NZ Post wants to go three days only

January 29th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Amy Adams has announced:

Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams has today released a proposal from New Zealand Post seeking to allow greater flexibility in the postal services it provides.

“During the last 10 years mail volumes have dropped considerably, with 265 million fewer items being posted each year compared to 2002. Within five years, mail volumes are forecast to be nearly half what they were in 2002,” Ms Adams says.

“In light of those significant reductions in mail volume, New Zealand Post is seeking to make changes to the Universal Service Obligations it is bound by.

“New Zealand Post has advised me that it considers changes are needed to ensure a sustainable postal service in the 21st century.

The changes sought are here:

The main details are:

  • Going from 5 to 6 day a week delivery to 99.88% of NZ addresses to 3 days a week 99.88% of addresses.
  • Going from 1 to 4 days a week delivery for 0.12% of addresses to 1 day a week for 0.12% of addresses.

I support this change, for two reasons. The first is that will simply become unprofitable without them. I don’t want taxpayers subsidising postal deliveries. There are far better things to spend money on.

The other is that for most people, an extra day wait for mail will have no impact. Hell I only clear my letterbox around once a week. Most important communications come electronically or if not practical and time critical by courier. I can’t recall anything I’ve had posted to me that would suffer from a day’s extra wait.

Those in extreme rural areas may find it tough with getting mail once a week only – but that is all that some of them are getting at present anyway.

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33 Responses to “NZ Post wants to go three days only”

  1. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    Good move. The last piece of mail I wanted and/or needed was a wedding invitation which arrived in November. I’m tempted to remove my letterbox and re-direct all postal mail to a store-and-forward service.

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  2. kowtow (8,434 comments) says:

    “Don’t want tax payers subsidising mail services” or health(abortion particularly) ,education,old age pensions……..

    If they do cut the delivery I’ll expect a drop in the price of postage too.

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  3. pq (728 comments) says:

    very funny farrar, everybody knows mail will not be delivered mostly, maybe sometimes later Thailand send a return address and hope, I love you my darling Wan, you are a treasure
    in my life , I hope you receive letter,

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  4. sassycassy (45 comments) says:

    As landlord’s we have to send formal 14-day notices for tenancy breaches and other time critical notices, such as notices to terminate tenancies. Although, under tenancy statutes we already have to factor in 4 days for notice being deemed as served if notice is sent by post. Will this now have to become and extra 3 days….? (Things can go from bad to ugly in a week)

    At least the RTA Review of 2010 bought us into the millenium by allowing email addresses to be considered as an adress foor service- but Tenant’s don’t always provide e-mail addresses for serving such notices and we have to rely on post. Many of my lower soc-ec tenants don’t provide any contact details other than a mobile number and some genuinely still don’t have internet access or PC’s in thier homes.

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  5. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    sassy – use a courier.

    also… but but what about old people who depend on their mail?

    will there be job losses for posties? how will they live?

    cant the government just pay????

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  6. Paulus (2,626 comments) says:

    If NZ Post stopped financially propping up their subsidiary KiwiBank, which they have done every year since KiwiBank started, they woul be in a stronger financial position.
    Hundreds of millions have been put into KiwiBank every year to keep it solvent.
    On its own it would not be a financially viable Bank.

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  7. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    I don’t have a problem with this. If I wanted daily mail I’d get a PO Box. If I want urgent mail I use a courier anyway.

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  8. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    I agree with it also – but there will be one down side.

    Courier deliveries to rural delivery addresses are mostly delivered by NZ Post by contract with the courier companies – it means slower ‘overnight’ deliveries – but so what – all the buyers need to do is plan better. In my business we supply product to manufacturers and many are at RD addresses (because its cheaper land and buildings) but they cant plan to say themselves. Its always a panic … “weve just run out and need more urgently”…

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  9. gravedodger (1,566 comments) says:

    @sassy cassy use a document server there is a very reliable one in the Hutt.
    If its that state of play I wouldn’t risk NZP, hell in Qtown it never arrived let alone allowing 4 days.

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  10. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    A totally logical move – long overdue.

