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Posties' union delivers NZ Post broadside

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/06/2017

The Postal Workers Union is calling on NZ Post to cancel an increase in FastPost charges, accusing the state-owned mail business of deliberately slowing delivery times to manipulate customer behaviour.

But NZ Post says the price rise will go ahead and it has rejected the union's claims.

From July 1, the cost of sending items by FastPost will rise by 50 cents per item (a medium-sized letter rises to $2.30). In March it said the drastic decline in mail volumes meant the price rise was needed.

But the union has slammed the service, saying NZ Post should first ensure it comes up to scratch.

Posties and mail sorters are "frustrated and embarrassed" to see the FastPost date stamps showing that they may have missed the service delivery promise, says union spokesman John Maynard.

"NZ Post had deliberately slowed down the delivery of standard letter mail because the company wanted customers sending letters for next day delivery to have to pay extra."

But NZ Post had also made some changes which would make FastPost delivery less cost-effective and the union was concerned that would be used to justify pulling the service entirely, Mr Maynard said.

The union was also critical of the two-year-old alternate day delivery regime, saying NZ Post was "downgrading" its letter service and many Mother's and Father's Day cards would arrive on the Monday after.

"The union is well aware of the steady decline in posted letters but believes the company's actions are less about the economics of letter delivery and more about the ideology of privatisation - privatisation by stealth."

But a NZ Post spokesman says there is no goal of privatisation, it is not deliberately slowing the standard letter delivery service and the FastPost service will continue.

"NZ Post is working hard to provide New Zealand's leading standard letter delivery service that meets the demands of our customers while also being sustainable," he said.

"Overnight (next day) letter delivery is an important service for some of our customers and will continue to be available."

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