A drop box has been set up at the Queenstown police station
for people to deliver victim impact statements or formal
written statements. Photo by Christina McDonald.
Queenstown police have handed over nearly 1600 items of
opened mail - along with 700 unopened items - to New Zealand
Post for delivery this Sunday.
Former postie Philippa Lynette Lindsay was arrested on
November 9 after police found an estimated 12,000 items of
mail destined for Fernhill residents at the Frankton house
she shared with flatmates.
More mail was later found at an Arrowtown storage unit and it
emerged Lakes Hayes and Arrowtown residents were also
Five boxes and two postal carry bags of mail were discovered
in the overgrown backyard of Ms Lindsay's house mid-December
and this accounts for the 700 unopened items.
On the first two Sundays of December, postal officers made
special deliveries of unopened items after they were released
by Queenstown police.
However, the opened mail was not released to New Zealand Post
until Monday night, New Zealand Post spokesman Michael Tull
Queenstown police have named the case Operation Jess (after
Postman Pat's cat), and accompanying the opened mail will be
a letter advising residents of their options.
''Police are aware that many people have been inconvenienced
and are angry at what is alleged to have occurred over the
past two years and more than 18,000 individual articles of
mail have been seized and catalogued for return,'' the letter
The letter advises that as part of the police prosecution
case, police prepare a summary of the facts which will
include victim impact statements.
Recipients can allege they have suffered either a pecuniary
loss - meaning a physical loss of property which can be
afforded a monetary value - or emotional, psychological or
The letter asks that people thoroughly consider the impact of
their loss and whether it ''goes beyond inconvenience or
anger and instead warrants further investigation'' before
completing the statements due to the significant number of
Mr Tull said New Zealand Post is confident the remaining mail
will all be delivered on Sunday.
Verification of identity is required. Since postal officers
were not used to knocking on doors to confirm identity, last
month's delivery, which was initially scheduled for one
Sunday, took longer.
The ''vast majority'' of recipients are Fernhill residents,
with a small number of Arrowtown and Lake Hayes residents.
Lindsay faces one indictably laid charge of stealing mail and
parcels, between September 1, 2010, and November 9, 2012, and
has been remanded until February 14.