NZ Post wants to cut mail delivery

New Zealand Post wants to drop its guaranteed mail deliveries from six days a week to three to deal with failing mail volumes and the unprofitability of the postal service.

And some of the 880 outlets New Zealand Post is required to keep open may in future become kiosks.

A public consultation is under way on changes to New Zealand Post's universal service obligation before the government decides whether or not to approve them.

"This does not mean we are about to immediately reduce to three-day delivery for the standard letter service," NZ Post says.

"It is a guaranteed minimum frequency, which we could if necessary move to in years to come as and when volumes decline.

"We do not need to adjust delivery frequency now, but we are seeking the flexibility to be able to do so in the future when we have to."

The rationale for fewer deliveries is that there is less mail to deliver as people use email and other digital technologies to communicate.

"During the last 10 years mail volumes have dropped considerably, with 265 million fewer items being posted each year compared to 2002," Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams says.

"Within five years, mail volumes are forecast to be nearly half what they were in 2002."

Ms Adams says any change to the obligation would require government approval.

"In deciding whether to accept or reject the proposal or seek to negotiate a compromise, I will look to balance the interests of postal users with the need to ensure a financially-viable postal service."

NZ Post's core postal service made a loss of $11.17 million in the last financial year.

In 2012, NZ Post, which is a state-owned enterprise, made a request to change the deed of understanding it signed with the Crown in 1998.

The current deed has a minimum six days a week delivery to 95 percent of addresses, five days per week delivery to 99.88 percent of addresses and one to four days a week delivery to other 0.12 percent of addresses.

NZ Post wants that changed to not less than three days a week delivery to 99.88 percent of addresses and one day per week delivery to other 0.12 percent of delivery points.

Existing addresses with two- or three-day delivery will not have frequency reduced.

There is no change to the obligation to provide competitors with access to the NZ Post network.

(BusinessDesk)

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16 Comments & Questions

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I'd be happy to have my mail delivered only one day a week, provided I can relocate the mail slot into my front door (like the UK) all in the interests of security.

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NZ Post should stop Saturday deliveries forthwith. They are absolutely not needed. And three days a week probably just fine, too.

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Very happy with three times a week for residential. Once a week even. And if you are still posting letters - why?

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One day a week would be fine for me. I prefer email for everything. For the odd urgent delivery there's plenty of good courier services. Six days a week mail delivery belongs to a bygone era.

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I'm happy to get my bills only 3 times a week.

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Probably greener to abandon post altogether...

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Why aren't they using the Post Shops for other govt services such as welfare, community nursing, citizen's advice, etc?

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The the point is being well and truly missed here. So much for the Roger Douglas reforms. As in so many other areas, NZ Post's service has incrementally deteriorated in recent years and it certainly isn't just to do with the decreasing volume of mail.
Mismanagement has greatly contributed to the lack of vision which sees too few tellers on their desks, queues stretching out to the door, no ability after 10am to collect parcels when finding a card in one's box without joining the long queue to the door. It's taken them several years to provide separate queues for postage items as distinct from people using Kiwibank.
They won't provide small trolleys for the elderly or mothers with children to save them trying to manage heavy parcels, especially around Christmas time. They only bought in cardboard squares for measuring and working out letter postage to save queueing after I kept suggesting this a few years back.
The corner grocery shop, with its postal services, is quick and friendly, and I'll guarantee many people are now using these for overseas postage, and sending any packets by courier, paying a little extra to bypass that interminable queueing.

Have NZ Post's CEOs collected (non)performance bonuses these recent years? What changes? Poor management doesn't.

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Are you telling us that Roger Douglas is responsible for email? I thought that would have been Al Gore when he invented the internet.

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Add to that the ridiculous five day timeframe that it appears to take to get post/parcels around the country.

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This story is more about the poor performance of NZ Post than how often we receive mail. Even with reduced volume, how can they return such miserable results?

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There are still people such as elderly, rural and others who don't have ready access to transport or even Internet at this stage. I think 3 times a week is a good practical solution.

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Good idea, NZ Post could redirect its efforts towards the future of communications ... like taking a lead share in a second sub-sea fiber-optic for NZ.

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Three deliveries a week is excessive. Why not once a week or maybe twice.at most? Daily delivery must be extremely expensive compared to the alternative of once or twice weekly, which would perfectly suit today's needs.

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Three days a week seems practical. As long as people know what day it is, then I see no issue.

If it was urgent, and couldn't wait a day, then it wouldn't have been posted in the first place.

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We held our mail over Xmas (granted, it's a quiet time) and when the package arrived the day after we got back, it contained only one letter, and that was for the previous owner. With most of my bills being delivered (and paid) online, I really don't have any use for the mailbox. But I can understand our elderly neighbour (who does have the internet and shops online) wanting it. Monday/Thursday delivery would likely cover most people's needs.

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