Last of recovered mail to be delivered

BROOKE GARDINER IN QUEENSTOWN
Last updated 05:00 16/01/2013

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The last of the recovered missing mail destined for residents of the wider Queenstown area will finally be delivered this weekend.

New Zealand Post has arranged a special delivery of 2300 items of mail for Sunday.

The mail was recovered by police last year from the home and storage unit of a former Queenstown postie.

In November, NZ Post contractor Phillipa Lynette Lindsay, 32, was arrested and faced a representative charge of theft in a special relationship after police located more than 18,000 mail items at her home and storage unit.

The charge relates to the alleged theft of mail between September 2010 and November 2012. She entered no plea when she appeared in the Queenstown District Court. Lindsay was to appear in court again on February 14 but last week police were granted an extension to March 15.

The majority of the 2300 items, to be delivered on Sunday, were found to have been opened or tampered with.

Police spent several weeks painstakingly cataloguing each item of mail and were now asking victims to help identify any missing items.

Police will send a letter with all of the opened mail asking those who have suffered emotional, psychological or physical loss and those left out of pocket, to lay a formal complaint.

In the letter, Detective Sergeant Brian Cameron, of Queenstown, asks residents to consider how they have been affected and urges those who suffered "a substantial, identifiable, loss" to complete a victim impact statement and formal written statement outlining any pecuniary losses.

The letter also explains the prosecution process and advises that only complaints of pecuniary loss lodged before 4pm on February 8 would be included in court documents for the prosecution case.

Complaints about mail still missing could not be included in the investigation.

Police have set up a box labelled Operation Jess at Queenstown station for residents to lodge complaints.

NZ Post spokesman Michael Tull yesterday said the last lot of mail would be delivered in a similar manner to special deliveries in December with residents asked to sign for items.

The mail included 700 items recovered by police in mid-December. The other 1600 items, recovered in November, had been opened or tampered with, he said.

A whopping 317 missing mail complaints were lodged with NZ Post between January 1, 2010, and November 16, 2012, by residents of the Wakatipu Basin. All of the complaints are believed to be unresolved. Figures obtained by The Southland Times under the Official Information Act show complaints were spread evenly over the three calendar years.

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- The Southland Times

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