Dear John, by the time you read this the post will be gone!
It feels like every second week a NZ Post store is either closing or changing their location. In the past month, my local post shop closed down and re-opened in a corner of the local pharmacy. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing (2 birds with 1 stone), it does show that times have changed and letter writing is becoming increasingly rare.
NZ Post was founded in 1987 making it only 32 years old. This happened when NZ Post Office was broken up in to three corporations – New Zealand Post Limited, Office Bank Limited (a savings bank) and Telecom New Zealand Ltd. Today NZ Post remains the only state-owned enterprise of the three.
Traditionally making delivering 6 days a week which was a legal requirement however this was changed to 3 days a week in 2013 due to lowering mail deliveries.
The price of sending a letter has also frequently increased with the decline of deliveries: it dropped 5 cents to 40 cents in 1996 before returning to 45 cents in 2004 and increasing to 50 cents in 2007. By 2010, 60 cents, 2012 70 cents, 2016 $1 and 2018 $1.20. On July 1st this year it became $1.30 to send a single letter.
While letter writing (and receiving for that matter) has decreased, it doesn’t change the wonderful memories of finding a letter in the post. Nestled in among the bills and various flyers finding a birthday card, Christmas card or letter from an old friend was a very exciting day.
Many children also had pen pals with friendships often lasting to adulthood, sharing memories and experiences as they grow up. I remember as a child I used to love receiving letters so much that sometimes I would write to companies and they would send me stickers.
Letter writing has also been lucrative for stamp collectors or ‘philatelists’. Rare stamps can be worth a fortune with the ‘world’s most valuable stamp’ selling for almost $9.5 million in New York in 2014.
As letter writing occurs less and less and many children will have never even received a letter in the post. Do you remember the excitement of receiving a letter in the mail as a child? What about writing a letter to your grandchild? They may even write you a card back or do a drawing for you!
Did you know it is free of charge for individuals to send letters to members of Parliament? The cost of the postage is then deducted from the Member’s budget.
The Prime Minister’s address is:
Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern
Private Bag 18888
When did you last write a letter? When did you last receive a letter or card? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you.