In a new proposal released yesterday by Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams, NZ Post wants "greater flexibility" in its postal services. This could also mean some of NZ Post's 880 outlets may end up as just self-service kiosks.
It's all down to a severe decline in mail demand: "During the last 10 years mail volumes have dropped considerably, with 265 million fewer items being posted each year compared to 2002. Within five years, mail volumes are forecast to be nearly half what they were in 2002," says Adams.
In order to cope with its plummeting fortunes, NZ Post wants to make changes to the Universal Service Obligations it's bound by. This would include reducing the number of days mail is delivered to a minimum of three days a week and bringing in self-service kiosks.
Adams: "Any change would require Govt approval and...the public (will have) the opportunity to comment on the proposals. I will look to balance the interests of postal users with the need to ensure a financially-viable postal service." NZ Post's core postal service lost $11.17m in the last financial year.
[Last year NZ Post (a state-owned enterprise) requested to change the deed of understanding it signed with the Crown in 1998. The current deed has a minimum six days per week delivery to 95% of addresses, five days pw delivery to 99.88% of addresses and 1-4 days pw delivery to other 0.12% of addresses. NZ Post wants that changed to not less than three days pw delivery to 99.88% of addresses and one day pw delivery to other 0.12% of delivery points.]
I suggest if NZ Post wants more public support, it actually fulfills its current targets! Paying for FastPost (supposedly for next-day delivery), then being told they can't actually GUARANTEE that, and - surprise! - having that same FastPost delivery take a week to travel 50km, does not auger well for customer satisfaction or support.
Little wonder many now only use emails!