One person's junk mail is another's lost treasure

By Beck Vass
A freephone number set up for people to complain about receiving unwanted junk mail has actually received complaints from people who have missed out.
The New Zealand Marketing Association introduced the number last month in response to bylaws that could see fines enforced for junk mail deliveries in the North Shore and Waitakere City.
The association's chief executive Keith Norris said it had received more than 120 calls from people around New Zealand complaining about junk mail.
But Mr Norris said "a good many" callers had said they were annoyed at not receiving the "unaddressed advertising", although he could not confirm how many. All calls were lodged on a private website for viewing by the three companies who delivered about 95 per cent of advertising brochures.
Tauranga City Council has no by-laws restricting the delivery of junk mail at present and had no immediate plans to look at introducing any, communications manager Elizabeth Hughes said.
Meanwhile, North Shore and Waitakere City councils are granting immunity from prosecution to junk mail advertisers despite an audit showing most people still receive unwanted unaddressed mail.
The Envision New Zealand secret audit showed 80 per cent of participants still received unaddressed mail in letterboxes marked with a "no junk mail" or similar sticker.
The Auckland councils introduced bylaws on August 1 making this an offence with fines of up to $20,000 compared with $500 before.
But under pressure from advertisers, they agreed to a moratorium on enforcing the infringement provisions to allow advertising distributors to bring in a voluntary national code of practice.
The audit into the effectiveness of the voluntary code finished last month.

It confirmed earlier surveys that although stickers on letterboxes reduced the amount of unaddressed mail delivered, they did not eliminate it.
The complaints line is 0800 111 081.
-additional reporting NZ HERALD

- Bay of Plenty Times

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