NZ Post says it has to move with the times

The Mata­mata Chron­i­cle re­ceived this re­sponse from New Zealand Post in re­gard to last week’s front page story ‘‘Mail ser­vice un­der threat’’.

Matamata Chronicle - - Opinion -

and postal ser­vices.

The cur­rent Deed was last sig­nif­i­cantly up­dated in 1998, some 14 years ago, at a time which pre- dated the dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion.

That rev­o­lu­tion has re­sulted in the rapid ex­pan­sion of in­ter­net­based prod­ucts and ser­vices which have fun­da­men­tally changed the way peo­ple com­mu­ni­cate, do busi­ness and shop.

The last decade has seen an un­prece­dented drop in mail vol­umes.

There was 24 per cent less mail (265 mil­lion fewer items) posted in 2012 than a decade be­fore in 2002.

Within five years mail vol­umes are forecast to de­cline fur­ther, to just over 600 mil­lion items – in other words, just 50 per cent of the mail vol­ume in 2002.

New Zealand Post Group CEO Brian Roche said the Deed no longer re­flects the cur­rent use of New Zealand Post’s ser­vices, or the im­pact tech­nol­ogy has made as a sub­sti­tute.

‘‘Ev­ery postal sys­tem around the world is fac­ing sim­i­lar chal­lenges and they are be­gin­ning to act,’’ Mr Roche said.

out­let

‘‘We are seek­ing an agree­ment that gives us the flex­i­bil­ity and cer­tainty to be able to plan for that fu­ture. With­out that flex­i­bil­ity, stan­dard let­ter mail and postal out­let ser­vices will in­cur sig­nif­i­cant losses.

‘‘ Not gain­ing flex­i­bil­ity will leave us with some chal­leng­ing and un­sus­tain­able op­tions – ask­ing for tax­payer funded sub­si­dies to prop up the let­ters busi­ness; op­er­at­ing the postal busi­ness at a loss which will de­grade the busi­ness over time; or cross- sub­si­dis­ing from other parts of New Zealand Post, deny­ing the busi­ness the op­por­tu­nity to grow and in­vest.

‘‘ The doc­u­ment re­leased clearly out­lines the ra­tio­nale for change and what we need to do to en­sure our let­ters busi­ness has a fu­ture. We have ex­hausted the short term fixes the 1998 Deed al­lows.’’

Mr Roche said New Zealand Post has en­gaged with key stake­hold­ers in­clud­ing busi­ness, the ru­ral sec­tor and groups rep­re­sent­ing older New Zealan­ders about the fu­ture of postal ser­vices, and will tinue to do so.

‘‘ The pub­lic submission process over the next six weeks will fur­ther in­form the de­ci­sion on the fi­nal na­ture of the agree­ment with the Government.

‘‘ We be­lieve the agree­ment should fo­cus on en­sur­ing cus­tomers can ac­cess ser­vices, not on re­quir­ing ser­vices to be pro­vided in a par­tic­u­lar way as the cur­rent 1998 Deed pre­scribes,’’ he said.

Mr Roche em­pha­sised the pro­posed new Deed was not a busi­ness plan, but rather the frame­work which would pro­vide the pa­ram­e­ters for those plans to be cre­ated, and im­ple­mented over time.

‘‘We are not about to re­duce let­ter mail de­liv­ery fre­quency im­me­di­ately.

‘‘It is, how­ever, in­evitable at some point in the fu­ture that there the need to re­duce stan­dard let­ter mail de­liv­ery fre­quency.

‘‘We un­der­stand that th­ese pro­posed changes will, over time, im­pact on our cus­tomers, users and em­ploy­ees.

‘‘How­ever the in­flu­ence of tech­nol­ogy will

con- con­tinue and may well ac­cel­er­ate.

‘‘ It will not, in our view, go away, and nor will the chal­lenges we face,’’ he said.

‘‘Hence, our pro­posal is to man­age th­ese chal­lenges proac­tively, so we can main­tain a vi­able and de­pend­able net­work.’’

The dis­cus­sion doc­u­ment and de­tails of how to make sub­mis­sions can be viewed at this web­site: mbie.govt.nz.

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