Opened mail delivery Sunday

A drop box has been set up at the Queenstown police station for people to deliver victim impact...
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 affected.

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 said.

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 says.

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 physical loss.

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 victims involved.

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.

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