9 Jun 2010

NZ Post may cut Saturday mail deliveries

7:59 pm on 9 June 2010

New Zealand Post could consider ending mail deliveries on Saturday or even limiting deliveries to every second day, as it grapples with falling letter volumes.

With more people switching to email, NZ Post chair Jim Bolger told Nine to Noon that mail volumes are falling rapidly all over the world.

The Government has been given a range of options to keep mail delivery profitable, including combining home delivery and courier services.

Mr Bolger said New Zealand Post is not recommending any particular cost-cutting strategy at this stage, merely putting all the options on the table.

He said New Zealand Post has to balance community expectations with making sensible business decisions.

NZ Post's profit fell by 19.4% to $42.5 million in the six months to the end of December, compared to the same period the previous year. Domestic mail and postal volumes fell by more than 5%, with some 27 million fewer items being sent.

Union perceives government pressure

The Postal Workers Union says it's concerned that the Government is pressuring the board of New Zealand Post to maintain profits at the expense of quality of service.

The union's southern region president, John Maynard, says he doesn't think the drop-off in mail is severe enough to warrant delivery cuts just yet.

It would be disappointing, he says, if the idea of deliveries every second day is being seriously considered, and he's also disappointed that the union appears more confident in the postal service's future than its chairman is.