Post concerns for rural people

MEGAN MILLER AND FAIRFAX NZ
Last updated 05:00 30/01/2013
mail delivery voxpop
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/ Fairfax NZ

Top from left, Melissa Richards, Hunter: "We live in a rural area and it takes longer to receive our post anyway. We use it for both bills and personal mail, and this will likely make it take even longer"; Eva Sparks, Geraldine; "We never send post, and we usually only receive bills, not personal mail. I wouldn't notice the change"; Baxter O'Brien, Geraldine: "It wouldn't worry me at all. I see it as something that's inevitable. We use the internet, and a lot of the mail we get is junk anyway." Bottom from left, Darryl Chambers, Ashburton: "I don’t think it will affect me personally, as I only post about four items a month. But I think this will affect rural people and small businesses"; Liz Winnington, Temuka: "It wouldn’t bother me; I probably wouldn’t notice the change. I’m an internet person"; Doris Warne, Timaru: "As a caregiver, my concern is that a lot of elderly people don't use computers and mobile phones and they could be left behind. Many of their families are living overseas and the post is how they keep in contact."

Relevant offers

The prospect of postal deliveries being curtailed to as little as three days a week has some South Cantabrians concerned they'll be left out of the loop, but others say they won't miss the mail.

Communications Minister Amy Adams yesterday announced New Zealand Post's proposal to alter its Deed of Understanding with the government.

The proposed changes include cutting the number of days mail is delivered to a minimum of three a week and introducing more self-service kiosks.

"During the last 10 years mail volumes have dropped considerably, with 265 million fewer items being posted each year compared to 2002," Ms Adams said. "Within five years, mail volumes are forecast to be nearly half what they were in 2002."

"The time is now to make the necessary decisions for the future," New Zealand Post Group CEO Brian Roche said. "Every postal system around the world is facing similar challenges and they are beginning to act. We cannot stand still and simply hope the problems will go away. We are seeking an agreement that gives us the flexibility and certainty to be able to plan for that future."

Many South Cantabrians who spoke to The Timaru Herald yesterday said they rarely relied on "snail mail" and weren't bothered, but a few expressed concerns over how it would impact on rural residents and the elderly.

"My concern is that a lot of elderly people don't use computers and mobile phones and they could be left behind," Timaru resident Doris Warne said. "Many of their families are living overseas and the post is how they keep in contact."

Rural resident Melissa Richards of Hunter said her mail already took a long time to arrive and the proposed change would likely make it "even longer".

The proposed changes would be most felt by "communities who have already lost physical services and have few technological options available", Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills said.

"Even if we take the most optimistic assumptions about rural broadband, it still leaves some 86,000 people off-line."

The full text of the proposal is available online and open for public feedback at www.med.govt.nz/sectors-industries/technology-communication/postal-policy/consultation-on-proposed-changes-to-new-zealand-posts-deed-of-understanding. Submissions are due by 5pm on Tuesday, March 12.

Ad Feedback

- The Timaru Herald

Comments

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content