Mana PostShop shrink­ing

Mayor slams ‘sham con­sul­ta­tion’

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By KRIS DANDO

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.’’

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