Rural post issue in court

Dani and Ian Kennedy are contesting New Zealand Post’s new delivery plan.

New Zealand Post is facing a High Court challenge from a Waipā couple over what they say is an attempt to terminate their mail delivery contract.

Danielle (Dani) and Ian Kennedy are familiar to rural communities on the RD3 run – but they say a new business model threatens their future and a $500,000 investment.

The Te Awamutu couple were in court this week in Hamilton seeking an injunction to stall a proposed multi-courier run model, saying it was developed without consultation and was a breach of contract.

The couple argue they are the “tip of the iceberg” and fellow contractors around the country face the same issue.

The Kennedys have engaged Pro Driver Advocates, a company which advocates for contractors. Its chief Peter Gallagher says if New Zealand Post “successfully forces them out” it will just be the beginning “with dozens of rural delivery contractors around the country facing a similar position in areas where urban boundaries are expanding into existing rural delivery areas”.

He said New Zealand Post had identified six regions it plans to introduce the model and the potential impact could mean more than $150 million of contracts it has sold, or allowed to be sold, to rural delivery contractors.

“It has also recently announced its intention to terminate 750 postie jobs, and appears fully committed to ‘courierisation’ of its business,” he said in a statement.

The RD3 run in the biggest in Waikato – including rural Cambridge, Tamahere and Matangi, and the Kennedys have been covering through their Three Hills Group business it since 2019.

Justice Gault has reserved his decision on this issue.

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