The sight of the rural delivery van is a highlight of the day for many during lockdown, and it might not just be about the newspapers and bills.
RD9 postie David Sherriff said he was delivering a lot of wine and beer boxes.
"I have so much glass clunking around in the back of my van. It's like Christmas every day."
And while Sherriff would love to stop and say hi, he doesn't have time.
His day has started at 4am and he will be working until at least 4pm, six days a week.
His main run covers 178km every day over half of the 0179 postcode, which is west of Whangārei.
"When I have to drive in and out or driveways to deliver parcels, I can be covering more than 200km each day.
"I discourage people from having a chat, especially at the moment, as I have to maintain at least a two-metre distance and wear a mask when I am outside the vehicle.
"Even when it's not lockdown, I simply don't have the time as I have to get around 700 to 800 letterboxes."
The RD9 run was split in two as the population on the edges of Whangārei has grown, with Sherriff responsible for RD9B. His route covers a large arc to include Poroti, Whatitiri, Mangakāhia and State Highway 14.
RD9A covers from the Whangārei Museum to Pukeatua Rd, which is just past Maungatapere.
Sherriff's RD9B run includes a large proportion of metal roads.
"It's a bit of a ghost town out there at the moment. I'm seeing only a few utes as farmers are moving around their properties," he said.
"There are no logging trucks. It's definitely not normal traffic."
While the lack of traffic is welcome, his job isn't any easier as homebound people have been shopping up a storm online.
Sherriff said most rural delivery drivers are wading through a bumper amount of freight.
"The amount of freight is double what I would normally be delivering. Most of us have been slammed with extra deliveries, as people are keeping busy by shopping online."
That has led to issues clearing freight from depots.
"There have been some issues due to Covid-19 safety at the depot but everyone is working hard to get through it."
Since taking over the round a couple of years ago, Sherriff has faced some challenges.
Four days after taking on the round, he was assaulted by some young men who had been speeding on the remote road and landed in a ditch.
"I got jumped by three guys who were hyper-aggressive and they punched me. It was not a nice introduction to the job, but they were caught and they were not locals," he said.
More recently, he has been continuing to work with his arm in a cast.
"I just had to keep working as I don't have any backup. I've been trying to interview people but it's very difficult at the moment with lockdown as people need to go out on the job."
Sherriff said new rural delivery vans being brought in next year would mean some box holders would have to move their letterboxes to allow for the different-shaped vans, which had more of a nose as the motor was at the front instead of under the seat.
"When customers sign up for rural delivery they are required to provide a proper rural letterbox which is front opening and of a particular size. The details are on the NZ Post website.
"They need to make sure the letterbox is in a place with easy access."
Sherriff said Northland's roads were appalling and worn out and flat tyres were a constant issue.
"I change a full set of tyres every three months. I have two vans so I can swap if I need to. Maintenance and fuel costs are a constant expense.
"Potholes develop overnight, especially after rain, and the road changes every day. Corrugations are a big problem as well."
While the postal deliveries go ahead in all weathers, the occasional Mangakāhia River flood has defeated him.
"I can do rain or hail but I can't do floods."
Sherriff said he has been stuck in mud a few times and had to be towed out by tractors.
"I've also been bitten by a couple of dogs but most dogs on the round are pretty good.
"There are a couple of places where the dogs are too dangerous so I pop the parcels over the fence and text the owners."
He has a formidable memory for names and letterbox numbers but he does use a tablet to help him keep track of newspaper deliveries and updates if owners are away.
"It's never boring."