Postcodes send families to another suburb

By Sandra Conchie
Two neighbouring couples in Bethlehem are upset NZ Post is telling them they now live in Judea.
Early this month a new four-digit post code system was introduced which can to pinpoint where a letter is destined, right down to the suburb or street.
Tim and Alex Pickford and Colin and Jan Gill, who live in La Cumbre Close in the "Bethlehem triangle" say they are disgusted that NZ Post had allocated a post code which now purports them as residing in the suburb of Judea.
Mr Pickford said NZ Post previously classified them as living in Te Reti, a very small enclave off Cambridge Rd. Now Sterling Gate, La Cumbre, Te Reti and Cambridge Heights are all classified as Judea.
"Judea? That's quite a distance from us. We may, on occasion, actually drive through the area but we don't live there. We happen to live in Bethlehem and even vote there." Mr Pickford said map-wise, Judea should stop at the expressway.
"Apparently, NZ Post considers Bethlehem too big a suburb for them to handle, so have just banged us into the next suburb they threw a dart into on a wall map."
Mr Pickford said NZ Post previously stated that mail doesn't actually have to state the suburb on it.
"Why bother to put in some illogical suburb and annoy/upset people in the first place? Common sense and logic seem to have gone out of the window in most of our daily lives.
Meanwhile Waihi Beach resident Trish Coates, chair of the Waihi Beach Community Board, said she's lost faith in NZ Post after correctly addressed mail wasn't delivered because new postal codes weren't included.
Ms Coates, chair of the Waihi Beach Community Board, said recently she posted two correctly addressed letters, one to a friend in Waikino, and another to a friend in Waihi Beach Rd, only to have them returned after a short time stamped "address not known".
"I rang the NZ Post call centre only to be told that if a letter was sent with the correct address but no post code, it would be returned and not delivered.

That's ridiculous. The message I got from NZ Post is not that they cannot deliver our mail but without a postcode they have deliberately chosen not to deliver it."
When the new system was first introduced, NZ Post spokesman Richard MacLean said those who were unable to recall the correct four-digit number would not be penalised.
"It won't be rejected," he assured the Bay of Plenty Times.
Ms Coates said she had read with some scepticism about the introduction of a new postal codes and her cynicism proved correct after her post code was changed from 3063 to 3177 and now describes her as living in Katikati as opposed to the Bowentown end of Waihi Beach.
NZ Post media spokesperson Lucy Jackson said her organisation does not determine the boundary of suburbs - that was the responsibility of the NZ Geographic Board.
But people should be assured a person's postal delivery address doesn't determine their suburb.
Ms Coates' delivery problems would be investigated.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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