Ministers must front on Queenstown postal service delivery failures

The Government's postal deed of understanding with New Zealand Post has not kept up to date with residential growth in areas of Queenstown, resulting in residents not receiving the mail delivery service they are entitled to, says National's MP for Southland, Joseph Mooney.

"Residents of Hanley's Farm have contacted me with concerns about New Zealand Post's failure to deliver mail in their area. They say negotiations with the state-owned enterprise New Zealand Post have reached a stalemate.

"It is not good enough to say that people aren't writing enough letters to justify service delivery, and we need the Government to tell us what they intend to do about it," Mr Mooney says.

"Hanley's Point is a residential area with over 2,000 houses, so it's unclear how New Zealand Post can justify a decision not to deliver mail there."

Mr Mooney says the organisation has not engaged in good faith about the ongoing issue.

"When I first looked into this issue in 2021, it was my understanding that service delivery decisions were based on accessibility for New Zealand Post vehicles to the area, amongst others.

“Other 'viable options' were being explored to ensure the residents in those areas received an acceptable level of service. One of the temporary solutions was PO Boxes in Wakatipu Box Lobby and Queenstown Box Lobby being made available to residents, a far drive for some.

"Nothing has been done since and this is not good enough," says Mr Mooney.

"It is part of a trend we are seeing under this Labour Government with government departments failing communities with inadequate and outdated service delivery plans.

“As households in affected areas are currently being surveyed with the results due later this month, I intend to meet with the community to discuss the results and next steps.

"I have asked the Ministers in charge of State-Owned Enterprises and their operations, David Clarke and Megan Woods, to confirm what they intend to do to ensure New Zealand Post maintains its minimum service obligations for the delivery of postal services to Hanley's Farm as per the postal deed of understanding with the Government.

“This deed guarantees a commitment by New Zealand Post to add new delivery points upon request, subject to due diligence work being carried out,” he says.

"I would also like to know what the outcome was of the planned review of the deed in March 2021 and whether there was any public consultation about it."