Postal deliveries

June 9th, 2010 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

Saturday postal deliveries may be axed or posties may call only every second day as NZ Post looks to keep its mail business profitable in the face of people switching to email.

In a letter to State Owned Enterprises Minister Simon Power, obtained under the Official Information Act, chairman Jim Bolger said the NZ Post board was looking at several options, including “reducing the number of days that mail is delivered”.

Mr Bolger said yesterday that deliveries every second day were an option. “Personally I don’t think you could rule that out”, but that was not a NZ Post position. “There is only one message – mail volumes are going down worldwide. Digital technology is replacing hard copy.”

However, a spokeswoman for Communications Minister Steven Joyce, who must approve a change in delivery days, said no option had yet been presented to him. “He would take a lot of convincing.”

I think canning Saturday deliveries is a no brainer, and even going to deliveries on Monday, Wednesday and Friday only is worth considering. I really doubt there are many people who need to get their mail every day.

Most houses did not receive a piece of mail every day and some got only one letter a week.

Would be interesting to see exact stats on that, but they sound right to me.

Postal Workers Union advocate Graeme Clarke said an end to Saturday deliveries would be popular among the 1200 posties he represented – provided they were paid the same.

What world does Mr Clarke live in? Why on earth would anyone expect to continue to be paid to work six days a week, when in fact they only work five?

Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing secretary Andrew Little, representing 4500 NZ Post workers including 2000 posties, was not opposed to five-day-a-week deliveries in principle. Deliveries every second day would be another matter.

Good to see Andrew not entirely opposed. I think deliveries three times a week is also worth looking at – it could significantly reduce the cost of postage. Remember the purpose of having a postal system is not to create jobs, but to provide an efficient and effective communication service.

Issues of bag weights and pay would need to be discussed.

If bags are heavier, then could be fair enough to look at an increase in hourly rates to compensate. However that is very different to Mr Clarke just saying we should be paid the same for working one day a week less.

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