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Rural delivery a lifeline says Rural Women NZ


Media release
For immediate release
30 January 2013


Future of postal services: Rural delivery a lifeline says Rural Women NZ

Rural Women New Zealand says while it understands the need for NZ Post to look at its business model in the face of a dramatic decrease in mail volumes, the special role of the rural delivery service also needs to be acknowledged and preserved as far as possible.

“We appreciate that NZ Post has consulted with us extensively about the future options it’s considering,” says Rural Women New Zealand national president, Liz Evans. “In turn we have emphasised that the rural delivery service is a real lifeline for many people.”

The RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Awards, now in their fifth year, have revealed the increasing number of small businesses in rural communities and beyond.

“To be able to operate effectively and competitively, these businesses need a rapid service for mail-order goods at a reasonable cost, both to the supplier and the customer,” says Mrs Evans.

Rural Women New Zealand actively supports and promotes such businesses and we need to be satisfied that the proposed NZ Post changes will not have a negative impact on rural enterprise and innovation.

For example, our consultation with Rural Women New Zealand members has shown a strong resistance to any fee being re-introduced for mail delivery services.
“Parcels posted to and from rural areas already incur extra costs, and we would not wish to see further targeting of rural customers who are so dependent on the mail service,” says Mrs Evans.

The RWNZ Postman pat-on-the-back Awards last year revealed the extent of the social and practical services provided by rural delivery contractors, which go well beyond delivering the mail.

Rural contractors often deliver groceries, medicines, supplies or spare parts, all of which help farmers, small businesses and families overcome the obstacles of living long distances from town.

The award entries also revealed the very important social role played by rural posties.

For some living in remote areas, the rural delivery contractor is the only contact with the outside world for days at a time. Several mentioned how important this is in combating loneliness, which can lead to depression, another very real problem for rural.

While Rural Women New Zealand appreciates that digital communications have had a real impact on NZ Post’s business, broadband services are still some way off for many rural people, who must cope with the limitations of dial-up connections.

“And of course there are people who are not computer literate, or who have insufficient income to pay for a satellite connection, for whom email is not an option.”

Rural Women New Zealand will be further consulting with its members on the NZ Post proposals and making a formal submission.

Ends

Click this link for stories/entries in our Postman pat-on-the–back Awards about the role played by rural posties: http://www.ruralwomen.org.nz/BlogRetrieve.aspx?PostID=310494&A=SearchResult&SearchID=17455338&ObjectID=310494&ObjectType=55

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