Elderly suffer as result of NZ Post shift

BY ANDREA O'NEIL
Last updated 10:40 05/02/2013

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Older people are bearing the brunt of Porirua post office's move to the MegaCentre, with many unable to reach its new location.

Retired nurse and midwife Freda Tohill said she was "very fit" for 77 but could not face the walk from the old post office site to the new one last week.

"I went down to get my pension on Tuesday; by the time I got to the original post office I was too tired to walk the rest of the way," she said.

There was a good bus service from Mrs Tohill's Elsdon house to the new post office, but an older person shopping in North City or under the Canopies area would face a long walk or inconvenient waiting times for buses, made worse in the rain, she said.

The need to travel by bus would also adversely affect young families with children - a single section bus trip cost $2, which for some was unaffordable, Mrs Tohill said.

"A lot of people haven't got $2."

Mrs Tohill works at the Citizens' Advice Bureau and the retired people who worked there were upset about the post office move, she said.

"It makes me angry. We're losing enough services without losing that as well. I just think it was a very foolish thing for New Zealand Post to do."

She believed the maps in the windows of the old post office were too complicated to direct people to the new location, and said the Porirua Community Guardians had had to direct people personally.

"That shouldn't be necessary."

Mana Tawa Grey Power vice president Bruce Twidle was disappointed Greater Wellington Regional Council, which ran Wellington's buses, was not consulted by New Zealand Post before the move.

He hoped bus services could be reorganised to better serve older post office customers.

He would be discussing the matter at a Grey Power meeting next week.

Regional council public transport service design team leader Matthew Lear said the council would review bus routes if there were enough requests, but the resources required would mean a reduction in service elsewhere.

GETTING THERE

Bus services to the new post office:

Bus routes 210, 220 and 226 pass bus stop number 2022 in Semple St. These routes service Titahi Bay, Kenepuru, Tawa, Waitangirua, Cannons Creek and the CBD.

Bus routes 230 and 236 pass bus stop number 2012 in Norrie St. These routes service Whitby, Aotea and Papakowhai.

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