An Auckland university student says her studies are being hampered by NZ Post's "snail" paced courier services that have kept her waiting for a laptop for weeks.

The student's mum Trish Boniface said the family used NZ Post to send the laptop to manufacturer Lenovo for repairs on May 5.

The computer's screen was blanking out intermittently, making it difficult to use.

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It took NZ Post seven days to get the laptop from Mairangi Bay to Mt Wellington, Boniface said. Receiving the laptop on May 11, Lenovo took two days to fix it.

NZ Post then picked up the laptop on May 15, but did not issue a tracking number until May 17. Since then there has been radio silence.

"It is now May 23 and still no indication that the laptop is on the way. It is impossible to get in touch with NZ Post at the moment to be even able to talk with someone there who can deal with this problem," Boniface said.

"They have closed the website inquiry page. And, of course, they are only open Monday–Friday for calls so no joy there either.

"I could crawl on my hands and knees faster that NZ Post seems to be able to drive across Auckland."

NZ Post said it would look into the Bonifaces' case but earlier joined other courier companies in begging customers to show them some grace after they faced a record backlog of parcels from the start of level 3.

Four weeks' worth of purchases were frozen during level 4, meaning in level 3 there was a surge of deliveries that overwhelmed courier companies across New Zealand.

CourierPost, which is owned by NZ Post, said on Thursday it still had 150,000 parcels from the start of level 3 - almost four weeks ago - that haven't been delivered.


Other courier companies said parcel delivery volumes hit levels similar to Christmas but without time to plan for the on-rush.

NZ Post says it has faced an unprecedented volume of parcels to deliver during alert level 3. Photo / 123rf
NZ Post says it has faced an unprecedented volume of parcels to deliver during alert level 3. Photo / 123rf

This came on top of physical distancing, contactless pickup and delivery and other safety measures due to the Covid-19 pandemic that further slowed deliveries.

"NZ Post wishes to sincerely apologise to customers who are waiting on an overdue parcel, as we clear a record backlog caused when NZ went into alert level 3," chief executive David Walsh said.

"We expect to have the 150,000 parcel backlog of items sent at the beginning of alert level 3, moving through our network and on their way to people over the next week."

He said NZ Post received more than 3.5 million parcels in the first two weeks of alert level 3 as more shops opened up online.

This was combined with the backlog of retail shopping that had been bought during level 4 but was unable to be delivered.

Walsh said the number of parcels has been unprecedented.

However, those parcels were now starting to move through its system.

"We are doing everything we can to get your items to you. We have set up temporary processing sites, and are operating 11 sites 24/7 for the first time," he said.

"We've brought on hundreds of extra vans and people, and are working around the clock to deliver what you care about."

But Boniface said the delays were now stretching into an unreasonable length and threatened to have lasting effects on her daughter's education.

"This is impacting my daughter's university studies severely as she needs certain programs on her laptop for her papers," she said.

"If we thought that for one moment that it would have taken NZ Post this long we would have waited to get the repair done."