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NZ Post apologises for delivery delays amid Covid-19, announces 'massive push' this weekend to catch up

New Zealand Post has apologised for the delivery delays many Kiwis have experienced amid Covid-19, explaining why so many packages have taken so long to reach their new homes.

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Chief executive David Walsh says parcel volumes more than doubled, surpassing 3.5 million after Level 4 lockdown. Source: Breakfast

With courier drivers overloaded, orders that are usually delivered overnight are often taking at least two days, and in many cases sometimes even longer.

NZ Post chief executive David Walsh explained the delays on TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning. He says the amount of parcels being processed after Alert Level 4 lockdown more than doubled, with staff having to process everything all while practising social distancing.

“Post lockdown [Level] 4, we had over three and a half million parcels come in and that’s well over double of what we’d normally do and we do know some of those got held up and we’re absolutely apologetic for the people who have had delays.

“I can assure you we’re throwing everything at it to get on top of it.”

To get ahead of the backlog, Mr Walsh says NZ Post has since upped its courier driver numbers, added more processing and contact centre staff and many of its operating sites are running 24/7.

But he also admits planning could have been better.

“There’s no doubt we could have sequenced things better, but there was still going to be a massive constraint.

“To move in the last week two million items is just extraordinary.”

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It's leaving some out of pocket, but it's hoped an app-based solution could solve the problem. Source: 1 NEWS

Pre-Covid, Mr Walsh says the busiest time of year for NZ Post would be Christmas, with the biggest day of deliveries reaching between 350-400,000 parcels, involving months of planning.

After Anzac weekend that number more than doubled, with drivers delivering 500,000 or 600,000 parcels in one day, eight or nine days in a row.

Despite the high volume of parcels being moved around, NZ Post is still offering overnight delivery - with many not being delivered in that time. 

When questioned by Breakfast host John Campbell on NZ Post's moral obligation to offer such a service, when fulfilling it was unlikely, Mr Walsh said they were doing everything they could to get it done.

"We do our absolutely best endeavours to make those deliveries.

"Typically, most are taking two to four days to get delivered...We have put warnings up in many of our sites saying that these services will take longer so I think we're setting expectations as people are coming in to purchase those services." 

This weekend Mr Walsh says NZ Post is "having a massive push" to get parcels out, with 200 courier drivers out on the road in Auckland's North Shore alone.