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’’.
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.
‘‘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.