It is hoped 20,000 stolen mail items will be in the hands of
the intended recipients by Christmas, following the arrest of
a Queenstown postie on November 9.
Detective Sergeant Brian Cameron said each piece of unopened
mail had to be compiled and catalogued, though the process
was near completion.
It is estimated 2% to 3% of the mail was opened by the
32-year-old woman and Det Sgt Cameron said this involved "a
bit more investigation".
Speaking yesterday, he said on Monday there were four
officers, including a detective, looking at the opened mail
and police are trying to determine what the woman may have
The woman has interim name suppression and has been charged
with theft by a person in a special relationship.
Det Sgt Cameron would not comment on whether more charges
might be laid.
Once police had finished cataloguing mail, it would be handed
back to New Zealand Post who would determine the delivery
Det Sgt Cameron said there was no intention by either NZ Post
or the police to delay delivery, but as a crime had been
committed, police were obliged to record all evidence.
"Unopened mail will certainly be released for NZ Post to
When asked whether the mail would be returned before
Christmas, he said he "would imagine so" but would not make
any promises due to the scale of the crime and because the
mail would soon be transferred from police hands to NZ Post.
Mail was first found at the woman's house in Frankton, which
she shared with flatmates, and less than a week later on
November 15 police executed a search warrant at an Arrowtown
storage unit which resulted in the discovery of more mail.
The stolen mail belongs to Fernhill, Lakes Hayes Estate and
NZ Post media communications manager Michael Tull earlier
told the Otago Daily Times the company would investigate its
delivery processes and try to identify whether the incident
could have been avoided.