Backlogged NZ Post parcels will start to be sent this week after COVID-19 lockdown delays

A huge backlog of parcels from the beginning of lockdown will start being sent this week, NZ Post says.

Since parcels couldn't be sent during alert level 4, NZ Post received an influx of online orders once the country moved to level 3. This overwhelmed courier companies and resulted in the massive accumulation of packages.

It currently has 150,000 parcels stuck in its backlog from the beginning of level 3 - which began nearly four weeks ago - that are yet to be sent. Safety rules around physical distancing and contactless pickup and delivery slowed this process further.

An NZ Post spokesperson says they are sorry to all affected customers and it will begin sending backlogged parcels this week.

"NZ Post wishes to sincerely apologise to customers who are waiting on an overdue parcel, as we clear a record backlog caused when NZ went into alert level 3.

"We expect to have the 150,000 parcel backlog of items sent at the beginning of alert level 3 moving through our network by the end of this week. We're really sorry it's taking us so long to deliver these items, but hope that people understand that this influx was a one-off, unprecedented event."

The company says it is now doing everything it can to ship items to customers.

"We have set up temporary processing sites, and are operating 11 sites 24/7 for the first time. We've brought on hundreds of extra vans and people, and are working around the clock to deliver what you care about.

"This is a one-off situation, and we are really sorry for the delays."

It received over 3.5 million parcels in the first two weeks of level 3. More than 3.2 million have been delivered but they couldn't all be sent in one go, they say. 

Items ordered online from now on won't be held with the backlog and will move through the network as normal, meaning these could arrive before something you ordered weeks ago. It says deliveries to Auckland and the Waikato could take up to 10 days, but nationally it is delivering most items within four days.