Federated Farmers has successfully lobbied for rural delivery runs currently on six days per week to reduce to five days per week from July 2015.
New Zealand Post and the Government had originally proposed to cut rural delivery runs to three days per week in the face of declining mail volumes.
However, after the Federation launched a campaign to see the rural delivery runs retained, it was decided the areas which currently run six days per week would only be reduced by one day from July 1, 2015. Rural areas currently on less than a six day delivery frequency will remain unchanged.
This is a huge win for the Federation's membership as New Zealand Post's Rural Delivery contractors deliver a lot more than just post; they deliver non-postal essentials such as medicine, the weekly newspaper and farm consumables. In some areas which are still on dial up or satellite internet, the rural delivery runs are the rural community's main means of communication.
The rural delivery contractors also need to be able to run a viable business and if the frequency was reduced to three days per week some contractors may 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 the Deed of Understanding between New Zealand Post and the Government. Urban areas will go down to three days per week and some New Zealand Post shops will close and be replaced by self-service kiosks.
New Zealand Post is still working on how the five day service will run and what days' post will be delivered. Federated Farmers will continue to work with the company to ensure the service meets the needs of our members.
The state owner enterprise and the Government will review the Deed of Understanding again in 2018. This will coincide with the completion of the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) and the Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) Initiative.