Cherie Howie is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

NZ Post delivers DIY

Customers will be serving themselves under a new arrangement.

Ivan Dunn wasn't at all impressed with changes at the Browns Bay PostShop. Photo / Michael Craig
Ivan Dunn wasn't at all impressed with changes at the Browns Bay PostShop. Photo / Michael Craig

Post office customers are being dispatched to self-service counters as New Zealand Post bosses try to stamp out long queues.

The move has cost some PostShop staff their jobs - 10 took voluntary or involuntary redundancy after scanning equipment allowing customers to pay bills and organise postage was installed in eight North Shore PostShops.

The self-serve tellers are part of a pilot programme to cut the number of manned counter staff on the postal side of the business, while increasing the number of Kiwibank counter staff. NZ Post provides Kiwibank services through its PostShops.

NZ Post spokesman John Tulloch said although 10 staff had taken redundancy, 25 new jobs were created. "Not all the existing staff met the requirements of the new roles, and we worked with our people offering redeployment ... all up, a total of 10 people took redundancy."

He did not know how many were forced redundancies.

PostShops and PostCentres process more than 21 million financial transactions each year and 80 different types of payments can be made.

Browns Bay author Ivan Dunn visited his revamped PostShop for the first time last week - and was less than impressed.

Postal service counters had been cut from "four or five" to three tellers and a large table for organising parcels had also disappeared, replaced by two "small and flimsy" benches.

"When I went in, there was a woman on the floor on her knees putting tape on a box. I think they've made a faux pas, it's too small. It's going to be chaotic at Christmas time."

Tulloch said self-service kiosks had had limited testing throughout the country, but would be watched closely on the North Shore.

"We chose it because it's a really good cross-section of small businesses and private customers, and it's a growth area too. If it is successful it will be rolled out in [more] suitable areas."

The scanners allowed customers to pay bills to 70 organisations, and cut queues for everyone.

"Waiting times are a real issue."

The first stage of the changes occurred two years ago when seven shops were converted to PostCentres. Tulloch did not know when the scheme would be rolled out further. An online pay, print and post service - where anyone with a set of scales and ruler can organise postage from home - has also been running for two years. Tulloch said customers had to adapt to change and feedback so far had been positive.

- Herald on Sunday

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