Mana PostShop shrinking
Mayor slams ‘sham consultation’
New Zealand Post engaged in a ‘‘ sham consultation’’ before deciding to close the Mana PostShop, says Porirua’s mayor.
New Zealand Post announced last week it was shifting services from its premises at 99 Mana Esplanade to another business as part of a nationwide strategy.
However, it has not yet entered into negotiations with a nearby business.
Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said he was appalled by the decision, which would affect north Porirua businesses and residents, especially older people.
‘‘ There was a sham consultation, sending out an email to various members of the community to tell them,’’ Leggett said.
‘‘New Zealand Post effectively needs to close this branch, but to do it before engaging a solution gives no guarantees. ‘‘It’s appalling.’’ New Zealand Post general manager store network Jon Andrews said a presence in Mana would be maintained. Postal and banking services would not be affected.
The company operated in that fashion in 136 communities around the country, he said.
Andrews said it was too early to say if jobs would be lost. The store financing was commercially sensitive information, he said.
‘‘New Zealand Post has been signalling for two years that we need to make changes [nationwide] to remain a viable business.’’
Leggett said New Zealand Post had ‘‘trampled’’ on Porirua again, referring to the 2012 closure of the CBD post office, which affected foot traffic for businesses under the Canopies.
He wanted the organisation to actively consult with the public.
Leggett and Mana MP Kris Faafoi will be writing to New Zealand Post, asking for proper public consultation.
Faafoi said there were a lot of unanswered questions.
‘‘It’s like last time [the Canopies PostShop] – no talking to the community,’’ he said.
‘‘Maybe it’s because they know what the reaction will be.
‘‘I know the volume of mail is dropping, but to learn via an email is poor form. People depend on this shop and it seems like an arbitrary decision.’’
Grey Power zone 4 director Kilian de Lacy said the decision should be seen as a government department breaking a contract with its users. She said a closure or smaller PostShop would be a huge inconvenience for regular users, especially the elderly.
Mana resident and business owner Euon Murrell said he was struggling to comprehend New Zealand Post’s reasoning.
‘‘There’s lines out the door and they’re going to make it smaller? They’re screwing their own business,’’ he said. ‘‘Sure, people are changing the way they mail things, but they’re being forced to.
‘‘I suspect New Zealand Post won’t find another business to put their services into, and they’ll be forced to close for good.’’