Mail may be cut to 3 days a week

Communications Minister Amy Adams and NZ Post say it's too early to tell how many of 7000 postal employees will lose their jobs should a proposal to cut mail delivery services to three days a week go ahead.

The move was first suggested by former NZ Post chairman Jim Bolger three years ago in response to diving letter volumes associated with the rise of email over the last two decades. That decline has accelerated sharply in recent years.

NZ Post and Ms Adams this morning released a formal proposal to cut mail delivery days from six to three days a week to allow "greater flexibility" in its services.

"During the last 10 years mail volumes have dropped considerably, with 265 million fewer items being posted each year compared to 2002. Within five years, mail volumes are forecast to be nearly half what they were in 2002," Ms Adams said.

The move would require changes to Universal Service Obligations - an agreement between NZ Post and the Government which guarantees postal services to the public.

NZ Post will also consult on proposal to bring self-service kiosks for some services.

"New Zealand Post has advised me that it considers changes are needed to ensure a sustainable postal service in the 21st century," said Ms Adams.

"Any change would require Government approval, and before deciding what, if any, changes to make, I want to give the public the opportunity to comment on the proposals.

"We want them to start thinking about the last time that they got a letter that was so time sensitive that another day would make a difference. It will be a big change, a significant change and that's why we need to have a good conversation with the public."

Spokesman John Tulloch said the electronic kiosks would provide a number of services from wiring parcels to paying bills.

NZ Post was trialling kiosks in 10 stores, but they weren't necessarily the models that would be used.

"What we're looking at doing is putting more of that technology into the network to extend that presence."

While the prospect of an entirely kiosk-driven model wasn't likely soon, it was a possibility in the long run, he said.

"We're still very beholden to the traditional model."

The proposal also "takes account of the fact that technology and changing customer behaviours mean services can and will be provided through various channels', Mr Tulloch said.

Long-term, this could mean the extension of services to supermarkets, stationery stores, pharmacies and service stations.

NZ Post employs about 7000 staff in its mail division including about 2200 posties.

Ms Adams told reporters that job losses were "something that they'll be talking to their posties about".

"What they will have to look at is how they will provide that service whether they use the same posties doing different routes on different days. That's something they will work through."

Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union postal industry organiser George Collins said the union recognised the commercial pressures facing NZ Post, but did not believe a three-day service was justified.

"Postal services all over the world are suffering from declining mail volumes and having to adapt, and NZ Post is no different.

"The EPMU is working together with NZ Post to find ways to adjust to this decline while protecting postal workers' jobs and the integrity of New Zealand's postal service.

"This may involve a reduction in the number of delivery days or redeployment within NZ Post, but we would caution against any kneejerk reactions."

Stick to your pudding, Fungus

What a strange outlook Fungus Pudding has, somehow believing that the intenet is infallable and we will always be able to send emails without an issue.

Having used the internet since it was first introduced to NZ, Fungus, I actually know a fair bit about it. For example, we lose one cable, or a few main servers (Major eletrical surge, earthquake?) that connects our telcos to the rest of the world and it is bye bye emails, bye bye internet - maybe for days, maybe weeks, maybe longer.

I know - if that happens we can just re-employ the hundreds of Posties they will sack, open the post offices they will close, maybe even start selling mailboxes again? Then when the Net is all back up again, we can just fire them all again.

It is your thinking that is backwards Mr Fungus. Decent postal services were a result of the modern world, not a past one. Degrading them to where they will almost be non-existent is backwards thinking indeed, and borders on Govt control of all communication via the medium that is left - the internet.

 

Smithy

Not on every corner, but somewhere. Smiths shoe horses and this is a provincial city with rural hinterland.

Our changing world.

What a strange outlook GW_scam. This is a worlwide situation which all governments and postal services are grappling with. It's disingenuous to blame our government, or any government of any stripe for that matter. They didn't invent the internet. It's simply advancing technology. We'll look back and laugh in a few years at the ineffeiciency of hordes of people wandering the streets with a bag of envelopes. Then again, there are those amongst us who would still like to see a blacksmith's shop on every corner, but they're all gone. Which govt. do you blame for that?

Not seeing the wood for the trees

Qs, you obviously can not see the Wood for the Trees. 

What is most annoying is that many of you supporters of the postal cuts will simply be for them, because you are obsessed with John Key, and if he says jump - you say 'How high?'  If it was Labour or the Greens about to do this you would be on here saying 'How preposterous - how dare they!'.  I guarantee it.

As for heading towards Third World standards, I stick with what I said.  Note the "heading towards' not 'are Third World'.  

We now have record poverty levels (people can now sponsor poverty stricken children not just in Africa, but now in New Zealand - for goodness sake!)

We have near record unemployment, with the Gov't only cutting jobs and not creating them.

Having a decent postal service is one of the most basic and fundamental aspects of a modern Country, having one disintergrating with Gov't approval is plain shocking. (Keep in mind the reccomendation comes from a failed ex-National Party Prime Minister - Jim Bolger).

[Abridged]

Put all your faith in Internet and cell phone services?

Modern technology is wonderful when its working properly but it is still fragile in many different technical areas!

Look at the reaction/moans that occur when it goes out for just a few hours !

Further, it is State controlled, which means in the event of say the third world war or terrorism, it could be turned off, along with your cell phone coverage!

