New Zealand Post is poised to drop mail delivery to as little as three days a week in urban areas, with rural areas maintained at five days a week.
On Wednesday the state-owned enterprise released its deed of understanding, which will apply from mid-2015.
The deed was developed with a mind to ensure postal services remain viable in an environment where mail volumes are plunging.
New Zealand Post applied to reduce volumes to three days a week, but Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams says rural areas will be protected from this.
Ms Adams says the Government is concerned about the sustainability of rural delivery services and rural contractors in general through fewer delivery days.
"It is important to note that three-day delivery is the minimum standard New Zealand Post must meet.
"This means that New Zealand Post may continue to provide a higher frequency of delivery in some non-rural areas."
Ms Adams said New Zealand's mail volumes were dropping 8 per cent a year.
"It is clear that if changes are not made to the deed, then significant and ongoing government subsidisation in excess of $30 million per year may be required."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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