The move to introduce three-day-a-week postal delivery could
unfairly disadvantage rural consumers and businesses in the
remotest parts of New Zealand, say Rural Women New Zealand.
Rural Women NZ national president Liz Evans said she
understood the need for NZ Post to reconsider its business
model after a decrease in mail volumes, but the rural
delivery service needed to be preserved.
She said rural contractors often delivered groceries,
medicines, supplies or spare parts - which helped farmers,
small businesses and families overcome the obstacles of
living long distances from town.
NZ Post this week outlined plans to move to three-day-a-week
letter deliveries and to replace some PostShops with
self-service kiosks as letter volumes drop.
Rural Women NZ also opposed any fee being reintroduced for
rural mail delivery services.
"Parcels posted to and from rural areas already incur extra
costs, and we would not wish to see further targeting of
rural customers who are so dependent on the mail service."
"Rural delivery service is a real lifeline for many people."
She said the changes would unfairly disadvantage rural
businesses who need a rapid service for mail-order food at a
reasonable cost, both to the supplier and the customer.
"Rural Women New Zealand actively supports and promotes such
businesses and we need to be satisfied that the proposed NZ
Post changes will not have a negative impact on rural
enterprise and innovation."
Mrs Evans said for some living in remote areas, the rural
delivery contractor is the only contact with the outside
world for days at a time.
She said members mentioned how important contact with the
rural delivery contractor was in combating loneliness, which
can lead to depression - another very real problem.
Rural Women NZ will be further consulting with its members on
the NZ Post proposals and making a formal submission.
NZ Post spokesman John Tulloch said it welcomed submissions
from the rural sector, which would "help design the
"We're fully aware of their concerns and we're very committed
to engaging with them, but first and foremost let's let the
process go, so we welcome, and the Government will welcome,
their submissions ... and we'll be engaging closely with
He also said NZ Post would work with businesses who relied on
mail deliveries to create a postal design which worked for
"If we went to a guaranteed minimum of say three days and we
got to that point where we actually vote that, [businesses
would] be paying a premium if they wanted it any more
frequent," he said.
About 20 per cent of the sending customers made up 80 per
cent of letter mail, he said.
"One of the first things we would look to do, for our big
premium sending customers anyway, is to work with them about
He said it was too early to say how the proposed change would
impact on PO Box mail.
"They do fall under the definition of a delivery point ...
but it would be preemptive to say if we got the flexibility
in the deed, what the design of the delivery network would be
and how that would impact on PO Boxes."
The proposed change was a guaranteed minimum which did not
mean that was what it would be for a PO Box, he said.
When asked if delivery days would be increased at peak times,
such as Christmas, Mr Tulloch said: "The standard letter
delivery timeframe is up to three working days, so it's not
necessarily next day.
"The system takes up to three working days for the letter to
be delivered so if you change delivery frequency that
shouldn't necessarily impact on where we currently are."