Mail going missing for two years - resident

BETRAYED: Fernhill resident Becky Spiers has been chasing missing mail for at least two years, with the first problems arising in November 2010.
BETRAYED: Fernhill resident Becky Spiers has been chasing missing mail for at least two years, with the first problems arising in November 2010.

A Fernhill resident whose missing mail bizarrely turned up several months late believes mail has been going missing in the area for at least two years.

Queenstown police have recovered up to 20,000 mail items, destined for Fernhill, Sunshine Bay, Arrowtown and Lake Hayes dating back to May 2011, but Greenstone Pl resident Becky Spiers first noticed a problem in November 2010.

A 32-year-old female contracted by NZ Post to deliver mail, predominantly in the Fernhill and Sunshine Bay areas, has been charged with theft and will appear in Queenstown District Court on December 3. The woman has been granted interim name suppression.

Miss Spiers, a teacher at Remarkables Primary School, first noticed problems with her post when several Christmas presents sent from the UK early in November 2010 never turned up.

Given it was Christmas, Miss Spiers decided to wait a bit longer for the parcels and did not contact NZ Post until she returned from a holiday in January.

"We went to the Post Shop to ask if they had our parcels and they didn't. They just put it down to missing post."

In February, there was still no sign of the parcels so she asked her postie who she could complain to because the Post Shop staff had not been very helpful.

"She told me she thought she had seen them sitting in the post office and said she was going back to town now so she could collect them and deliver them."

Blown away by a possible resolution after several months' waiting, Miss Spiers did not think it odd at the time that the postie was able to recall specific parcels addressed to her and her flatmate.

"Half an hour later she brought them to us in her car. I thought she was amazing and we were singing her praises."

Feeling stupid for not laying an official complaint, Miss Spiers now feels betrayed by the postie, who had gone out of her way to ensure mail was delivered to her new address when she moved in April 2011.

"She was so lovely to us and we thought New Zealand was so awesome and friendly and even the postie knew our name. We thought it was amazing because the UK postal service is awful and people are always complaining."

In hindsight, Miss Spiers said she realised a lot of parcels had not turned up, including online orders of linen and clothing, and even tickets to Tuesday night's comedy gig starring Heath Franklin's Chopper, in Arrowtown.

NZ Post has confirmed the postie relieved on other routes in the Queenstown area but to date it has only acknowledged there was a problem in suburbs for which mail had actually been recovered.

The Southland Times has repeatedly asked NZ Post communications manager Michael Tull to identify those specific areas as well as releasing the total number of complaints made in the wider Queenstown area but those questions have gone unanswered.

Last week, The Times made a request under the Official Information Act to obtain a list of the total number of complaints from the entire Wakatipu Basin since January 2010.

The Southland Times