A woman accused of stealing more than 17,000 pieces of mail bound for Wakatipu homes has been remanded to February 14 while police try to work out what was taken.
Philippa Lynette Lindsay, 32, of Frankton, whose occupation is listed as postal worker, stood with her hands clasped when she appeared before Judge Lawrence Ryan in Queenstown District Court yesterday.
She faces one indictably laid charge of stealing mail and parcels, between September 1, 2010 and November 9, 2012.
Prosecuting Sergeant Ian Collin said police were seeking an extension to January 30 to file written statements because of the "significant amount of police work to be undertaken".
"In terms of the position ... there's in the range of 17,000, shall we say, unopened items of mail that have [started to be] delivered over the course of this weekend.
"There is still 500 opened items."
Police needed to make inquiries with the senders of those items and the intended recipients to ascertain what items "may or may not have been taken".
Judge Ryan granted the extension to January 30 and remanded Lindsay on bail to February 14 for a post-committal conference.
Lindsay, who had been contracted by NZ Post, was arrested on November 9 and charged after police allegedly found thousands of items stored in her Frankton home and in a storage unit in Arrowtown.
She had since lost her job and was prohibited from entering any NZ Post store.
Last Sunday, 20 postal workers delivered items of overdue mail to more than 1300 addresses in the Fernhill and Sunshine Bay, Lake Hayes Estate and Arrowtown communities.
If the occupants were not at home, postal workers left a card with NZ Post's contact details to arrange another time for delivery. It is expected to take weeks to complete.
NZ Post said it would use all available resources to locate the intended recipients, including those who no longer lived in the area.