.
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