Concern for redundancies in bank, post closure
CENTRAL Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan says the biggest impact of the closure of the Alexandra NZ Post branch will be potential redundancies and the loss of business tenants in a highprofile location.
NZ Post and Kiwibank announced this week the Alexandra NZ Post and Kiwibank branch would close.
Spokeswoman Holly Thompson said the move would result in redundancies but could not confirm details or timeframes.
‘‘There will be redundancies, but those issues are still being discussed directly with the staff, so I don’t want to go into any further detail.’’
Five staff work at the Alexandra branch on full time and oncall roles.
The statement said the move was being done because of ‘‘the changing needs of NZ Post and Kiwibank customers and the services they utilise in branches’’.
A franchise partner will be sought ‘‘to deliver postal services and transactional banking services on our behalf’’.
Ms Thomson said it was not known when the franchise partner would be announced.
‘‘We don’t know the answer to this yet, as we are just beginning the search for a franchise partner now. We will keep the community informed as soon as any more specific information is known.’’
The move follows the decision last month to close the NZ Post shop in Queenstown, open a new Kiwibank branch and have postal services supplied by a business partner.
New Kiwibank ATM machines have recently been installed in both Queenstown and Alexandra.
Mr Cadogan said the announcement had come ‘‘as a shock’’ and was ‘‘disappointing’’ and ‘‘the first thing we all need to do as a community is recognise there are five employees whose jobs are under pressure and recognise the stress they’re going through’’.
He said it was important to remember that it seemed postal services in Alexandra would be retained, if deliveries were outsourced and a new outlet was established at a business in the town.
It was the staff redundancies and loss of a key tenant in Alexandra’s business centre that would cause the biggest impact, Mr Cadogan said.
‘‘The negative impact will be at a personal level for those staff whose jobs are threatened and the loss of business tenants in Alexandra. These [the NZ Post shop and an adjoining empty business space] are two large buildings in the guts of our town standing empty. These are the things that worry me.’’
The space beside the NZ Post shop was previously occupied by ANZ and has been vacant since August 2014. NZ Post owns both spaces in the building, at 66 Tarbert St.
Mr Cadogan said the loss of the Kiwibank branch in Alexandra could have less impact and pointed to ‘‘the future of banking’’.
‘‘This [the loss of the Alexandra Kiwibank] isn’t an Alexandra thing. This is banking around the world. It’s not a sign of a lack of faith and prosperity and economic positivity in small towns, broadly speaking. If you look at what happened in Ranfurly, when they lost their bank, by and large people have adapted, and by and large that will happen here [in Alexandra]’’.
Blow to the community . . . The closure of the Alexandra NZ Post and Kiwibank branch will hurt the district through potential redundancies and the loss of business tenants in the Alexandra town centre, Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan says.