2018 ‘di­nosaur’ de­liv­ery nears

The Timaru Herald - - FRONT PAGE - KEN­DALL HUTT

Re­garded by most as an­ti­quated relics of a by­gone era, phone di­rec­to­ries are about to land in some Ki­wis’ let­ter­boxes, where many face a fu­ture as doorstops.

A con­sol­i­dated re­gional phone di­rec­tory, the Auck­land Yel­low Busi­ness Book, is set for de­liv­ery in Auck­land in March, with Rod­ney and Franklin, where the books are still well used, get­ting lo­cal di­rec­to­ries.

Marl­bor­ough, Gis­borne, Ro­torua and Tau­ranga res­i­dents will also re­ceive their phone books in March, with de­liv­er­ies for other ar­eas stag­gered through­out the year.

With a Jan­uary 16 dead­line loom­ing for Auck­land, only 14,222 house­holds and busi­nesses have opted out of re­ceiv­ing Yel­low’s di­rec­tory, or 2.5 per cent of de­liv­er­ies. Many peo­ple put this down to a lack of aware­ness of the on­line optout op­tion, Neigh­bourly.co.nz users said.

When 154 Neigh­bourly vot­ers learned they could opt out, 82.5 per cent said they in­tended to do so, while 17.5 per cent still wished to re­ceive the phone book.

‘‘An­ti­quated medium, con­sid­er­ing the var­i­ous de­vices that can be utilised for search­ing names, ad­dresses or com­pany num­bers. Can hon­estly say I have not looked at a White or Yel­low Pages for over 10 years,’’ Mitchell Fox from For­rest Hill said.

A hand­ful of res­i­dents said the phone book was still used by baby boomers who may not have ac­cess to the in­ter­net.

‘‘It still has its uses for older peo­ple who aren’t into dig­i­tal, and when the in­ter­net/power goes down,’’ Rob Wight­man from Rothe­say Bay said.

Lawyer and Taka­puna res­i­dent Rose Car­lyle said peo­ple were con­cerned about the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of the ‘‘pre-in­ter­net di­nosaur’’.

‘‘It seems that a lot of peo­ple feel strongly about the waste of ink, pa­per, and all the time and en­ergy that goes into print­ing and dis­tribut­ing the phone book.’’

Yel­low said its phone di­rec­to­ries were PEFC Cer­ti­fied and 100 per cent re­cy­clable, down to the wa­ter-based gloss on the cov­ers.

The com­pany’s de­ci­sion to con­sol­i­date its lo­cal books with its re­gional books had re­sulted in a re­duc­tion of 200 tonnes of pa­per, and it had re­duced the num­ber of pages through re­mov­ing un­nec­es­sary content.

‘‘In ar­eas where dig­i­tal search is higher (largely in metro ar­eas such as Auck­land, Wellington and Christchurch), there is a lower re­liance on printed di­rec­tory pages, so the books will be smaller in size.

‘‘Busi­nesses in pro­vin­cial New Zealand, (take Ti­maru for ex­am­ple) still have a high re­liance on print (40 per cent of peo­ple in the Ti­maru and Oa­maru re­gion used the Yel­low book in the past month, mak­ing more than 276,000 look-ups (Nielsen CMI YE March 2017),’’ Yel­low said in a state­ment.

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