Mail must get through despite rain

By Michele Hunter

As the rain  pelts down on, postal delivery worker Janine Robinson, 27, puts on her rain jacket and ventures outside.
She has delivered mail for New Zealand Post for about two years and has worked through some rough conditions.
"It's May and [Monday] was our first real big downpour so that's really good," said Miss Robinson.
Every morning, she begins her day at 6.30 at the New Zealand Post mail centre in Chapel St, sorting the bundles of mail into street order.
Miss Robinson and about 40 other postal delivery workers take to the streets every day regardless of the weather to deliver mail.
"It wasn't too bad.
"Generally, unless it's pretty windy, you just get out there and do it."
While she was on her round yesterday, Miss Robinson said she noticed a small number of people outside working.
When she did spot some workers, Miss Robinson said they just smiled, as both parties could sympathise with each other.
To keep themselves dry, posties are equipped with high-visibility rain jackets, which Miss Robinson said were "really warm".
"Our legs and shoes and helmet get quite wet, and all our gear too but my shirt was completely dry underneath," she said.
"Last year we worked through a lot of raining and freezing conditions so Monday in comparison wasn't too bad."

She said the biggest problem when working in rain was poor visibility.
"You have to be really cautious on the roads and driveways and especially careful around other drivers because often their visibility is worse than yours," she said.
Postal service team leader Leanne Greer said posties worked in all weather conditions, unless their safety was jeopardised.

She said when the weather got quite severe, where there were flooded roads, posties could ring in and make an informed decision and postpone their delivery until the following day.
But rain, thunder and the occasional hail storms do not deter Miss Robinson from getting on her bike to deliver mail.
"I really really enjoy what I do, I love it."
Tough jobs to have in bad weather
Posties were out in force on Monday, despite the rain.
Janine Robinson, 27, has worked for New Zealand Post for about two years and has worked through some rough conditions.
"Yesterday was pretty mild ..."  she said.
Postal delivery workers wear a high-visibility rain jacket which Miss Robinson said kept her reasonably dry.
"Our legs and shoes and helmet get quite wet, and all our gear too," she said.
"But I really really enjoy what I do, I love it."
About 20 people braved the rain on Monday as they cleared leaves from grates on the side of the road, said City Care waste water and storm water team leader, Andrew Oliver.
Mr Oliver said workers had wet-weather gear  that "withstands a little bit" but working in wet weather was "part of the job".
Mr Oliver said people don't appreciate the efforts of contractors  who work in less-than-ideal conditions and said "people just expect the job to be done".
Contractors work in most weather conditions, the worst being the floods of 2005, said Mr Oliver.
Gavin Hingston of Tauranga Tree Services worked regardless of the rain, as long as his safety was not compromised.
"We  put on  our wet-weather gear but we certainly do get soaked," he said.
Mr Hingston and his colleague were out working on Monday morning, however, conditions got too tough and the men were forced to retire for the afternoon.
He said  lightning, strong wind and excessive rain forced them to head inside.
Almost everything came to a halt for Fulton Hogan workers on Monday and only essential services continued, said Mark Stirton, Bay of Plenty contracting manager of Fulton Hogan.
Mr Stirton said they would continue to work in all weather conditions, unless there was a risk to personnel safety.
"Maintenance contracts have to carry on - clearing slips, debris from roads and keeping the public safe," he said. "General earthworks stop as it gets too muddy and pavement and surfacing generally stops  as it is almost impossible to get required quality standards in wet conditions."
As the rain pelted down,  fault repairs continued, although all high-voltage construction work stopped, said David James, Tauranga area manager of Tenix, the company contracted by PowerCo to repair damaged power lines.
Mr James said power line repair workers often complete tasks in the rain, but not lightning, thunder or hail, as this poses danger to the workers. He said a range of work was completed in the rain except for "Liveline Glove and Barrier

- Bay of Plenty Times

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