Think about it - good old snail mail is a proven essential service which is reliable even during wars...

Sack the fat rich accountants I say!

Save the dramatics

Third world? Get real GWscam it's a sign of the times. You only have to see the effect that email and technology has had on snail mail, so it makes sense to cut it down. Why should a SOE continue to pay the same number of posties just to keep them in a job when they are delivering over 200 million less pieces of mail?! How will it honestly affect your day to day world, unless you continuously have urgent mail sent to you?

Yes, it may impact the elderly, but again what does it matter if they receive their mail every second day? It shouldn't affect their lives one bit. Not to mention, this generation will die off over the next 10 years or so, so why keep this archaic form of mail just while they are alive.

I understand you are upset but the dramatics of calling us third world just because you don't get mail every day is just laughable. 

On a serious note.....

Three days a week might be to much! I check my mail daily and every now and then I get a surprise in there but not often!

Power bill: Emailed

Phone bill: Emailed

Bank Statement: Emailed

Sky bill: Emailed

Letters errr i mean emails: Emailed

What actually comes in the mail these days that can't be replaced by email?

Third world indeed!!

Just last week I was chasing the UN food truck down the street when Government forces caught me, beat me, then sent me back to my mud hut with a bowl of rice for me and my 8 children.

But I did get a bill in the trusty old mail from Vodafone, Sky and Meridian Energy later in the week. Funny thirld world country  with all those services.

The people who claim NZ is third world or going third world have not set foot out of this country, you don't know how lucky we are.

NZ Post thing of the past

I do send & receive lots of parcels but still rely on small items being sent to me the ordinary way. NZ Post should remain what it should be.. a postal service for all of us regardless of sunshine or snow the mail must get there. What they don't tell you is how much profit they make annually especially delivering parcels...again lots of jobs will go so where that does leaves us ? The elderly and people without electronic gadgets will be horribly affected.

I suggest to readers that if they cut down postal deliveries boycott their parcel services by using other courier companies ... I will certainly do so.

I hope this government will reject their application or I will not support National next time.

 

NZ on the way to Third World standards

Anyone else notice how the current Gov't seems determined to turn us into a Third World Country?

Post only three days a week, are you kidding!

I wonder if the John Key worshippers will still back him when the new health cuts are announced, including cutting funding for basic surgeries including grommets for kids ears.

Incredible how Kiwis have changed so much, we just sit back and take it.  

writing was on the wall

Surely NZPost can find alternative work for the Posties. What business has as much door to door coverage as the postal service. How about meter reading, junk mail, surveys etc. They could contract out to other businesses
Come on NZPost executives, you have been given plenty of warnings from the general public since the advent of email, and two years ago, Jim Bolger's review

Incoming

Posting a letter is not the point. This affects home delivery of mail order and mail from overseas (par avion).

Mail? What's that?

Businesses will be forced to do everything electronically in order to meet deadlines.

In the last 3 years, I have posted zero business letters and any parcels or bulk deliveries go by courier.  All of my outgoing communications are electronic.  I would be delighted if my suppliers did the same, but the volume of incoming postal mail has dwindled in the same timeframe.

Any business that depends on a postal service when it could send the same communications in electronic form, is doomed in the modern business world. 

Post

GJ Philip: the US Mail is losing $25 million a day, and is a huge problem.

'Quo Vadis' is probably the best thing to say about postal deliveries right now. If the post ceases to exist, we'll need couriers for actual documents (as opposed to fax / email), and this will mean that prices for those services will go up. 

If the problem is price, then why not just up the price of NZ post and keep it at 6 days a week? Mail only 3 days a week is going to be no good for businesses who send out bills, because they won't be paid as quickly, and so their bank balance will suffer.

The beginning of the end of Post Office NZ

A postal service at 3 days per week is no service at all.  Businesses will be forced to do everything electronically in order to meet deadlines.  So it will start a downward spiral, a bit like public transport in Dunedin, only worse.  I don't know whether that is a good thing or not - has any other country tried to do this, or is New Zealand still the experimental country (like with the privitisation of everything in the 80s)?

Had to come

Lets face the facts. How long has it been since most of us have actually written a letter and posted it? A fair while at a guess. All that we recieve now is bills and the odd letter/card from elderly relatives. The writing has been on the wall for some years now. I do feel sorry for those that will lose a job but in all reality, it had to come. Monday, Wednesday and Friday would be suitable to me. Anything urgent could be couriered.

Very very soon, there'll be nothing left

Very very soon, there'll be next to nothing left in New Zealand with the way the National government are heading, and indeed going.

Why 3 days a week?

I'd be perfectly happy to see mail delivery move to one day a week. That's where it's heading anyway, so just do it now I say. I accept that some people still prefer snail-mail, but there are some excellent courier services for urgent delivery. Three days a week or roughly every second day is tinkering. So my vote is for one, or at most, two deliveries weekly.

NZ Post greed !

What they don't tell you is they are making a fortune delivering parcels ! This is just following the modern accountancy nonsense where everything has to stand on its own feet and is not allowed to be subsidised by other company activities.

Blame rich accountants for much of the unemployment in NZ, along with the worse of the bunch "Receivers" who cream remaining assets/ investor funds severely when an enterprise falls over.

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