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  11. Marymary (1 comment) says:

    I agree with it too I think. Sassy – use registered mail, or like Gravedodger was saying, a document server.

    I think the elderly won’t like it. Sometimes it’s the highlight of their day to check their mail! However, times change and postal mail certainly has so maybe it’s a good idea that NZP is actually recognising this and being proactive about it instead of just hiking the prices continuously.

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  12. MT_Tinman (3,184 comments) says:

    Last time I posted anything important it never got there.

    I use a PO Box, have for years, due to reliability. At $125+ PA (or thereabouts, it goes up every bloody year) it’s worth the hassle.

    For posting out I use couriers.

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  13. sassycassy (45 comments) says:

    @Dime . Courier $5-6 for a standard envelope vs post 50 cents? We send registered track and trace e-mail for urgent time critical eviction notices where we want proof that notice is delivered and evidence for bailiffs if required. But every week we send out several 14 day notices by post mostly for non- payment of rent as scheduled for the weekly or fortnightly rent due date and on most occasion this notice is all that is required to prompt tenants to pay within the 14 day period. But some escalate to to tribunal applications for further breach by not observing the 14 day notice within that time. We have to wait for that 14 day notice- plus 4 day serving period- to lapse as it is a prerequisite to lodging a tribunal application at the earliest and it would be an expensive exercise to courier them all for this contingency

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  14. metcalph (1,430 comments) says:

    I’m not liking this. I will only get Fatso DVDs three times a week?

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  15. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    Dime
    I am an ‘old’ person and the letterbox is generally full of junk. I pay just about all the bills on the internet. Friends and family email and text.
    It has always struck me as odd that we used to allow important letters and even cheques to sit in an open letterbox until we were able to empty it.

    And I think it is fitting that Cullen the Destroyer should preside over the demise of our once great postal service.

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  16. peterwn (3,271 comments) says:

    There are various legal presumptions concerning timliness and reliability of mail delivery. Perhaps various legal time limits need to be addressed.

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  17. Chris2 (766 comments) says:

    Almost everyday of the week in suburban Auckland I receive unsolicited “junk mail”. Clearly the distribution companies that provide this service are making a profit from it, so why don’t NZ Post consider contracting the delivery of mail to these companies?

    Also, my local Post Shop said Trade Me has seen an explosion in the number of parcels they process across the counter. Does NZ Post make any mention in their discussion document of this increasing revenue stream?

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  18. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    So being a postie will become a part-time job?

    Or will they remain 6 day a week full-time and have two runs each week?

    If the former, they now work c6 hours over 6 days – will they work longer days (8 or 10 hours), or just 18 hours a week?

    .12% of addresses? Are these RD’s already restricted to one day a week or is there a proposal to reduce RD service more regular than one day down to one day (say three day down to one day).

    Most RD’s are 6 or 5 days. Even going down to 3 day is a major change – given the RD service provides more than just mail.

    IMO, RD service (three to 6 day) now should be at the same delivery (3 times) as urban address.

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  19. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    Australia Post have concentrated on their parcel service and are more profitable than ever, thanks to internet shopping. There are no plans by Australia Post to reduce the delivery frequency (but they don’t have a Saturday delivery). They’ve made a name for themselves as the most reliable courier in the country.

    Maybe NZ post should do the same.

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  20. tvb (4,416 comments) says:

    I suspect the physical delivery of mail is a small cost in the overall costs of processing mail. I can only assume that cutting it to 3 days a week reduces the “back room” costs as well. This is another business that is changing because of the Internet and the widespread availability of computers and fast broadband. Super fast broadband will impact on tv.

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  21. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Probably tvb, but NZ Post has already mechanised to reduce staffing in mail.

    NZ Post employs about 7000 staff in its mail division including about 2200 posties. So nearly 5000 other mail staff (not sure how much are in admin/management).

    The key decision is whether they still deliver all 6 days (with 2 3 day delivery runs) or go with 3 universal delivery days (posties becoming part-timers working 3 6 hour days). If the latter, they can also make cuts to other staffing in mail sorting and mail transportation to support the 3 days mail is actually delivered (rather than support for a full 6 day delivery system).

