Con­cern for re­dun­dan­cies in bank, post clo­sure

Otago Daily Times - - Re­gions - PAM JONES pam.jones@odt.co.nz

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]’’.

PHOTO: PAM JONES

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.

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