24 Oct 2013

Rural NZ to keep getting post five days a week

7:53 am on 24 October 2013

Rural communities are delighted that they have been spared cuts in their mail delivery service.

New Zealand Post has announced it will be halving deliveries to urban areas to three days a week.

However, it says its rural delivery service will remain the same - five days a week.

The number of letters being posted has fallen by 30% since 2006 and New Zealand Post has been reviewing its services.

Chief executive Brian Roche says it was clear from the consultation that mail services still represent a vital link to rural communities, which do not have the same access to fast internet as urban people.

He says New Zealand Post looked at the commercial operations and believed it could get it to work five days a week and the company has committed to doing that for as long as it can.

Mr Roche says it is not meant to create unnecessary uncertainty but it is a very dynamic situation and New Zealand Post is comfortable with the compromise that has been reached.

Rural Women New Zealand president Liz Evans says the announcement is a relief.

She says even in today's world when so much, such as banking, is done via the internet, that is not always the way in rural areas.

"The rural people, farming people, lifestyle block people rely on the rural delivery system to provide them with goods and services that the urban people can just go down to the corner shop for."

Ms Evans says the postal service in rural areas deals with all sorts of things, and people in those areas feel privileged and glad the service is still going to be available for five days.

Federated Farmers' president Bruce Wills says he is also delighted that the five day service will remain intact.

He says many rural businesses are still heavily reliant on it and the faster internet service available through the Rural Broadband Initiative has not reached all country communities.