When New Zealand Post CEO Brian Roche collects his mail, he will need a bit of help to carry a Giant Postcard sent with a special message from Dunedin - Save Dunedin Metro Post Office and Kiwibank.
A special public signing of the Giant Postcard will be held at 12.30 today outside the Civic Centre in The Octagon.
Save Dunedin Post Shop and Kiwibank campaign spokesperson Victor Billot says members of the public are invited to sign the Giant Postcard and add their messages.
The postcard reads “Dear Brian, please don’t shut out post office. Yours sincerely, Dunedin.”
The giant postcard can be viewed online at http://dl.dropbox.com/u/22147001/Dear_Brian.pdf
The Dunedin Metro Post Shop and Kiwibank is under threat of closure next week.
Head office managers have refused to meet with local people to hear their concerns.
Following the unveiling and public signing outside the Civic Centre, supporters will carry the Giant Postcard to Dunedin Metro Post Shop in the Exchange where an attempt will be made to freepost it.
"We will be asking people to trudge all the way down the Exchange with us to symbolize the trip that busy, heavily laden New Zealand Post customers will have to make every day without their post if Dunedin Metro is closed."
Supporters are gathering outside the Civic Centre today to highlight that not enough organized support from city representatives has been seen.
"We have had a letter or two sent, some individual councillors joining us, but there does not seem to be the co-ordinated and high profile public backing that Dunedin ratepayers would expect from the City."
The mayor has declined to meet with the group today as he has a prior engagement.
Mr Billot says a meeting has been arranged with the Mayor next Tuesday.
"We want to meet with the Mayor, it would have been good to have had some kind of meeting a month ago."
However the group would be staging a walk past of the DCC at today’s gathering to register their concerns.
2518 signatures have been gathered on a petition and sent to New Zealand Post.
For more information, contact Victor Billot on 021482219
Everything you need, but no post office: good one NZ Post!
In their latest public relations fiasco, New Zealand Post have enraged the hundreds of box holders at Dunedin Metro post shop by delivering leaflets into our boxes today advertising services that they intend to close next week.
What do the leaflets say?
"Sending offers to send you to your local PostShop" reads the headline, and the flyer goes on to advertise diverse goods and services including parcel post, Kiwibank credit cards and iTunes vouchers.
We congratulate New Zealand Post on their proactive advertising of their services.
But we point out that users of Dunedin Metro will not be able to access any of these goods and services if NZ Post closes our post office next week.
Makes you wonder, doesn’t it.
Dunedin City Council
PO Box 5045,
Cc: the citizens and ratepayers of Dunedin
By email firstname.lastname@example.org
15 June 2011
The Save Dunedin Metro Post Shop and Kiwibank campaign seek an urgent meeting with you this Friday 17 June at 12.30pm.
The reason for setting this time is that we have no time left. New Zealand Post intend to shut the doors of Dunedin Metro on 23 June.
Dunedin has already lost Mornington post outlet and now the main post office in the central business district in Dunedin is under imminent threat.
A public meeting was held by our campaign last night in Community House, and your apologies were given to the meeting. We acknowledge the short notice that is the result of the lack of consultation by New Zealand Post.
Yesterday evening you were attending an event on the future of Dunedin’s urban planning. While this is important, the battle to maintain basic services in our City in the here and now is even more pressing.
In attendance at our meeting last night were a number of local people that included a property manager for a number of commercial properties in the Exchange area, a business owner who sends and receives international parcels on a regular basis, local office workers, parents, and retired people.
Those attending represented well the diverse nature of the Dunedin ratepayers who will be affected by a closure of Dunedin Metro.
Those present were extremely concerned at the response of the City Council in representing their interests in this matter.
Apart from some individual councillors offering their support, and a one off letter that you sent to New Zealand Post, there has been in our view a failure to provide the consistent and proactive leadership by Council that would be expected in this situation.
For example, one of our members contacted the Economic Development Unit and was surprised to find there had been no communication between the EDU and the Mayor on this issue.
This begs the question, what is the point of trying to attract new business when the basic facilities required and wanted by currently existing business are being pulled out of the city.
It was pointed out that many of the efforts of our group have been focussed on trying to mobilize the civic leadership to take serious action, with frankly disappointing results.
It was pointed out that the same issue in Auckland with regards to their Grey Lynn post office, which is under similar threat, has been responded to in quite a different manner.
Within a few days of their local campaign being established, a public meeting was organized and attended by the former Chairman of the ARC and councillor Mike Lee, who spoke strongly in favour of retaining local services.
The Auckland meeting was also attended by NZ Post Community and Government Relations Manager Peter Faa’fiu, who promised to take back the concerns of the meeting to management.
Contrast this to Dunedin.
The same NZ Post manager has refused to meet with either local customers or even the Mayor of the City. This is a complete insult to our City.
Others attending our meeting wondered if the same situation was happening in Invercargill, what would the response of Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt be to such a downgrading of his city facilities? We felt that the issue would at least be in the media.
A group of concerned local citizens will be making our feelings about the response of the Dunedin City Council known this Friday at 12.30pm.
