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Underwater Post Office A NZ Innovation

For immediate release 03 July, 2003

World’s Only Underwater Post Office A New Zealand Innovation

Vanuatu Post, run by Transend -appointed Chief Executive Ian Hollins, has unveiled the world’s only underwater Post Office.

Located in a marine sanctuary in the South Pacific island of Vanuatu and submerged about three metres below sea level, the underwater Post Office is open to both snorkellers and divers and even includes an underwater post box.

Divers and snorkellers who post special ‘waterproof postcards’ will have their cards cancelled/embossed by the postal staff in the Underwater Post Office.

Instead of the traditional method of stamping with ink, the underwater Post Office uses a specially developed waterproof embossed cancellation device to show that the cards have been sent.

Chief Executive Ian Hollins came up with the idea as a way of promoting Vanuatu Post and local tourism.

“The sea is a hugely important part of life in Vanuatu and the idea was to recognise it in some way,” says Ian. “This new Post Office is something very special and is a great way for Vanuatu Post to support tourism.

“It is already becoming an extremely popular attraction in Vanuatu, although we are not sure if we will see underwater Post Offices popping up in seas all around the world!”

The Post Office is operated by four Vanuatu Post staff who have completed their Open Water dive training and is open for at least an hour every day. A special flag is raised on a float above the site when there are postal workers in the water.

The distinctive postcards are guaranteed to receive the special cancellation from the unique underwater reserve before being delivered either locally or internationally.

Transend, New Zealand Post’s international consulting arm, is contracted by Vanuatu Post to provide the Chief Executive until 2005.


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