Letter lover laments decline of postal deliveries

By Sophie Ryan

The proposed changes to NZ Post delivery did not surprise devoted Whangarei letter-writer Janice Maund-Walters, who is the first to admit she is a "rare breed".

NZ Post said the decrease in volume of mail had led the state-owned enterprise to look at cutting back delivery to three days a week.

There are 62 postal outlets in Northland.

Nationally, there was 24 per cent less mail (265 million fewer items) posted in 2012 than a decade before in 2002. NZ Post said it would be impossible to tally up numbers specific to Northland.

Mrs Maund-Walters writes and receives letters daily, and the 73-year-old insists she will never connect to the internet.

"I abhor email," she said. "Nothing can compare to going to the letterbox and seeing a letter in there."

Mrs Maund-Walters corresponds with family and friends all over the world.

"I get letters from Africa, France, Australia, England, all over really."

She said the proposed changes to postal service made sense, as she understood most people communicated through email.

"I don't think it would affect a great number of people, but I think businesses would definitely be affected," she said.

The Whangarei District Council receives on average 160 pieces of mail a day, and many of those are cheques for payments of things like parking tickets. That number has dropped considerably in the last three years.

Mail manager for WDC Andrea McIntosh said a reduction in delivery days would affect time-sensitive issues such as building consent information and infringement notices.

For Mrs Maund-Walters, the issue is a sentimental one.

"Letter-writing is part of an era that is being eradicated by modern technology, and that upsets me ... I do hope it continues, even if it just one day a week."

- Northern Advocate

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