Jobs could be on the line as Kiwibank and New Zealand Post work through changes to their branches in Northland, including contracting out postal services and bill payments to local businesses.
The state-owned bank has announced it would open a standalone branch in Whangārei and future plans for its Kaitaia and Kaikohe branches are still being worked through.
The Whangārei Kiwibank and Post Shop is located on Rathbone St.
E Tū has 27 members working for Kiwibank in Northland and union co-ordinator Joe Gallagher said while postal and Kiwibank services would not be affected, jobs would be.
New Zealand Post is looking for businesses in Whangārei, Kaitaia and Kaikohe to offer postal services that are currently available at post shops and Kiwibank branches. There is no time frame and a spokesman said the goal was to find the most suitable business partner.
Most of the work in post shops is done by staff employed by Kiwibank. The bank refused to say how many employees it has in Northland, citing commercial sensitivity.
A Kiwibank spokeswoman said its staff would be the first to know of any changes before they were communicated with the public.
"We make every effort to re-deploy affected staff to other branches or roles within Kiwibank," she said.
General manager retail distribution Geoff Waller said Kiwibank has had great customer feedback from the standalone branches it had opened elsewhere around New Zealand.
"In particular, the unique spaces we've introduced are meeting our customers' needs and enabling much better in-depth financial conversations. We think the Whangārei community will enjoy this new look and feel."
But Gallagher said while services would remain, the nature and type of work for Kiwibank staff would change and that could lead to redundancies.
"The truth is people's jobs will be affected and for smaller places like Kaitaia and Kaikohe, that will be a bit challenging. New Zealand Post has been given leeway to pull the commercial levers," he said.