Posties across the Hawke's Bay area reported eleven run-ins with dogs over the past three years, with most occurring in the Napier delivery area.
Information supplied to Hawke's Bay Today under the Official Information Act showed that between June 2011 and June 2013, posties throughout the Hawke's Bay delivery area reported eleven run-ins with dogs ranging in severity, from dogs roaming freely on unfenced sections to bites requiring medical treatment.
Five of the eleven incidents occurred in the Napier delivery area, with four in 2011 and one in 2012. No incidents have been reported in Napier so far this year. There have been three incidents in the Waipukurau area and three in Hastings.
No bites have been reported so far this year, only two loose dogs on properties in Waipukurau and a near miss when a dog attempted to bite a postie's arm in Hastings.
The more serious incidents date back to 2011 and 2012, when one postie in the Napier delivery area reported hearing dogs barking behind a large steel gate. Their owner then tried to put them into a car parked on the street. The dogs ran towards the postie, who attempted to block them by putting his bike in front of his body.
Despite this, one of the dogs managed to bite the postie through the frame of the bike. He needed medical attention. In other incidents, posties have described pain and discomfort and requiring first aid treatment after being bitten on the ankles, legs and hands by dogs on properties they were attempting to deliver mail to.
"Dogs are one of the main hazards posties encounter on their rounds," NZ Post spokesman Michael Tull said last week.
In 2006, NZ Post decided it was time to tackle the problem head-on, encouraging posties to report threatening dog behaviour to their team leaders.
The addresses were then recorded for postie awareness, working with dog owners and local councils to resolve problems.
Mr Tull said increased vigilance resulted in more dog attacks being reported. That year, they recorded 95 dog attacks on posties nationwide requiring medical treatment, ranging from punctured skin to serious injuries.
In contrast, just 30 attacks were recorded in the year to June 2013.
"We're managing the risk now a lot better than we used to but there are still some very nasty injuries occurring from dogs and particularly from the more notorious breeds of dogs that are known to be aggressive or have strong jaws."
In 2012, 281 near-miss events were recorded, such as posties being chased or rushed at. Mr Tull asked dog owners to be considerate towards posties or other service providers, especially if their letterbox or meter was within their property.