Great ser­vice no more

Central Leader - - Front Page - By Janie Smith

THE WALLS of the San­dring­ham PostShop are cov­ered with cer­tifi­cates prais­ing it for its cus­tomer ser­vice.

But de­spite its ob­vi­ous suc­cess, the busi­ness is about to be stripped of some of its key ser­vices.

Owner Chan­der Satija has run the shop for the past two years and was shocked to get a let­ter on April 2 from New Zealand Post say­ing it can no longer pro­vide Ki­wiBank ser­vices, bill pay­ments, mo­tor regis­tra­tion, Land Trans­port ser­vices and IRD applications.

“We’ve been do­ing quite well, in terms of the stan­dards set by New Zealand Post for the per­for­mance of the busi­ness. Our per­for­mance has never been a prob­lem.”

The de­ci­sion came when the shop’s fixed-term fran­chise con­tract was up for re­newal.

Mr Satija says he was told at a re­cent fran­chise meet­ing that New Zealand Post wanted to ex­pand his store, but now it is be­ing down­graded solely to a post cen­tre.

“Peo­ple will have to go to St Lukes or Mt Roskill. There are no other PostShops in this area,” he says.

Many el­derly and dis­abled peo­ple will not be able to make the trip to the other cen­tres.

“Busi­ness peo­ple in the area are sole traders and they come here be­cause it doesn’t take much time. If they have to go to St Lukes, park­ing is a big prob­lem and they have to stand in queues.

“They can’t waste half a day, their busi­nesses would be ru­ined.”

Peo­ple us­ing the PostShop also visit other busi­nesses in the vil­lage, he says.

He has a pe­ti­tion run­ning to keep the ser­vices and about 200 cus­tomers have al­ready signed it.

Mr Satija says the $250,000 he in­vested in cap­i­tal to buy the busi­ness “will all be­come zero” and the loss of cus­tomers when the ser­vices go has him wor­ried he won’t be able to pay the rent on the shop.

The changes will come into ef­fect on July 2.

San­dring­ham Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Richard Cud­more says the as­so­ci­a­tion will be writ­ing to New Zealand Post to op­pose the ser­vices be­ing re­moved.

“We’re try­ing to keep the es­sen­tial ser­vices for the area.”

He says mak­ing a longer trip to other PostShops will be too much for many of the area’s res­i­dents.

Auck­land city coun­cil­lor Glenda Fryer is also writ­ing to New Zealand Post to fight for the ser­vices to stay in San­dring­ham.

New Zealand Post head of sales and ser­vices de­liv­ery Scott Pol­lard says the de­ci­sion to re­place full PostShop and Ki­wibank ser­vices at San­dring­ham was not made lightly.

“We took par­tic­u­lar ac­count of the need to strengthen our fo­cus on the rapid growth oc­cur­ring in Mt Roskill.

“With the close prox­im­ity of the Mt Roskill store, which also of­fers Ki­wibank, bill­pay and postal ser­vices, con­tin­u­a­tion of the San­dring­ham store with iden­ti­cal ser­vices would be an in­ef­fi­cient du­pli­ca­tion of ser­vices in this area.”

He says Mr Satija has been of­fered the op­tion of op­er­at­ing a post cen­tre, which will pro­vide the im­me­di­ate com­mu­nity with lo­cal postal ser­vices.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Ser­vices stripped: San­dring­ham PostShop owner Chan­der Satija is up­set to have some of the key ser­vices re­moved from the busi­ness.

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