I actually think that the prices in Australia are probably a little better than NZ.
The reason for the large cost is simply due to the population. As you have probably noticed there's not nearly as many people in NZ as you may have seen in the UK. Not as many guitars are shipped to NZ so bulk discounts aren't nearly as good as say the US.
Your firs point is correct.
Your second is half true. We here in the small forgotten hell hole that is New Zealand (for that matter the damp windy hell hole that is the capitol) get doubly nailed because a lot of the top brands of guitars get shipped to America...THEN back to New Zealand.
That and our wages suck... I mean I’m in a Managerial position, and a Uni grad and I'm still having to live like a student to save money for my impending move.
Further more we get trippily nailed in that the Rock Shop (an
New Zealand chain store for all you seppo's and Britt’s... Seppo is old slang for a Yank in case you were wondering) Has bought up all the suppliers of most of the major brands of guitar and amp:
That said Ibanez is owned by the other chain... were stuck between one chain thats being choked and is desperatly holding on to their few contracts (that also it must be added double as a woodwing, PA, DJ, Sheet music, Piano, Violin family and Drum retailer) and one that is trying to own New Zealands poor musicans. Couple that with retail staff that come off holyer than thou because their jazz fusion Death Metal band has 'toured' 18 Bogan (er... cant translate that one for people who dont live in OZ or New Zealand... Wiki it there's an entry. I helped add too.) bars in the South Island and thats why i thank the Gods of Shred every day that there are friendly customer service departments that send amusing but helpful japinglish emails for several really well stocked Japanese companies that are willing to ship here.
As a final aside... I will not tolerate ANY Brit winging about how much guitars cost in you local
. The only people who can complain more that NZ and OZ as far as i know are 3rd world countries...Ok that last bits been brewing for a while... nothing personal towards the Britts, what with me being one and all...and moving over there in a few months. But still! Shame on you... forgetting your colonies...going with the EU! Send us your Black Machine guitars
Also to the dude who started this thread, welcome to Welly!