Three days a week

May 3rd, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Vernon Small reports:

has warned it is likely to need a subsidy from the Government if it cannot get approval to slash mail deliveries from six to three days a week.

It is also signalling a slow down in Kiwibank’s growth after the Government refused to stump up more capital in the near future to support the state-owned bank.

In a letter to Finance Minister Bill English and State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall, NZ Post chairman Sir Michael Cullen said the organisation’s social obligations, set out in a Deed of Understanding, were being met despite increasing distribution costs and rapidly falling mail volumes.

If proposed changes to the Deed did not go ahead “we will in all probability need to engage with the Crown to discuss funding mechanisms .. for satisfying the social obligations”, Sir Michael said.

The State Owned Enterprises Act states that if the Government wants an enterprise to provide goods or services to anyone, it must enter into an agreement and in return pay for all or part of the cost – in other words a subsidy.

I’d rather my taxes are spent on schools and hospitals than subsidising postal deliveries.

I only check my letter box around once a week anyway.

I suspect in a generation’s time, kids will ask “What was a post office?”.

Tags:

36 Responses to “Three days a week”

  1. orewa1 (410 comments) says:

    Ho hum – yet another SOE comes bleating back to Mummy Government for a hand out.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    no one likes to see job losses but lets be honest. nz post is a dead man walking.

    sure, some old people wont be pleased. we will hear stories how “old people dont know how to use computers, they cant afford the internet” etc etc

    but 3 days seems fine to me.

    what the hell are people getting through the normal mail thats urgent anyway?

    my cleaner clears my letterbox. i bin 99% without opening.

    Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. berend (1,709 comments) says:

    Cullen starts running the show, and what does he find? If you can’t fleece the taxpayer anymore, some choices will have to be made.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    Three days a week?!?!

    Who the hell is my dog gonna chase now? :)

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Kleva Kiwi (289 comments) says:

    The post office is a defunct model now.
    NZ post is right that it needs the government to relax/redefine/remove the current SOE agreement with them so that they can rationalise the business. No subsidies, just take the reigns off and place a basic requirement on them.
    As with any service, it waxes and wanes and the service provider needs to adjust to suit. Letters are becoming obsolete in modern society and it is only a matter of time before it gets rolled up into an existing parcel and/or courier service.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Pete George (23,562 comments) says:

    Three days a week would be fine for me but I can understand people living in rural delivery areas who get newspapers and supplies, cutting their days iof delivery would impact more on them.

    Perhaps urban deliveries could be scaled back and rural deliveries remain at 6 days a week. If it costs a bit more then users should perhaps be prepared to pay a bit more.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    What are the odds of Labour & the Greens saying it’s terrible that the Govt is ‘allowing’ NZ Post job losses and demanding that the taxpayer subsidise the outfit in perpetuity to avoid any job loss?

    Surely this is their position, given their comments about Telecom shedding workers due to changing business conditions.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. georgebolwing (854 comments) says:

    NZ Post, and overseas postal services as well, have been struck a double blow by the internet: their core money-making business of bulk deliveries of business correspondance has basically disappeared (“Lloyd” of SkyTV fame), and the areas that they tried to move in to, like bill paying and high-street banking, are also being destroyed by the internet. The only area of their business that is growing is the delivery of goods purchased over the Internet, but I understand that that is a rather expensive line.

    I would hope that the government, as owner, simply says “yep, your business is going the way of buggy making: a quanit reminder of a buy-gone era, so please go quietly (and cheaply)”. But they won’t.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Bob (497 comments) says:

    How much mail is so urgent it can’t wait a couple of days? There are alternative deliveries for businesses. For urgent domestic messages there is always the telephone. Old people have always had difficulty coping with technological changes. My problem is the self checkout at the supermarket. I will probably get used to it just as a new system comes in.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. peterwn (3,272 comments) says:

    Legal procedure and general obligations (eg vehicle licensing reminders) are very dependent on the existence of a regular postal service. For example the ‘letter acceptance rule’ is a significant example. Also to save costs the use of registered letters has been done away with in many cases with a presumption that a posted letter is sufficient ‘service’. Three day a week postal delivery would not make too much difference but perhaps any tight legal deadlines may need to be eased slightly. Looking forward the time is coming when legal changes will be needed to accommodate say a weekly postal service and a greater use of electronic communications.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    Who needs three days a week? I’d be happy with once a week. I get more visits from the courier than I get useful items in the mail. In fact if we could a few more companies to do paperless bills, I’d doubt I’d get any useful mail other than a few magazine subscriptions, which are once monthly…

    Most companies have PO Boxes which often get multiple deliveries a day depending on the sort cycle. Legal letters can get sent by courier, you wouldn’t even notice courier fees in the rounding of a lawyers invoice.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    This is actually very sad.

