Community advocates concerned postal price hikes will cut off rural New Zealanders

  • 08/06/2023

A group of community advocates has written to the Beehive concerned about the rising cost of mail.

They are concerned the price will become too high for New Zealanders to put anything in the post box, threatening to cut off Kiwis in rural areas.

From July, New Zealand Post is hiking its postage price for bulk mail customers by 30 percent, while everyday Kiwis can expect the price of sending a standard letter to increase from $1.70 to $2 (including GST). 

NZ Post said the changes are needed as mail volumes decline. Twenty years ago, it delivered more than 1 billion mail items annually - now that's down to about 230 million.

"As a result, NZ Post continues to move toward more commercially sustainable prices for mail," general manager of mail Matt Geor said in a statement.

But a group of concerned communities and businesses said the price changes threaten to cut them off, appealing to the Government to make a change that will stop the increases.

Thirteen organisations sent a letter to ministers and MPs on Wednesday, asking them to amend the deed of understanding that exists between the Government and state-owned NZ Post. 

"Our aim is to ensure the Government acts to put pressure on NZ Post to deliver on its

promise of accessibility," Nicholas Burrowes from the Magazine Publishers Association said. 

"Without an amendment to the deed to address the cost of post, this price increase will

effectively diminish our local voice and identity, and put companies out of business in a

sector that employs hundreds of New Zealanders."

Rural Women NZ's chief executive Gabrielle O'Brien is particularly concerned about people living in remote areas of the country, as postal services play a vital connection to each other.

"Whilst digital connectivity is improving, there are many New Zealanders in these remote

communities who do not have consistent, reliable connectivity and who rely on the postal

service to run their businesses and to keep informed," she told AM.

Collectively the group is calling for the Government to ensure all New Zealanders have fair

and equitable access to the postal service

"NZ Post is owned by New Zealanders and it is New Zealanders the Government should be putting at the centre at this time," the group said.