No more mail for red-zone homes

MARC GREENHILL
Last updated 16:52 04/07/2013
Red-zone mail delivery
DEAN KOZANIC/Fairfax NZ

YOU HAVEN'T GOT MAIL: New Zealand Post will stop delivering mail to red-zone areas from August 1. A postie visits Brook St in Bexley.

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Postal deliveries to Christchurch's residential red zone are being cut.

New Zealand Post said today that services would stop from August 1 for safety reasons.

Spokesman Michael Tull said the more than 4000 occupied red-zoned homes had dwindled to about 100, and deteriorating roads were now a hazard for workers.

''Thankfully, none of our posties has suffered serious injuries on these rounds, but they've endured a lot of aches and pains from riding cycles or motorbikes over uneven surfaces for hours at a time,'' he said.

''Their arms and shoulders really take a hammering, and we have to rotate posties on and off these rounds as the cumulative effect would be too much if an individual postie did those runs day in and day out.''

Those affected can get their mail redirected or held for collection.

Brooklands red-zoner Stephen Bourke, who is staying in his home after declining the Government offer, said posties would still negotiate damaged roads to deliver to green pockets within the red zone.

''Not all of Brooklands is red, so I don't understand that. My parents next door are green and they've got a letterbox,'' he said.

''Are they going to drive all the way out here and put their mail in and not mine?''

About 40 Brooklands residents were either staying or had been given extension to remain beyond the August deadline.

Overall, more than 300 red-zoned homeowners have been granted extensions.Those affected can get their mail redirected or held for collection at the St Asaph St mail centre.

Tull said while some red-zoned streets would need to be travelled, a ''direct route'' could be taken and side streets cut out.

''Regrettably, there will be some houses on the margins where they're nearby to green-zoned houses,'' he said.

''We've maintained [delivery] for a good, long time and we were doing it because it was the right thing to do, but the reality is now population in the red zone has dwindled and the conditions of delivery a creating a bit of an obstacle course.''

Canterbury Communities' Earthquake Recovery Network spokeswoman Leanne Curtis said NZ Post should ''get creative'' and set up community drop-off points or held fund redirections.

''It would be good if they tried to accommodate those people that are still in there in a way that meets their needs as well. Driving into to pick up [mail] is not cool,'' she said.

''It's just another expense that red-zoners are facing on top of everything else.''

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