Business fights imminent post shop closure

KASHKA TUNSTALL
Last updated 05:00 04/01/2013
POSTAL PROBLEMS: Lido Cinema manager Stewart Putwain hopes community voices will stop plans to close the only NZ Post service shop in Hamilton’s central business district.
CHRIS HILLOCK

POSTAL PROBLEMS: Lido Cinema manager Stewart Putwain hopes community voices will stop plans to close the only NZ Post service shop in Hamilton’s central business district.

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The only central city post shop will shut in a month, Kashka Tunstall reports.

With central Hamilton businesses losing postal services in the city at the end of the month, one business owner is encouraging others affected by the closure to weigh in on the debate.

Lido Cinema manager Stewart Putwain is planning to contact New Zealand Post to register disappointment at the closure of the Bryce St store, the central business district's only post shop.

It is set to shut its doors on January 31 after the property failed to meet NZ Post's new earthquake standards and the lease was not renewed.

Mr Putwain uses the post shop, across the road from the Lido, regularly for business with suppliers and also to send things to customers.

He said the closure would be an inconvenience but he could switch to courier services, which he already used for film prints, to stop business disruption.

"Let's just say I'll be put out . . . but I'll just go to someone else and they'll get my money."

For the sake of local businesses that will be significantly affected by the closure, Mr Putwain is encouraging central businesses to be vocal about how the loss will impact on them so the community's voice is taken into account.

He thinks local property investor Tony Schramm's offer to lease his property on London St to New Zealand Post for free for an initial 12 months should be considered more seriously. NZ Post has rejected the offer.

"If the earthquake standards of the new building meets those standards, I can't really see any reason why you would say no," Mr Putwain said.

He is hoping local businesses will band together by contacting New Zealand Post and asking the state-owned enterprise to keep the services in the city.

"I think it's a big deal for there to be no post office in the city.

"It's a basic service," he said. "The city, it's so compact and people can get anywhere easily in about 10 to 15 minutes so I don't think that the alternatives are going to be appealing to business owners."

The closest post shops to the central city are in Frankton and Hamilton East, both within 2 kilometres of Bryce St.

"It's short-sighted not to have one in the city given the emphasis of the council's push to make the city energised again," he said.

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- Waikato Times

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