    What days are chosen with 3 universal days is a decision that has not been signalled and would interest some. MWF or TTS?

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  22. Dazzaman (1,140 comments) says:

    As a postie, gazzmaniac has nailed it on the head.

    I will say though, as a small town contract postie, there is no way that volumes have dropped so far for me to be doing it only 3 days a week. 4 at the absolute outside….5 for there to be an even spread of mail without working at least a couple of days for 10+ hours. It would mean 2 full cycles of 2 runs per day, kinda silly really. Try cycling 16 kms a day (effectively 30 kms for two cycles of 2 runs if cut down to 3 days) for over 300 days a year, you get worn down. Using a scooter will make it even less profitable than it already is.

    Granted, other places may have a similar setup to enable deliveries to be done more cost effectively….just not here.

    There is no post shop here, so I sort & deliver from the back of a local business. So already a small footprint on that business for a small rental cost…no bricks & mortar to piss around with & pay for. I doubt they’d really want to sacrifice more of their businesses space for a service which is not remotely connected to their core activities…it’s situated there, for a pittance really, to provide a service for the town. Kiosks, which would necessarily be situated in the middle of residential areas, increase mail security risks & vandalism points.

    As for RD deliveries, they won’t change. The volume of articles (not just mail but junk mail, news papers & other items) is as large and as essential (mostly) as the old days. Those guys would be working round the clock for 3 days in many cases in order to try & meet a 3 day working week….won’t be possible. Some ignorance from city folk here, farmers get a shitload of mail, real mail like bills, etc……no idea at all DPF. That’s what you get from reports by pen pushers who ignore the people at the coal face….fucking numbers.

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  23. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    “@Dime . Courier $5-6 for a standard envelope vs post 50 cents? We send registered track and trace e-mail for urgent time critical eviction notices where we want proof that notice is delivered and evidence for bailiffs if required.”

    Oh i didnt realise the impact it would have on you. in that case the govt should cover the losses. that will keep your business costs down :) seems FAIR

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  24. artemisia (242 comments) says:

    Answer for Chris2 at 1:55 pm. From the Q&A for the media release:

    “Q: Isn’t the growth in parcel deliveries compensating for the fall in letter mail?

    A: No. There is good growth in the parcels market with the increase in online shopping, the impact of TradeMe and „e -tailing‟. But our postal business relies on big volumes.

    Parcels currently make up just 2.5% of our mail volumes.

    Over the next five years parcel volumes are forecast to increase by 8.5 million items while letter volumes are forecast to fall by 216.5 million (meaning a net change in total mail volumes from 835 million to 627 million).
    The increase in revenue from 8.5 million parcels won‟t cover the loss in revenue from 216.5 million letter items.”

    http://www.nzpost.co.nz/sites/default/files/uploads/shared/deed-of-understanding-questions-answers.pdf

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  25. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    dazzaman – any change to delivery frequency can only impact on the volume of mail to be carried, not the run length. Thus the time taken to sort and to deliver would lengthen (given the greater daily volume to sort, slower travel speed with the extra weight and more regular stops at each delivery point).

    Thus 2 runs over the 6 days might then involve over-time unless they were shortened (creating some extra runs or there could be changes to the work practice, using transferred staff to sort mail for posties in larger centres).

    However if there were 3 universal delivery days – there would be simply be 3 longer periods of time taken to deliver. Instead of 6 days of 6-7 hours. 3 days of 8-10 hours etc. Of course if the mail weight was then too much then some extra runs could be created or mechanised delivery used.

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  26. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    dazzaman, the arrangements for RD’s are proposed for inclusion in the change. RD contractors can handle the extra volume with reduced delivery. The length of the working day and the time the service arrives might be an issue for those receiving other items besides mail. The only service directly impacted is newspaper subscription daily delivery (and maybe weekend newspaper delivery depending on the days of 3 day service) and maybe bakers food.

    The major issue here is the proposal to reduce 2, 3 and 4 day a week delivery services to only one day a week.

    Farmers generally seek equivalence – thus if posties deliver only 3 days, they will accept 3 days. It can be argued that to support the rural sector attract workers etc we need to maintain services, thus 2 day should remain 2 day and 3-6 day should have at least 3 day service.