We will be assembling in the Civic Centre in an orderly way with signs and petitions promoting our cause and we request that you meet with a delegation from our group in your offices to hear our concerns.
In addition we request that if NZ Post will not come to Dunedin, that you fly to Wellington early next week and insist that they meet with you in person.
They need to understand that this city wants to keep its services and is not a second rate city that accepts second rate treatment.
If you require a conversation starter with them, we bring to your attention the following points from page 4 of the New Zealand Post Statement of Corporate Intent:
“… to deliver to our customers what we have promised; we will listen to them and involve them in our solutions and innovations;
“… we will consider the impacts of our business on the communities in which we operate, and we will engage with our community stakeholders. We will find opportunities to use our capabilities to add value to communities where they need it”.
In order to have a result in this situation, the Dunedin City Council needs to use its resources and influence and simply do its job.
To recap – the efforts of our volunteer campaign have achieved:
1. Approximately 2500 signatures and 150 online signatures
2. Around 150 signed letters to NZ Post
3. A rally, two post shop protest events, and a public meeting
4. National and local media coverage, website etc.
What has been the official contribution of the DCC to this campaign, with all its resources and contacts?
You have informed a member of our campaign group that to continue efforts would be “futile”. We disagree.
We acknowledge the support of Crs Weatherall, MacTavish, Brown, Butcher and Collins who have individually responded in a positive way to our campaign. But this cannot replace the co-ordinated top level response that is needed.
In closing, our meeting last night noted that failure to take this issue seriously would mean that we would be raising this issue in next year’s Council elections and if necessary campaigning against those representatives who did not take on board their communities wishes.
On behalf Campaign to Save Dunedin Metro Post Shop and Kiwibank
PO Box 339
The campaign to Save Dunedin Metro Post Shop and Kiwibank is ramping up its efforts to stop the proposed closure of our post office on 23 June.
A demonstration has been called for 12.30pm Friday 17 June outside the Civic Centre in the Octagon, Dunedin.
The purpose of the demonstration is to call for the Dunedin City Council led by the Mayor Dave Cull to up their efforts to save the landmark post office.
Campaign spokesperson Victor Billot says the Mayor has been invited today in an open letter to receive a small delegation from the group at Friday’s event.
"We will be asking the Mayor to demand a meeting with New Zealand Post to deliver the message that their decision is against the interests of Dunedin, and not accept their fob offs."
No response has been received to this morning’s invitation to the Mayor but the campaign was hopeful that there would be a positive answer.
Mr Billot says that New Zealand Post had sent a senior manager along to a public meeting in Auckland to take on board community concern at the closure of the Grey Lynn post office, but the same manager had declined to come to Dunedin to meet with NZ Post customers or the Mayor.
He says the protest action was needed to activate the city leadership.
"The Dunedin ratepayers at our meeting were very concerned that the Dunedin City Council was not taking a strong and united stand on behalf of us all."
"The DCC have to back Dunedin, with all their resources and influence, that our rates pay for."
Mr Billot says several individual councillors have been supportive, but there was a lack of organized top level support.
"What is the point of having economic development strategies if we can’t keep a major post office open?"
Mr Billot says another event earlier in the week attended by the Mayor and councillors was described as being about “spatial planning” and future urban design for Dunedin.
He says it is good the city is concerned about the long term, but there seemed to be a lack of action on pressing short term issues.
"The spatial planning issue we have at the moment is there is going to be a big space in the Exchange where our Post Office is, unless the City Council gets its act together."
The campaign is also being backed by the Otago Chamber of Commerce and Unions Otago.
Media release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday 13 June 2011
The Save Dunedin Metro Post Shop and Kiwibank campaign is lifting up a gear with a string of public events to defend “our post office.”
More events are planned after today’s lunchtime event, when New Zealand Post customers will join the queue and buy a stamp at Dunedin Metro Post Shop and Kiwibank in the Exchange at 12.30pm to show their support.
Hundreds more petition signatures have been gathered over the last couple of weeks, since the first batch of over 2000 signatures was posted to NZ Post chief executive Brian Roche.
The campaign has now called a public meeting to be held at 7pm on Tuesday 14 June 2011 at the Alexander McMillan Room, Dunedin Community House, Moray Place, Dunedin.
Save Dunedin Post Shop and Kiwibank campaign spokesperson Victor Billot says local customers were concerned and outraged over the lack of interest from head office management.
”New Zealand Post sent a management representative along to a public meeting in Auckland, yet refused to have a manager collect a 2000 signature petition in Dunedin. Is Dunedin too far away?”
Mr Billot says it appeared New Zealand Post CEO Brian Roche was distracted from his duties.
"We have not yet had any personal contact with Mr Roche. We were told he was overseas at a conference. Then he has his other job as Rugby World Cup chairman. He seems to have plenty of time for everything except listening to his NZ Post customers."
The campaign has been in contact with another campaign group in Auckland, fighting to save the historic Grey Lynn Post Shop and Kiwibank.
The groups were sharing information and working together.