    The gradual demise of the postie is a reminder of how much we are to lose culturally.

    With no more physical letters, paper diaries and such, we now store our thoughts on ‘notepads’, which are thrown away when a new and better models arrive. In the tip go all the things that today’s historians value from the past – what of the future?

    So many digital images have already been destroyed, now the hard written word is almost obsolete.
    Like ancient times when only a select few could read and write, and so the only history recorded was biased, our today is likely to be recorded in such a way. What our future generations learn about us, will only be what is stored by IT workers – and then only the words/thoughts and events of people that are deemed important by today’s standards. Our ordinary person will be lost to future historians.

    I have my great-grandfathers diary of his voyage to NZ on a sailing ship in 1849. It is a wonderful source of both entertainment and knowledge – it is rather sad to think that there will be no such items of the experiences of ordinary people, for our descendants to read.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. CameronFoxton (28 comments) says:

    @Judith I think with Clouds and emails and all that we will have a better record as we move away from hard copies

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Neil (586 comments) says:

    I live in a rural town with six days a week deliveries. I wouldn’t mind a three-four times a week delivery, especially with on-line coverage. Urban people aren’t the losers.
    I think that this measure is one more blow to our rural voters who over the years have seen their position being undercut. Wealthy urban people would hardly miss it, however the rurals would find paper deliveries slashed, less encouragement for living in those areas and generally being thought of as second class citizens.
    Remember how much our rural community drags in from their commercial activities of dairy,meat and wool products. Some of the folks in Auckland and Wellington should just think a little more about the productive sector. There’s more to life than going to the theatre at night and stopping in at the nearest wine bar. Meanwhile out in the country rural folk are battling against the odds in all climes.
    Think of other people than yourself some of you big city liberals. We don’t want our rural folk start thinking of themselves like Aussie rural dwellers.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    CameronFoxton (16) Says:
    May 3rd, 2013 at 3:20 pm
    ————————-
    Yes, I agree, but there are few years in between that will be lost before that is achieved.

    Those people probably currently 60+ are less likely to use such things. I read somewhere that they predict approximately 25+ years of ‘ordinary’ history will be gone.

    The cloud storage etc will provide some protection, but then only for what information is wished to be shared – the personal diary is unlikely be stored in such facilities ( it has become less popular for people to even use diaries as a means of recording their intimate thoughts anymore) – and it is those types of documents that provide such a rich source of information.

    Still, I guess it will be replaced with something else – for example the blog – what we write today will be viewed in the future – I wonder what they will make of it? How will they judge us from what they read here?

    Not ignoring the fact that much of it is anonymous – who will they attribute it to?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    Judith>What our future generations learn about us, will only be what is stored by IT workers – and then only the words/thoughts and events of people that are deemed important by today’s standards. Our ordinary person will be lost to future historians.

    I couldn’t disagree more. Twenty years ago, archives were paper based and un-indexed. They were available only to people with physical access to the media and the time to trawl through (potentially) thousands of pages of material looking for an occasional relevant item.

    Now archives are scanned, indexed using OCR or low cost foreign labour, and available via the internet. You can sit at home and research the lives of people in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is absolutely brilliant, and I say that as a person who was only yesterday reading about some distant relatives who were involved in petty crime in 18th century London.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Grant Michael McKenna (1,160 comments) says:

    Post Office is a mail server for Windows.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    davidp (2,700) Says:
    May 3rd, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    ———————————

    I totally agree, I am a member of several organisations that are involved in doing just that.

    I don’t know if you have heard of the MOA (Mass Observation Archive) in Britain. Its a wonderful source of knowledge and information regarding the thoughts of everyday people. Well worth looking at.

    But that is just my point – as you have said there are thousands, probably millions of documents that people have spent time indexing and ensuring that are saved for the future that had previously been ignored.

    However – what of todays ‘documents’ that are no longer kept on paper. That are often just notes on a computer that will be thrown out (not sent to other people). Items like personal diaries that are not sent into cyber space, but once the PC is replaced by a later model, they are discarded along with the PC. There is no paper or hard item to store/index.

    What about all the information, such as this conversation, which may be accessible in the future – but the people who are writing it, are anonymous, and therefore it only provides partial information.

