Mail delivery cutbacks lamented

''I'm not happy about this''

Last updated 12:45 21/02/2013
Des Forde
SUPPLIED
Central Southland farmer Des Forde happily collecting his morning mail which has been delivered to his gate for more than 80 years. But he is concerned about proposed changes to the service.

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Southern rural communities are lamenting the possible loss of mail delivery services, with some saying it's just another blow for the farming sector.

NZ Post has suggested cutting the number of mail delivery days from six to three each week and it's got former Rural Women New Zealand national president Jeanette McIntyre, of Gore, worried.

"From a rural point of view, it's an essential lifeline," she said.

"I'd hate to see it stop. It's really putting a brake on life as we know it.

"It's part of living in the rural area - communication is just so important - we need good phone lines, we need good broadband and we need to have our mail delivered.

"It's essential, it's not a luxury and it's a daily lifeline for older farmers."

Urban businesses expected to get their mail delivered every day, and farming businesses in rural areas deserved to get the same, she said.

Central Southland farmer Des Forde, who has lived on the same farm for 84 years and has always appreciated the rural delivery service, said he was also concerned.

"I'm not very happy about this. The mail has always come to the gate every day.

"The daily delivery of the paper is the most important thing. I'm not sure how that's going to be affected - unless they're going to charge us extra."

He was also concerned at the potential loss of discount, which several companies offered their clients if accounts were paid on time.

"With the three-day delivery, we could miss out on that 10 per cent discount, unless companies change the dates that they send out their bills."

Waikaka farmer Hugh Gardyne said NZ Post would definitely get a negative reaction to the cuts from rural people.

"We don't expect to be treated as another class of citizen, getting mailed delivered infrequently.

"I wouldn't want to see the service reduced below five days."

But Riverton farmer Vaughan Templeton Mr Templeton said the people he was most concerned about were the rural delivery contractors and the impact the changes could have on them.

He also acknowledged that it was a sign of the times.

"Mail volumes are going down and people need to stop whingeing and get on with it.

"There's always resistance to change."

Federated Farmers and Rural Women New Zealand have written to Southland and Otago members, asking them to express their views through the public consultation process.

* What do you think of the proposed NZ Post mail delivery cuts from six days a week to three? Leave a comment and tell us if it will it affect you.

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