Rural post lobby gets stamp of success

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Most farmers and rural communities will still have postal deliveries at least five days a week after successful lobbying by Federated Farmers. Photo / Stuart Munroe
Most farmers and rural communities will still have postal deliveries at least five days a week after successful lobbying by Federated Farmers. Photo / Stuart Munroe

Federated Farmers has successfully lobbied for rural delivery runs, now six days a week but reducing to five days in July next year.

New Zealand Post and the Government had originally proposed to cut rural delivery runs to three days a week in the face of declining mail volumes.

However, after the Federation began a campaign to see the rural delivery runs retained, it was decided the areas which have deliveries six days a week would be reduced by only one day.

Areas now on less than six days will remain unchanged.

This is a huge win for the Federation's membership as NZ Post's rural-delivery contractors deliver a lot more than just post - they also deliver non-postal essentials such as medicine, newspapers and farm consumables.

In areas still using dial-up or satellite internet, the rural delivery runs are the main means of communication.

The contractors also need to be able to run a viable business and if the delivery frequency was reduced to three days a week, some might have found it hard to stay in business. This would have had huge ramifications for rural New Zealand.

The changes are the result of the amendment of a deed of understanding between NZ Post and the Government. Deliveries in urban areas will go down to three days a week and some NZ Post shops will be replaced by self-service kiosks.

NZ Post is still working on how the five-day service will run and what on days the post will be delivered.

Federated Farmers will continue to work with the company to ensure the service meets the needs of its members.

The state-owned enterprise and the Government will review the deed of understanding in 2018. This will coincide with the completion of rural boadband and ultra-fast broadband.

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