Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Cullen in vow not to shut up shops

Michael Cullen. Photo / NZPA
Michael Cullen. Photo / NZPA

NZ Post chairman Sir Michael Cullen yesterday pledged there would be no more PostShop closures before a wide- ranging review of the company's retail operations due for completion next year.

Sir Michael and NZ Post chief executive Brian Roche yesterday appeared before Parliament's commerce committee, which heard submissions from groups who had run petitions seeking the reopening of the Eden Terrace, Grey Lynn, Avondale and Green Bay PostShops which were closed in July last year.

Submitters told the committee the closures had significantly affected local communities and businesses and forced many local residents into lengthy journeys to conduct their business such as post, banking and bill payments at PostShops elsewhere.

"We always know that any changes in those operations are difficult ones because people identify them as community organisations," Sir Michael told reporters later. "But then we also have to make sure that we are a competitive business-oriented organisation and of course we are seeing decreased usage of the postal system that's part of technological change."

That change saw NZ Post's core mail business slip into loss for the first time during the last financial year.

However, Sir Michael said that as a result of the response to the closure of the Auckland outlets and 10 others around the country last year, he and Mr Roche had agreed "we would actually cease these kinds of if you like ad hoc closures while we continue through the much larger exercise we're engaged in transforming our retail operations".

A spokesman for NZ Post said further closures were not part of the plan for the review but he could not rule that out. But until next year, even loss-making PostShops would remain open.

- NZ Herald

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