Christmas chaos: How to make sure your presents arrive on time

If you're planning on buying your Christmas gifts online or sending them to your family, you'll want to get in quick if you want it to arrive in time.


Today marks one month until Christmas Day. With Covid-19 already applying pressure to systems worldwide, gift givers are encouraged to send early.

"Domestically, it has been a very unpredictable year with Covid-19, so NZ Post has planned for a range of different scenarios for what’s traditionally been the busiest period for online shopping," a spokesperson for NZ Post told 1 NEWS.

The deadline is tightest if you're planning to send something overseas.

For most countries, NZ Post says today is the last day you can send for it to likely arrive by Christmas Day.

However, if you're sending it to the South Pacific, Asia, North America, the UK or Europe, you have until this Friday.

There's a bit more leeway for post to Australia, which has a deadline of next Monday.

You can still send parcels internationally after that time, but there's no guarantee they'll arrive by Christmas Day, NZ Post says.

"While it may appear that things are relatively normal in New Zealand, we need to remember that this is a global pandemic, and there are many countries in varying degrees of lockdown, which can impact sending to and from them."

Meanwhile for local postage, you have some more time.

Post and parcels should be sent by December 21 to arrive by Christmas Day, while courier parcels can be sent up until December 23, NZ Post says.

NZ Couriers echoes that message, with December 23 also the last day for Christmas delivery.

But you should avoid leaving it to the last minute.

"Make sure you send your Christmas presents earlier rather than later as there may well be delays in dispatch from a supplier, a weather issue or any other form of transport linehaul delay," NZ Couriers general manager Devon Buckingham says.

If you're ordering from a store online, both NZ Post and NZ Couriers recommend getting in as soon as you can and check with the individual retailer's delivery estimates.

Buckingham says they're expecting higher than usual demand this year.

"As we do every Christmas, we’ve scaled up with additional aircraft capacity, vans and people to cope with the expected volumes," he says.

Also to help manage anticipated demand, NZ Post says it's bringing on board another 200 courier vans and 350 processing staff, as well as three additional sites and 185 extra flights.