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Mail deliveries will not be affected by New Zealand Post's proposed cutbacks to its mail processing operations, NZPost external relations manager John Tulloch says.
''The rural delivery network is exactly that - it is not part of the processing network,'' Mr Tulloch said.
He said NZPost 10 years ago reduced its 26 major mail processing centres to six with no impact on the delivery service.
''There is a distinction between processing and sorting - the latter is done at the delivery branch stage of the network,'' Mr Tulloch said.
NZ Post has announced a major restructure of its mail processing network because of declining mail volumes.
The number of processing operations will be reduced from six sites to three and these will be centralised in Auckland, Palmerston North and Christchurch, where staff numbers will increase.
Christchurch will be the only mail processing centre in the South Island.
There will no longer be processing services in Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin or ''satellite'' centres like Oamaru, Invercargill, Gore, Queenstown/Wanaka, Nelson and Blenheim, As a result, jobs will be lost.
NZPost chief executive Brian Roche said the number of items of mail being processed had fallen by nearly 200 million in the past decade and mail volumes were declining at the rate of 8% a year.
''We looked at all options and decided this plan will allow New Zealand Post to achieve savings on a meaningful scale while maintaining a high-quality service across New Zealand,'' Mr Roche said.