The Government is exploring the option of creating "regional hubs" for banking and postal facilities in provincial areas where those services are shutting up shop.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson, who is the Minister responsible for NZ Post, said this morning the Government was in the early stages of exploring this idea.

"We're actively investigating whether it's possible for the Government to support regional hubs that could perhaps provide a front of house for banking services or other bill payment services in the regions."

Although he said it's early days, he wants to be able to provide a one-stop-shop for services such as these for people in the regions.


He said he had been working with Regional Development Minister Shane Jones on this idea.

Jones said he is "very keen" on the plan.

"The hubs would contain not only banking services, but other key services too.

"I'm really happy that Grant Robertson is acclaiming that body of work."

This comes as more NZ Post branches across New Zealand have been closing.

RNZ this morning reported NZ Post is planning on closing its last 79 shops amid plummeting mail volumes.

Kiwibank has also been closing some of its branches in the regions.

Robertson said NZ Post had a memorandum of understanding with the Government, which requires the state-owned enterprise to have 800 service outlets across the country.


Many post offices have franchised and have opened within Kiwibank branches.

"The issue [with] NZ Post is that fewer people are posting letters and the core services that they have are not being utilised as much. But they are required to have that presence."

Robertson said it is time for some "different thinking" around the future of NZ Post and for banking services in the regions.

"This is not just about the post – this is about ... regional banking services starting to be withdrawn [from the regions]."

He used a system in Australia as an example of the type of model the Government is exploring.

"If you look at models in Australia, there have been some examples of this where you have got a hub which is provided by the Government, where banks can effectively rent space in it, or there could be Government services provided from it."

He said it was important the Government had a wider look at issues in the regions, where banks and post offices were shutting up shop.