Rural lobby groups are applauding the Government's decision
to retain five-day-a-week mail delivery to rural areas.
Last week Communications and Information Technology Minister
Amy Adams announced the Government had reached agreement with
New Zealand Post on changes to its Deed of Understanding and
these would come into effect June 30, 2015.
Under the updated deed, urban areas might get a reduction to
a three-day mail service from July 1, 2015, but the
five-day-a-week rural delivery service will remain unchanged.
New Zealand Post requested some changes be made because
postal volumes were declining at a rate of about 8% a year,
It had sought to reduce the frequency of mail delivery for
standard delivery letters to a minimum of three days per week
However, Ms Adams said the Government was concerned about
rural delivery services and the sustainability of rural
contractor businesses if delivery days were reduced and so
reached agreement to limit any introduction of a minimum
three-day delivery to urban areas and maintain five-day rural
These were minimum standards only, Ms Adams said.
Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills said his group was
''thrilled'' by the decision.
''This is great news for rural people, as many businesses are
still heavily reliant on a five-day service,'' Mr Wills said.
New Zealand Post and the Government had listened to concerns
and recognised the unique nature of the rural business model
in their Deed of Understanding, he said.
''Whilst technology is changing the way we communicate and
eventually we will see a decline in postal deliveries, we are
not there yet.
''There are still some 86,000 rural people offline, where
rural post is a daily fixture in the running of their
business and household,'' Mr Wills said.
Rural Women New Zealand president Liz Evans applauded the
''The five-day service ensures people are able to run their
farming enterprises and other rural businesses effectively,
even from remote locations.
''In many rural areas there is limited or no cellphone
coverage and we are still dealing with dial-up broadband
connections in many cases,'' Mrs Evans said.