    Not to mention all the photos that are taken with digital devices that aren’t stored on the internet, but kept only on home PC’s that are thrown away (as mentioned before).

    What you have pointed out is exactly my argument. Today we have the benefit of hard copies that our ancestors wrote – that are being lovingly restored and securely saved.

    What will they have of what we write now to save?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Akaroa (557 comments) says:

    I can relate to Judith’s contention.

    Although our increasing reliance on electronic records is growing daily – on the associated issue of permanent papers as opposed to transient electronic entries I can’t help feeling we’re losing something by ‘progressing’ beyond the paper record.

    Example? My father was an English Police Inspector. I have his first Police notebook commencing in 1919 when he was a brand new bobby and covering his daily activity for his first few years as an English country cop.

    That’s the sort of priceless and irreplaceable record we stand to lose as the electronic octopus extends its all embracing and impermanent arms into our lives.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Paulus (2,627 comments) says:

    If NZ Post got back some of the hundreds of millions it has used to prop up Kiwibank’s solvency it would be better off.

    Kiwibank can then sell down to 51% ownership, and let those who love it capitalise it further to capital solvency.

    Problem is that nobody would put up money to do this – it is not a good risk, without billions of cash to solvency expectations.

    Without Government (read Taxpayer) guarantee via NZ Post it would not be solvent

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. greybeard (61 comments) says:

    Crikey Akaroa, you are living proof that old people can handle the Internet and technology OK.
    If your father was a young policeman in 1919, you must be a lot older than me and I’m 64 !

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. tamati (75 comments) says:

    Man, this should have been done ages ago!

    I am seriously thinking about ripping out my letter box, all I get is junk mail even though I clearly have a no junk mail sign! (Looking at you Harbour News and Ponsonby News!)

    Does anyone know if their is a legal requirement for every house to have a letterbox?

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. gander (91 comments) says:

    The arguments against dropping postal delivery to 3 da/wk seem to be that it will hurt businesses and those (largely elderly) who haven’t got e-mail-capable devices.

    But businesses ought to be able to adapt – this has been coming for a long time now. And is Auntie Gladys really going to collapse in despair when her birthday card comes one day later?

    Subsidising anything is a dodgy business. Subsidising a service that’s dying out all over the world is madness. I hope NZ Post are just softening us up for the inevitable, not looking for a taxpayer handout.

    (Disclaimer: We only get postal and courier service twice a week even now.)

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. CameronFoxton (28 comments) says:

    @Judith “it has become less popular for people to even use diaries as a means of recording their intimate thoughts anymore” – I agree that diaries are less common but unfortunately many people seem to think Facebook is the right place to post their “deepest” thoughts – in terms of what people thought of this blog? Maybe that we all had too much time on our hands :)

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. KapitiCoast (114 comments) says:

    Cullen was a ‘fair weather’ finance minister, had the BEST dream run of surpluses in a global economic boom of any finance minister in NZ…he really has never had to make hard decisions when times were bad and belt tightening was required, wonder if he will do a ‘runner’ and blame current Govt for his decision?….C,mon Sir Michael, make some hard decisions and lay people off rather than begging to Govt for a dying comapny relient on last century technology (the grand surpluses you enjoyed and hired so many the public sector doubled under your watch as finance minister)….I think he will run/retire and leave it in the ‘too hard basket’ for his successor….just my opinion.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Dazzaman (1,140 comments) says:

    People overstate the importance of electronic “correspondence” amongst the general populace. Sure we text, email, do internet/phone banking but the level of business mail has not really tanked & those who offer internet payment options over a physical bill are only the obvious suspects…telecommunications, utilities, banking. Local businesses are reluctant to change to electronic payments as the demand is not there & things seem to work as they always have. Aside from cost, no one seems to be unhappy about the status quo aside from busybody know-it-all city businessmen who rely on their devices for earning a crust more than most. I can’t see it changing unless forced upon people by government “decree”…that ain’t gonna happen but we have seen strange things lately, like fags legally being able to “marry”! Who would’ve guessed.

    Having worked as a postie as a young man from the early to late 80’s & again as a contract postie for much of the last year, I would estimate that the mail volumes for most days have probably dropped by about a 3rd. There does seem though to be an increasing amount of what I would call “spam” advertising though so, who knows. Government agencies seem to send out a lot of glossy shit wrapped in plastic….money to burn.

    BTW, there’s enough money thrown to hospitals especially, & schools. Bloody rorting sinkholes.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. Johnboy (16,554 comments) says:

    1. Close it and let the courier companies pick up the slack.
    2. Tell Sir Micky to find a real job.
    3. Subsidise fitness training for all the fat ladies that currently waddle around behind P.O. counters.

