NZ Post managers visit over mail thefts

GRANT BRYANT IN QUEENSTOWN
Last updated 05:00 19/11/2012
Grant Miller
BROOKE GARDINER/Fairfax NZ
Detective Grant Miller with some of the thousands of undelivered mail items found at the home of a NZ Post worker.

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Top managers of New Zealand Post have touched down in Queenstown in the aftermath of the alleged actions of a postie thought to have hoarded more than 20,000 mail items.

A 32-year-old postie was arrested last Monday after missing mail, primarily from Queenstown's Fernhill suburb, was found at her Frankton flat by police.

On Thursday, a second cache of mail, neatly organised in trays and suitcases, was found at an Arrowtown storage unit.

Queenstown Self Storage owner Brian Chisholm told The Southland Times police had traced the second stash of missing mail to the storage unit because a series of unpaid invoices for the unit had been found at the postie's flat.

NZ Post spokesman Michael Tull yesterday confirmed a new group of top level managers would be in Queenstown today to meet with business customers affected by mail non-delivery.

"There have been members of top-level management in Queenstown during the police investigation, which has been conducted recently," he said. "But other managers will be in Queenstown to meet with business customers who have been affected by this incident."

On the day of the postie's arrest, a Queenstown Lakes District Council spokesman confirmed the council had known rates invoices posted to the Fernhill and Sunshine Bay areas had been going missing. Ratepayers had been asked to report missing rates bills to NZ Post, and the council had been assessing late payment fees on a case-by-case basis. Where it had been deemed appropriate, the council had waived late fees caused by postal problems.

Council communications manager Meaghan Miller yesterday confirmed the NZ Post managers would be meeting with relevant council and community representatives.

These include councillors Mel Gazzard and Les Perkins, who represent Fernhill and Arrowtown respectively, the council's deputy chief executive, its rates officer and the customer services officer.

"Late last week, New Zealand Post informed us of the meeting, so to a certain degree the ball's in their court," Ms Miller said.

"However, we do have questions that need to be asked in relation to the alleged offending, and our primary concern is how long that offending could have been taking place. Ascertaining this will help us to gauge the effect the alleged offending could have had on rates payments in affected areas."

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