25 Feb 2014

Deliberate delay in mail delivery denied

5:39 pm on 25 February 2014

New Zealand Post says claims that it deliberately holds back standard mail to give its FastPost service a head start are incorrect.

The Postal Workers Union says there is a deliberate policy to hold back mail that has been processed and is ready for delivery but New Zealand Post says it has no such policy.

Its general manager for postal deliveries, Matthew Riordan, told Morning Report standard mail must arrive within three days of being sent, and when it is ready it goes. Mail goes through multiple sorts, he says: "It's not just doing one sort and sitting there."

He says a lot of standard mail is received a day earlier than intended and in January, 96.2 percent of all mail arrived on time.

The union says some standard mail is being put on hold at mail centres when only partly processed, while other mail that has been fully processed is kept from being sent out for delivery.

Spokesperson John Maynard says the delaying of standard mail is unacceptable and the practice is affecting workers' morale.

He says it seems the company is trying to encourage people to pay extra for its fastpost service, under which mail is delivered the following day. He told Morning Report the drive for profits clashes with the usual public service commitment of postal workers.

Mr Maynard says people will lose confidence in New Zealand Post and switch to other means of communication or private mail delivery companies.