Older customers say they're being marginalised by NZ Post as post-boxes removed

Older customers say they are being marginalised by New Zealand Post as more local postal boxes are removed.

The company has taken away 20 boxes in Nelson in the past year where half of Grey Power's members don't have internet and rely on "snail mail" for communication.

Richmond resident Ruby Aberhart used to be able to send her mail from a post box minutes from home until it was removed in June.

Now the 87-year-old's closest option is one kilometre down the road at the town's shopping mall.

It's a challenge getting from where I am and there is a suggestion that I might not be able to drive after September," Ms Aberhart told 1 NEWS.

Nelson Greypower estimates 28 per cent of its members rely on the postal service for contact with family and friends.

In the past year, the Nelson Tasman region  lost 20 postal boxes, now it has a total of 62. With post box removals taking place across the country there are now just 2346 left nationwide.

New Zealand Post Regional Manager John Rocha says falling demand is to blame.

"We're seeing mail decline at a rate of one million letters a week, that's 50 million letters a year and we simply can't sustain the wide network that we used to," Mr Rocha says.

Postal boxes are now more likely to be placed in areas with high foot traffic like supermarkets or shopping centres, but Nelson Greypower President Christine Tuffnell argues "a lot of older people don't frequent these areas because of the difficulties of mobility".

The Government's currently reviewing its deed of understanding with NZ Post and an advisory group is looking at the disruption technology can bring.

It comes after the company removed 20 boxes in the region in the past year. Source: 1 NEWS