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  27. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    @sassycassy (25) Says:
    January 29th, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I fear for your business if you are relying on the ‘mail’, -seriously -email, couriers, or get in the car yourself and drop it off.

    You are owed $1200 rent and you are worried about $5.60 for a courier, which is a business cost anyway, dear oh dear.

    Put in the rental contract that 14 day notices can be emailed or faxed ( a fax clause can be put in to purchase agreements so no problems with a rental,tough shit if the tenant doesn’t clear his email, you can prove its been sent.

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  28. Reid (16,440 comments) says:

    They’ve made a name for themselves as the most reliable courier in the country. Maybe NZ post should do the same.

    Express Couriers Ltd, through its brands CourierPost, Pace, Contract Logistics and Roadstar, is New Zealand’s leading express courier, logistics and distribution business

    I’m not suggesting they’re the most reliable in the country, merely that Post has been doing that for decades.

    This is a good summary. http://www.nzpost.co.nz/sites/default/files/uploads/shared/annual%20reports/annual-report-2012.pdf

    At least, unlike US Postal Service, NZPost isn’t being required to forward-fund its superannuation liabilities to the point where it has enough to cover employees that it hasn’t even employed yet, I think it might be employees who haven’t even been born. This is, as designed by whichever the politicians who came up or were instructed to come up with that scheme, driving USPS out of business. That IS what’s happening over there, look it up. And when you have, ask yourself: why are the politicians doing that?

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  29. chris (647 comments) says:

    You are owed $1200 rent and you are worried about $5.60 for a courier, which is a business cost anyway, dear oh dear.

    Not just that, he’s overstated the cost of sending something by courier. My A5 trackpacks with CourierPost cost about $3.11+GST. And they’d probably be cheaper if I bought in higher volumes. I don’t know how much the DLE size cost (standard envelope size), because I’ve never bought them, but they’ll be even less. And next day delivery too with track and trace. (RD costs more of course, and track and trace is only to the RD delivery person).

    Oh yes, and it’s now 70c to post a letter, not 50c.

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  30. gander (91 comments) says:

    The main details are:
    . . .
    Going from 1 to 4 days a week delivery for 0.12% of addresses to 1 day a week for 0.12% of addresses.
    . . .
    Those in extreme rural areas may find it tough with getting mail once a week only – but that is all that some of them are getting at present anyway.

    Actually dropping from our current 2x/week delivery to 1x/week could be bloody inconvenient, as the NZ Post contractor is the only carrier in the area (handles all other courier services also) and the nearest postal agency is more than 1 1/4 hours away – so outgoing mail and parcels would be equally affected. It might make selling on TradeMe less viable for remote rural residents, for example. But according to the proposal,

    Existing addresses with 2 or 3 day delivery will not have frequency reduced

    There seems to be a contradiction within the document.

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  31. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    well spotted gander – but maybe it’s not a contradiction. There appears to be no attempt to quantify how many only received one day delivery now, as distinct from 2 or 3 day delivery. So they used the 0.12% figure for those not receiving 5 or 6 day delivery, but then said of the 0.12% those getting 2 or 3 day service would continue to get it.

    The meaning being the only change proposed is 5 or 6 day delivery (99.88%) going to 3 day delivery.

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  32. Kiwibloke (2 comments) says:

    So DUMB to think they want to chop our rural delivery!!!!!
    ALL our parcels and mail are delivered by the rural post; NO courier ever deliver’s to our business because it is located 15min/12k from the town of Matamata. What do we get for our very expensive rates?!?.. no broad band internet, no water, no sewage, no local swimming pools. At the very least sort out some rural broadband for us first!

    HELLO what about all the PARCELS?!?! The parcels that we usually need ASAP.
    One would have thought that the GREATER volume of parcels sent nowadays would well account for the fewer letters!!

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  33. Kiwibloke (2 comments) says:

    FYI: Everyday our local RD Poste nearly completely fills his van with parcels. In his own words: “I’d need to tow around a trailer if the delivery days were reduced”!!

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