Households can now stop getting phone books delivered, following government approval for a new opt-out system, ICT Minister and Environment Minister Amy Adams says.
If people opt out - via this website - they will stop receiving the the White and Yellow Pages from 2015 (there is no option to keep receiving one but not the other). Both directories are published by the Yellow Pages Group.
The opt out move follows a trial in Auckland whereby households had to opt in to keep receiving the White Pages.
The trial saw Auckland White Pages hardcopy distribution decimated from 494,000 to 21,000 copies for 2013. An opt-out approach should soften the blow elsewhere.
Neatly for Yellow, the opt-out process involves forking over your email address and phone number.
“In an increasingly digital age, it makes sense to offer people a choice about whether they still want to receive a printed phone book,” Ms Adams says.
“Given a choice, many New Zealanders appear comfortable with finding the information they need electronically, and do not require a printed directory.
“There are environmental benefits too. If just 5 per cent of households opt out, that means there will be about 175,000 fewer books delivered every year.
“This could potentially save about 150 tonnes of paper a year just by households making the most of technology and doing things smarter.”
The decision by Yellow to offer households the ability to opt out of receiving a phone book follows consultation with the Government, and is in line with the Telecommunications Services Obligations for local residential services.
Telecom sold its directories busiess for $2.24 billion in 2007.
The buyer, a private equity consortium consisting of CCMP Capital and Teachers' Private Capital, the private investment arm of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, soon ran into trouble with the lightly leveraged deal, leading to several restructures of the Yellow Pages Group, and lenders temporarily taking control of the company.