Posties' bikes still delivered

TIMARU MODE: Is it the end of the road for the posties' bicycles?
TIMARU MODE: Is it the end of the road for the posties' bicycles?

A Timaru manufacturer is not concerned that the number of bicycles he supplies to NZ Post may dwindle.

The postal service's announcement of reduced services to three deliveries a week and up to 2000 redundancies over the next three years has led to speculation that posties on bicycles may also be on the way out.

Reiker Cycles owner John Shaw said he understood there was to be restructuring, but the effect on his business was not an issue yet.

"I won't believe it until I see it, or am told officially, not just see it in the media," he said.

His understanding was that the numbers of bikes used would be subject to natural attrition.

The Washdyke company started providing more than 300 bicycles a year to NZ Post in 1993.

Mr Shaw said Reikers was successful in the tender process because it was one of the few manufacturers left in New Zealand and had the ability to adapt and change design.

In the past year the company has also manufactured and supplied 250 E-Bikes, electric- powered and designed specifically for posties around the country. A 250watt motor on the front hub helps on hilly terrain.

There are no E-Bikes allocated to Timaru yet but there is one in Oamaru.

"They [posties] will always need bikes as vehicles are not as cost-effective," Mr Shaw said.

Until he heard from NZ Post about any changes that would affect Reikers' output, he would continue with the status quo.

A New Zealand Post spokesman said the high-level outline of the direction the service was taking was intended to give staff, suppliers and customers as much notice as possible.

"The new strategy is in response to rapidly declining letter volumes and signals our intention to grow parts of our business, including parcels.

"We are still working on the detail of how we will implement the strategy so it's too early to say what the effects will be on our suppliers. We will work with all our suppliers to keep them up to date as we make changes."

The Timaru Herald