NZ Post to Axe Weekend Parcel + Newspaper Deliveries to Rural Addresses
Rural News
Rural News

NZ Post to Axe Weekend Parcel + Newspaper Deliveries to Rural Addresses

New Zealand Post (NZ Post) has unveiled plans to alter its delivery schedule for newspapers and parcels in rural regions across the country. 

Effective from June 29, 2024, Saturday deliveries to rural addresses will be discontinued, citing commercial viability concerns. However, regular deliveries from Monday to Friday will remain unaffected.

Brendon Main, Chief Operating Officer of NZ Post, emphasised the economic rationale behind the decision. 

"Today, the items delivered by NZ Post rural delivery partners on Saturday are limited to subscription newspapers, as well as some parcels. We deliver very low volumes of items on these days, and it costs us more to deliver on Saturdays than we earn from the products we deliver."

Highlighting the specifics of the change, Main outlined that from June 29, 2024, newspaper and parcel deliveries on Saturdays will cease in the majority of rural New Zealand, with exceptions for 17 rural delivery runs that will be phased out by June 2025. These exceptions, located in Canterbury and Waikato, aim to provide additional time for business customers to adjust to alternative arrangements.

Despite the adjustments, Main assured that rural mail delivery, which currently excludes Saturdays, will persist from Monday to Friday. This assurance aligns with NZ Post's commitment under the Deed of Understanding, an agreement with the government specifying mail delivery frequency.

Acknowledging the potential impact on rural residents, Main expressed empathy, remarking, "We acknowledge the effect that ceasing Saturday deliveries may have on Kiwis who live at a rural address. This is not a decision that we have made lightly and we empathize with those who could be impacted by this change."

NZ Post plans to inform affected rural customers about the alterations through written notifications. Additionally, rural customers receiving Saturday deliveries through NZ Post's Box Lobby service will be notified individually.

The decision stems from consultations with rural delivery partners and consideration of the implications for business customers. It reflects NZ Post's ongoing transformation in response to declining mail volumes and the projected expansion of e-commerce, all while striving for commercial sustainability without government funding.

Main emphasised the necessity of making difficult decisions to ensure NZ Post's evolution to meet evolving customer needs. He reiterated the company's commitment to investing in a robust delivery business while navigating towards a commercially sustainable mail delivery service.

"These are not always easy decisions to make, and we again acknowledge the impact on rural communities," Main concluded.

In the face of changing landscapes, NZ Post's announcement signals a strategic shift towards long-term viability, albeit with recognition of the challenges faced by rural residents and businesses.