NZ Post’s cuts hit the el­derly

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By RHI­AN­NON McCON­NELL

Ben Tre­drea is one of the big losers as New Zealand Post cut more ser­vices.

The Ti­tahi Bay res­i­dent, like many oth­ers in the sub­urb, pays his bills at the Four Square in Whitehouse Rd.

Nine years ago, Tre­drea, 72, helped pe­ti­tion New Zealand Post to have the abil­ity to pay phone and elec­tric­ity bills at the Four Square.

It came as a shock when he found out last week that the ser­vice would be dis­con­tin­ued.

‘‘That will likely stuff up a lot of people,’’ he said.

‘‘ There’s a swag of el­derly people, like me, who don’t like the in­ter­net and don’t have a PC or any­thing, so how are they go­ing to pay their bills? They will have to go to Porirua.

‘‘It will just be bloody an­noy­ing and when I get a bill I will have to wait un­til I do my shop­ping.’’

The Ti­tahi Bay bill pay­ment ser­vice was scrapped af­ter New Zealand Post said it would levy the shop­keep­ers $1.50 per trans­ac­tion.

Four Square owner Ga­ia­tri Kansara said even though the store had been given two months to stop the ser­vice, they stopped it last week be­cause people were not will­ing to pay the new levy.

She said about 50 people a week paid their bills at her shop and she had re­ceived many com­plaints that it was no longer avail­able.

Other ser­vices would still be of­fered at the store, in­clud­ing stamps and courier mail.

New Zealand Post na­tional store net­work de­vel­op­ment man­ager Neil Smith-Pilling said the num­ber of people us­ing the bill pay ser­vice at the store was de­clin­ing and the process was time-con­sum­ing for staff.

‘‘Lo­cal people are in­creas­ingly opt­ing to pay bills on­line or at our PostShop Ki­wibank out­let in the Porirua Me­ga­Cen­tre. We’ve been work­ing with the [Four Square] owner on this de­ci­sion.’’

Tre­drea said he would do what he could to op­pose the de­ci­sion.

‘‘I thought there must be some­thing we can do. At least we can try.’’

Mana MP Kris Faafoi said the changes were dis­ap­point­ing, and raised fur­ther ques­tions as to the fu­ture of Mana PostShop, which will be merg­ing with an­other store later this year.

‘‘This is an­other kick in the guts for Porirua as more ser­vices bite the dust in sub­ur­ban ar­eas,’’ he said.

‘‘I re­alise times are chang­ing but if this is hap­pen­ing at Ti­tahi Bay, is this what is even­tu­ally planned for New Zealand Post in Mana?

‘‘Now the only place to pay bills is the Porirua PostShop, which New Zealand Post moved with no con­sul­ta­tion, or the Mana PostShop, which will close and re­lo­cate to an­other Mana-based busi­ness.’’

Faafoi said he would be meet­ing with New Zealand Post of­fi­cials in the next fort­night to dis­cuss the Ti­tahi Bay sit­u­a­tion and the

fu­ture of the Mana PostShop.

Photo: RHI­AN­NON McCON­NELL

Postal prob­lems: Ben Tre­drea, 72, will now have to pay his bills in the Porirua City Cen­tre.

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