NZ Post to begin large wave of layoffs, cutting hundreds of jobs

NZ Post is laying off hundreds of workers across the company in the coming years as part of a large wave of cuts.

Chief executive David Walsh said in a statement the cuts to the 4500-strong workforce were the result of a drastic change in the way New Zealanders communicate.

"NZ Post continues to evolve in response to mail decline and will soon begin consultation on reducing the number of mail roles by about 750 FTE (full-time equivalent) over the next five years," the statement said.

Walsh signalled the changes wouldn't happen overnight. 

"This will be an adjustment that we will make gradually over the next five years," he said in the statement.

"Our focus will be on our people and supporting them with this transition.

"The way we deliver mail in five years will look very different and we know our future workforce won't be the same size and shape as it is today."

He cited the ongoing decrease in the use of mail services as the main reason for the cuts.

"Twenty years ago New Zealanders sent over 1 billion mail items in the year, which has decreased dramatically to around 220 million mail items in the current year, and we predict that this will decrease to about 120 million items by 2028," the statement said. 

"NZ Post now needs to move toward a commercially sustainable model for mail delivery."

In a statement, the Postal Workers Union said NZ Post should be adjusting "its mail delivery service and staffing levels to meet the needs of the residents and businesses, not just the demands of the market".

"The Postal Workers Union will continue its advocacy for a fit for purpose mail delivery service that meets the needs of the population, without NZ Post further extending its exploitative  courier contractor model to posties."