NZ Post staff in limbo

The future of Queenstown's mail processing staff is uncertain as New Zealand Post continues its South Island centralisation in Christchurch while postage rates go up.

NZ Post announced in June last year it would be moving the bulk of mail processing operations in the South Island to the Christchurch Mail Centre. That process is now under way.

There were 63 million fewer items sent by mail around the country last year, according to NZ Post.

Most Wakatipu processing in the facility in Jock Boyd Pl, Frankton, is expected to be moved to Christchurch in July, but there will still be some mail processed there afterwards, including inbound FastPost mail.

Consultation will begin with the four mail processing staff in May, an NZ Post spokeswoman said.

''We do not know how many of these jobs will be affected by the changes. The final number will be confirmed after consultation has been completed.''

Asked what the options are likely to be for staff, the spokeswoman said: ''It's too early to say, but relocation is one of those options.''

NZ Post will maintain its three-day delivery target for standard mail.

However, the company announced last week the standard letter rate, or the cost of sending a medium-sized letter by standard post within New Zealand, will rise by 10c, from 70c to 80c, from July 1.

Postage to send standard parcels within the country will also change.

This includes untracked parcels, which will increase by between 10c and $1 depending on the size of the parcel and whether it is self-wrapped or in one of NZ Post's postage-included bags.

The postage required to send aerogrammes, postcards and medium and large letters to any destination overseas will increase by 10c.

The price to send extra large and oversize letters overseas will increase by between 10c and 30c depending on the destination.

Parcels sent overseas will increase by an average of 4%.

The international economy parcel service will be withdrawn.

These parcels can be sent by international air.