Not our fault, NZ Post says

New Zealand Post is denying it is to blame for an error on Queenstown Lakes District Council rates notices sent out this week.

In a press statement issued yesterday, council chief financial officer Stewart Burns said invoices for the first instalment of 2014-15 rates could show a ''small variation in the land area''.

The data in the council's property system was accurate, and rates had been correctly calculated, Mr Burns said.

''However, when NZ Post printed the rates notices, its computer system rounded up the land area to the nearest whole 100m2.''

When the Otago Daily Times asked New Zealand Post for an explanation, it rejected the claim.

''We have checked what occurred,'' a company spokesman said in an emailed response.

''New Zealand Post printed the information that was specified in the requirements document and provided to us in the data files.

''We did as we were instructed, and did not round up any data.''

Mr Burns could not be reached for comment on New Zealand Post's response, but earlier said the company would not be penalised for the error.

It was not ''material'' in terms of the amount of rates people would pay, and land area would be shown correctly on the next rates notice, he said.

A council spokeswoman said it had received fewer than 20 inquiries about the error so far.

New Zealand Post has been processing the council's rates notices for more than a decade, and provides the same service for other local authorities.

It is the second time in two years the council's rates notices have raised eyebrows. In 2012, a new rating system aimed at better targeting the costs of public facilities for tourists and visitors had to be urgently reworked after throwing up large inconsistencies in some ratepayers' bills.