2018 ‘dinosaur’ delivery nears
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.