NZ Post denies delaying mail

New Zealand Post is denying a claim it deliberately delays mail deliveries in order to promote its premium fast post service.

Postal Workers Union president John Maynard said mail which could be delivered the next day was being held back a day to promote the fast post service.

"We do know that the company is holding mail. We know that mail that is being processed and ready for delivery is being held in the mail centres until the two- to three-day promise that the company has given for delivery of its mail," he told Radio New Zealand today.

The delaying tactic had been used for the past three months, upsetting staff, Mr Maynard said.

"They're very upset about it. It's having quite a negative effect on morale and it also demonstrates the clash of culture at New Zealand Post; you have a very strong public service, community service culture amongst the postal workers, but increasingly we have a culture of a commercial, profit-driven corporation."

Not only was mail being held back, but extra staff were not being brought in to process large volumes of mail, Mr Maynard said.

"We know that of the hand-addressed mail, something like 10 per cent of it is falling outside of the company's own delivery promise. This is pretty serious stuff."

Some fast post mail was also taking longer than it should to be delivered, he said. "There are occasions where it's taking two days."

"There is a deliberate policy, we know because we've had a truck driver complain that when he went to pick up mail from a mail centre, it was ready to go, he said 'my truck's half empty, I'll take that mail and he was told 'you can't take that mail, its not to go yet'."

However, NZ Post's postal delivery general manager Matthew Riordan told RNZ no policy of holding mail existed.

"We don't actually have a policy for holding back mail, when it is ready for delivery it is released.

"We do have a clear differentiation between what we call our standard product and our premium product. Our standard product has a three-day service standard versus the premium which is a next day service.

"When we do process mail we process our priority mail first, knowing that it has to be out the next day and we have a scheduling system for standard post which we have three days to get out to our customers."

Last month, 96.2 per cent of all mail arrived on time, Mr Riordan said.

- Brendan Manning of APNZ

Leg work

With the upcoming mail centre closure and redundancies, surely there are a number of disgruntled local employees who could be contacted to confirm this for the ODT?

If you pull it down they will come

Something we know all to well here in Dunedin, where "efficencies" see our mail travelling to Christchurch and back before delivery. Well done NZ Post, nothing like firing some people and making your service worse to encourage people to use it. It's just good business, isn't it? If they didn't have Kiwibank and Christmas this fish would have been floating long ago. They say the reason the railway went broke is because it failed to see itself as an airline, meaning diversification is the key. Pity the people at the top never envisioned as the next Hotmail long ago.

Snail mail

Living in Blenheim can be like living in Timbuctoo. When any of my friends or relatives wish to send a birthday card or Christmas card from the North Island they have to send it 5 business days beforehand to give it a chance of arriving on time.  Some of the Christmas cards I sent arrived 3 days after being sent and others up to 8 business days afterwards. 

Our accountant, who also lives here in Blenheim, mailed us some important correspondence from the main post office.  It had to go to another Post Office less than 10km away and it took over 5 business days.  Pretty frustrating.


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