    That should do it! :)

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Liberal Minded Kiwi (1,570 comments) says:

    Pfft. We asked the Nats to sell NZ Post in the 90’s when it was actually worth something. Now we’d get squat for it.
    Sell now and try and get something out of it!

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Chris2 (766 comments) says:

    There is a whole army of people walking down my street everyday delivering junk mail to my letterbox, and obviously a profit is being made by the businesses that do this.

    Perhaps NZ Post needs to talk to these people to discover the secret for staying in business.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    “….I suspect in a generation’s time, kids will ask “What was a post office?”….’

    Maybe, but NZ Post should be around for a long time yet.

    Australia Post is going great guns – as I believe they see their future as a ‘logistics’ business.

    A week or two ago they announced that they had put up the price of pre-paid packaging[bubble wrap, boxes ect] by 30% due to the increasing move Australia wide for internet bought goods.

    That would be true as retailers here have been saying exactly that for the last couple of years. Also, retail turnover nation wide has been going up the last several months, but ‘retail jobs’ have been flat. And on the otherhand ‘warehousing’ jobs, and the construction of warehouses have been increasing.

    However, Australia is a continent compared to NZ, and Aus Post has the scale of infrastructure that would make it difficult for others to replicate. Trucking, rail, and airfreight companies do too, but that is ‘bulk handling’ of goods.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. freedom101 (504 comments) says:

    Move to three day delivery now. I don’t see the merit in waiting until NZ Post must do it, as lots of taxpayer value will drain away in the meantime. A normal business in a competitive environment would make changes well ahead of the curve.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Akaroa (262)
    May 3rd, 2013 at 4:20 pm
    ————————–
    What a wonderful item to have – your fathers thoughts and memories written at the time of his experience. That is exactly the sort of stuff that will be lost or rather never recorded.

    @ CameronFoxton (17)
    May 3rd, 2013 at 5:36 pm
    ————————–

    Yes, people do put a lot of stuff on facebook, often with the intention of appealing to their friends etc, so much of it (I hope) is not based on reality (if it is, we are in big trouble!).

    The same with this blog – whilst it shows what people are capable of writing – how much of it is produced in response to what someone else has said – how much of it is a real representation of what those people really think and what they would really do? Goodness knows what future generations will make of us, if they use some of the things people (anonymous) blog about.

    It is the real accounts that were once stored in diaries and in everyday letters that hold the most ‘real’ information of ordinary people.

    I know “Clouds’ etc may be seem to offer an alternative to hard copies, but really how safe or accessible is that data going to be to future generations? As we have seen from the Kim Dotcom example. Thousands of people stored stuff they thought would be there as long as they wanted – now not only be prevented from accessing it, but having someone like American government, destroy it, or do what they like with it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. Akaroa (557 comments) says:

    Hi Again. Re: Judith (2383) at 7.52 and Greybeard (13) at 4.49 yesterday.

    An after-blog!!

    Thanks Greybeard – I’m 76 -(1935 was a VERY good year!!) – but, according to my family, I’m: ‘going on 21’!

    Judith, I discovered the downside of the regular postal service some years ago when I posted – (like, stamped and put into a Wellington central postbox)- a carefully crafted and comprehensive job application for a Wellington position.

    I should have courier-ed it to its intended recipient, because I subsequently heard from him to say that it was a pity my app hadn’t arrived before they’d filled the position. I would have got the job.

    So:

    Delivery by Inter-Wellington courier post : One hour tops.

    Delivery by Inter-Wellington snail mail: Two days!!

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Akaroa (263) Says:
    May 4th, 2013 at 8:15 am
    ——————————–

    I understand perfectly, and it hasn’t got any better. A small parcel I sent recently within the same island to city address took 13 days to arrive (working days).

    You have to wonder whether NZ Post really want to be operating with that sort of service.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    I only ever get bills in the post so once a month would be fine

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    Three days a week is fine. I suspect that if someone did a poll on this, you’d get about 80% agreement with that.
    Six-days-a-week delivery is utter overkill nowadays.

    Heck, I’m with Powershop so everything with them is online.
    I still get my phone/internet bill via post, but that’s only monthly.
    Rates bill – every three months.
    I *never* send (or receive) letters, using email instead to keep in touch.
    I’m sure I am not alone in such a pattern either, given the declining mail volumes mentioned by NZ Post themselves.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote