Deregulation of the postal service (NZ)

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25 June 1997

The Government announced its intention to introduce legislation to deregulate the postal service in April this year.

The Postal Services Act currently allows for competition in all areas of New Zealand Post’s business except domestic letters weighing 200 grams or less and costing 80 cents or less to post. New Zealand Post already competes in all other areas of its business: parcels, international mail, courier, financial transactions, contract logistics.

Under the current Deed of Understanding, the company is required to charge a nationally uniform price for standard letters; maintain a relationship between the price of the standard letter and movements in the Consumer Price Index; maintain agreed delivery frequencies to a specified number of delivery points in New Zealand; and operate a minimum number of retail outlets.

New Zealand Post has welcomed the Government’s decision to introduce legislation to deregulate the postal service.

The Postal Service Bill introduced proposes to: remove New Zealand Post’s present monopoly on the standard letter; allow full competition in postal services from a date to be advised; provide a transition regime to ensure New Zealand Post continues to meet social obligations provided under the Deed of Understanding and provides access to its competitors on fair and reasonable terms; maintain current provisions ensuring the security and integrity of the postal system, and extend these provisions to new operators; and provide for regulations to assist the co-ordination of box numbers and address information if necessary.

The company has been preparing for deregulation since corporatisation in 1987. Over the past ten years increasing competition and a desire to exceed customer expectations have been key drivers for the efficiency gains and service improvements the company has made. Customers have benefited from these moves with enhanced service and delivery standards, a greater range of products and services, an improved and extensive retail network, reduced prices for the standard letter (from 45 cents to 40 cents in 1995) and bulk business mail, and initiatives like the highly successful Free Post Day held last year.

New Zealand Post is committed to continuing to provide excellent service to customers throughout the country.

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