Past and present NZ Post staff gather

Mail sorters Max Larkins (left) and David Feather were two of more than 70 past and present staff who reunited at New Zealand Post's mail sorting facility on Strathallan St, Dunedin, on Saturday. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Mail sorters Max Larkins (left) and David Feather were two of more than 70 past and present staff who reunited at New Zealand Post's mail sorting facility on Strathallan St, Dunedin, on Saturday. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
For more than 40 years, David Feather and Max Larkins have been making sure important mail such as birthday cards, letters from home, medical appointments and, of course, the bills, reaches your post box each morning.

But soon their services will come to an end as standard mail processing operations at New Zealand Post's Strathallan St centre are moved to Christchurch.

Mr Feather and Mr Larkins were two of the longest-serving employees among more than 70 former and present staff who gathered at the centre on Saturday to catch up.

Mr Feather (58) has been working in the postal industry for 42 years and said a lot had changed in that time.

''When we first started, we were expected to sort up to 2000 envelopes per hour, by hand. There was more than 100 of us sorting the mail in shifts.''

These days, the centre has machines which can read addresses and sort up to 30,000 envelopes every hour.

To be frank, Mr Feather said it was not back-breaking work, but there were a lot of paper cuts.

Mr Larkins (59) has been in the business for 41 years and said they were proud of the work they did, particularly the care they took to ensure mail reached the right destinations.

If there was an address that was hard to read, the staff would try to work out who it was for by using telephone directories and electoral rolls, he said.

When processing of daily mail ends next year, it would be the end of an era, Mr Feather said.

''I'll miss the people most. We're like a large extended family here. It's sad to see it go.''

-john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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