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Delivery out of the box

NZ Post has stopped delivering mail to more than 100 rural addresses in Wairarapa this year, but some residents say such decisions don’t make any sense.
Craigie Lee Rd residents, the latest to lose delivery, said NZ Post had put the changes down to large-scale logging operations that made the road unsafe.
But resident Mike Milburn said he couldn’t understand why his mail was now being delivered to a PO Box more than an hour away in Masterton.
“The mailman has to avoid these same dangerous trucks on the other parts of his daily 60km out, and 60km back drive, as he’s done for the past 20 years. And we only expect the one-day-a-week delivery that he’s been doing for us for 10 years.”
However, a NZ Post spokesperson said that until now there had not been any logging operations on Craigie Lee Rd for approximately five years.
“When they were operating before there were far less trucks, which meant our NZ Post rural contractor was able to work safely around them.
“We understand the current logging operations will be in place for up to 10 years. NZ Post would review the situation if there was a change in logging operations and we deemed it safe for our rural delivery contractor to travel along Craigie Lee Rd.”
However, Milburn said logging trucks were nothing new and the delivery driver would still encounter the same trucks on other parts of his route.
“He can even radio on the logging truck’s channel to let them know he’s coming down on our road.
“We think it’s because we’re still the only delivery down our road, he wants to avoid the 10 minutes in and out to us once a week.
“How does the Go Bus school driver feel about having to negotiate these logging trucks with a bus? And more precious cargo than a few letters?
“It just seems the rural contractor is trying to come up with a way to adjust his run to suit him.”
It followed a similar decision by a NZ Post contractor to stop delivering to another rural Masterton road last month. At the time, the contractor said they would no longer be delivering to residents on Kaiwhata Rd due to safety concerns that included logging trucks, gravel, and steep drop-offs. But residents said none of the concerns were new.
“She [NZ Post driver] has been doing the job for five or six years, I’ve lived here for 10 years and the road is no worse than when she started,” one resident said at the time.
A NZ Post spokesperson said five Kaiwhata Rd residents had their delivery permanently stopped for health and safety reasons and were asked to move their letterboxes to safer locations.
“There are also around 100 rural residents who have had their mail delivery stopped temporarily this year due to road closures and severe weather conditions.
“The overall number of rural delivery customers had actually been increasing in Wairarapa.
“NZ Post take the health and safety of its people seriously. Permanently stopping rural delivery to rural addresses is a relatively rare event.”
For Milburn, the writing to appears to be on the wall. He said that he didn’t think their mail delivery would ever return and was surprised when he got a phone call from NZ post saying their property now showed up as not receiving mail.
“News to us,” he said.
“I’ve asked that if we accept the PO Box in town, how long does that run? I got told decades.
“That sounds like code for you will never get your rural mail delivery to your property – we just can’t see why our one-day-a-week delivery can’t continue.”

George Shiers
George Shiers
George Shiers is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age interested in politics and social issues. He reports regularly on a range of topics including infrastructure, housing, and transport. George is also the Tararua reporter and helps cover police, fire and court stories.

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