No excuse not to call Dad

Forget the undies, socks and aftershave this Father's Day.

Look out for one of 19 phone boxes around Timaru - in fact 45 in South Canterbury - and you can give Dad what he and you might value the most: a phone call. At no cost.

From 7am to 9pm on Sunday, payphone calls to New Zealand landlines are free. And Telecom won't be monitoring usage so people can call home for as long as they like, although research shows calls to dads are typically shorter than calls to mums.

It appears some dads may be in need of a phone call on Sunday, with landline call volumes traditionally going up a mere 2 per cent on Fathers' Day.

By contrast, Kiwis are more likely to stay on the phone to mum for longer, with residential landline call volumes jumping 13 per cent on Mother's Day compared with an average Sunday.

Calls from payphones on Mother's Day last an average 10 per cent longer than those made on Father's Day.

Despite increasing mobile phone usage, Telecom says views the boxes as valuable for those on the road, without access to a landline and for emergency calls.

Those who want free calls in Timaru on Sunday can make them from payphones in Ranui Ave, Northtown Mall, Evans St outside the former Caltex Station, Church St outside Countdown, Church St outside the Old Bank Tavern, Chalmers St outside the Highfield Village Mall, Caroline Bay, outside the tearooms, Beaconsfield Rd at Glenmark Motor Camp, Ritchie St outside the Seafarers Centre, 334 Stafford St outside the Dominion Hotel, 197 Evans St outside BP, 43 Evans St outside Couplands, Theodosia St outside Z Caroline Bay, 14 Queen St at Timaru Hospital, 197 Hilton Hwy outside the Z Station, 108 North St, Station Rd outside the Railway Station, King St at the intersection of Queen St, 158 Selwyn St at the Top 10 Holiday Park and 16 Sophia St outside the Post Office.

Those outside Timaru can visit Telecom's payphone locator at

The Timaru Herald