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New Zealand - Postal Service and Mail Delivery

The Post Office of New Zealand was a state-owned part of the government until it was privatised in 1987. For a number of years this was the only postal service in the country but this was deregulated in 1998, allowing other organisations to launch their own services. Other operators can only offer this service if they are registered with the Ministry of Economic Development, but despite competition, New Zealand Post is still required by the government to offer a postal service throughout the country, so the introduction of competitors will not lead to New Zealand Post reducing services. At the moment there are approximately 25 postal operators registered, although New Zealand Post remains the leading operator.

New Zealand Post offers a wide range of services. Customers can pay bills over the counter, obtain foreign currency for holidays, travel insurance and licence their vehicle. In addition customers can make an application for an Inland Revenue number, access their accounts if they are with Kiwibank, TSB or Kookmin, purchase gift cards, top up their mobile phone credit, buy books and other collectible items such as commemorative stamps. In addition it is possible to purchase personalised stamps and other mail essentials from the post office, which is ideal for those who are running a business. UK expats are able to take an application for a passport renewal to the New Zealand post office and it can be processed there in the same way that it is in the UK and those who are over 18 can apply for the HANZ 18+ card for ID purposes.

The postal service in New Zealand has a good reputation for reliability and reasonably fast service. However, those who live in rural and remote areas will need to register to have a delivery service to their door and this will only be implemented if the service is offered in that area. If it is then the delivery driver can also collected items for delivery elsewhere. If you have a rural delivery then the code ‘RD’ will feature in your address to indicate to the post office that this address is remote or rural. All letters or parcels sent to a rural delivery address must have the name of the person on them, if it is for a guest staying in your home it can have their name on but state that the parcel is ‘care of’ you.

Those who have a rural address should have a mailbox which is a minimum of 400mm deep x 270mm wide and 270mm high. It should be located where the delivery driver can reach it without the need to leave their vehicle elsewhere. You should also be mindful that in some areas there are regulations about where a mailbox can be located. The boxes can be purchased ready-made from most hardware stores. Most delivery drivers in rural areas are owner-drivers which is why some areas do not have a delivery operative.

If there is no mail delivery in your area then you should be able to use a community mailbox. This can be organised through the nearest post office or the Customer Service Centre. Customers are given a key for the mailbox and there is an additional code which should appear in the address above the ‘RD’ code. This is ‘CMB’ which stands for community mailbox. Community mailbox services can be cancelled if a driver begins delivering in your area.

It is also possible to have a PO Box or Private Bag for mail deliveries which are secure. For this you will need to be able to get to your local post office to pick up your mail. This is arranged for a fee which is paid annually and for which you will need to present your ID.

The format of addresses is fairly straightforward. The name is on the first line, followed by the house number and street name (or community mailbox number), followed by the ‘RD’ code if there is one and then followed by the town and post code.

Useful Resources

New Zealand Post Customer Service Centre
New Zealand Post
PO Box 39100
Wellington Mail Centre
Lower Hutt 5045
Tel: 0800 501 501

Postcode finder

Read more about this country

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