25 Feb 2014

Card from the Queen came too late

2:28 pm on 25 February 2014

The daughter of a Wellington centenarian who missed her message from the Queen because it got delayed in the post says the delay has left a very bad impression.

Connie Camfield with her card from the Queen.

Connie Camfield with her card from the Queen. Photo: RNZ

Janet Tyson's mother Connie Camfield turned 100 on 2 February, but the cards from the Queen and the Governor- General came late.

Mrs Tyson says she applied for the Queen's birthday message in October last year. In the week before the birthday, she says messages arrived from three government ministers, including Prime Minister John Key, but nothing from the Queen.

She says she called Government House who told her the letters had been posted more than a week before. She also phoned the Department of Internal Affairs twice and even visited her local postshop, which told her to call the customer care centre, which she did.

"After listening to all their messages, option 7 was talking to a customer service representative and the customer service representative told me there was no way they could track an ordinary letter, so there was nothing they could do. They suggested maybe I could contact Government House and they could arrange for another card and we could go and pick it up."

Mrs Tyson says the birthday went ahead at Malvina Major Retirement Village, with about 130 people and an orchestra.

When the Queen's card finally arrived on 5 February, it was postmarked 3 February.

Mrs Tyson says although she has received an apology from Government House, she has heard nothing from New Zealand Post. However,

New Zealand Post has now put out a statement saying the delay was regrettable and apologising to the family.

Deliberate delay in mail delivery denied