NZ Post reveals two centres most affected by delays, and why

Thousands of Kiwis across the country are patiently waiting for their parcels to be delivered after delays due to the lockdown, but those in two parts of New Zealand are more affected than others.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, NZ Post had to prioritise essential items and once the country eventually moved to alert level 3 it received an influx of new parcels. That led to a massive backlog that posties are still trying to get on top of.

Chief executive David Walsh told The AM Show on Wednesday that about two-thirds of the 150,000 parcels delayed from early May after the start of alert level 3 had been cleared, with hopes the rest will be sent out by the end of the week. 

"Putting it in context, we have moved about 3.5 million parcels in about two weeks. Last week alone, we moved over two million. We'd normally move about a million. It has been an incredibly big amount of items coming in, and we do apologise for the public that have had delays in that as well," he said.

"When I was looking through items yesterday, I certainly didn't see anything coming in from April, but it's not impossible that there could, in fact, be some much older items. I have gone through, as much as I can, through the network myself to try and see where they are sitting."

He called the demand "unprecedented" and promised the public NZ Post was doing "everything that we can" to address the delays. 

He said while outside of Auckland, NZ Post was almost back to its normal service, North Shore and west Auckland were the two locations with the most delays.

"It is a combination of a couple of things. It could be a lot of demand for online buying in those areas, but I also know those are our two constrained operating sites," he said.

"Just to give perspective, we would normally run 90-100 courier vans out of the North Shore. On Monday this week, we are going to try and put 250 vans up there just to clear the backlog."

Walsh said the organisation would look back and consider what's happened as part of its plan for the future. He said the amount of parcels NZ Post was dealing with is what the volume is expected to be in three to four years time, considering the growth in online shopping. 

NZ Post said last week that it had set up temporary processing sites to help with the onslaught of packages. 

"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."