Opt-in choice for phone books

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Pub­lish­ers of the phone book are mov­ing with the times and giv­ing peo­ple the chance to opt in to re­ceive copies of the tomes.

Auck­land res­i­dents who wish to re­ceive the White pages res­i­den­tial phone book will need to or­der a copy, which will be de­liv­ered in June.

Nor­mal de­liv­ery of the Yel­low pages and White pages busi­ness books has started.

Yel­low, the com­pany re­spon­si­ble for the di­rec­to­ries, is pi­lot­ing an optin sys­tem.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Chris Ar­mis­tead says the trial was driven by feed­back from con­sumers.

A sur­vey con­cluded cen­tral Auck­land res­i­dents are most ready to adopt the change, with 81 per cent of re­spon­dents say­ing there should be a choice on whether the books are re­ceived.

‘‘Auck­lan­ders are chang­ing,’’ Mr Ar­mis­tead says. ‘‘They’re us­ing the White pages book less and whitepages.co.nz more, and we’ve had con­sumers ask­ing us when we’ll con­sider an opt-in sys­tem for the de­liv­ery of our res­i­den­tial di­rec­to­ries.

‘‘It’s about try­ing to get the bal­ance right as we trans­form our of­fer­ing to in­clude print and dig­i­tal.’’

Mr Ar­mis­tead says the com­pany ex­pects some en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits from the Auck­land opt-in pi­lot.

‘‘If 30 per cent of Auck­lan­ders or­der the White pages res­i­den­tial book this year, that will save around 770 tonnes of pa­per and 32 truck trips from Master­ton to Auck­land for distri­bu­tion.’’

Green Party MP Gareth Hughes says the move will bring New Zealand into the 21st cen­tury.

‘‘New Zealand is one of the few coun­tries left where it is com­pul­sory to de­liver tele­phone books to house­holds that don’t want them,’’ he says.

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