Postal deed of understanding
The postal deed of understanding sets out the minimum universal service obligations of the national mail carrier, New Zealand Post, for the sale and delivery of postal products.
On this page
About the deed
The postal deed of understanding was established in 1989 and is an agreement between New Zealand Post and the government.
As the national mail carrier, New Zealand Post must meet certain minimum universal service obligations relating to the sale and delivery of postal products. These obligations are set out in an agreement between New Zealand Post and the government in the deed.
The deed has been renewed and amended to take into account changes in objectives and market conditions. The present version was agreed in 1998, and then amended in 2010 and 2013.
Under the 2013 iteration, the terms of the deed were scheduled to be reviewed by 1 November 2018. The timeframe has been extended and the terms of the deed are now scheduled to be reviewed by 30 June 2024.
The government uses disclosure regulations to monitor compliance with the deed of understanding and also the Postal Service Act.
New Zealand Post's main obligations under the current deed are set out below.
Minimum delivery frequency
Not less than 3 day per week deliveries to 99.88% of delivery points.
1 day per week deliveries to the remainder of delivery points.
Notwithstanding the above, New Zealand Post shall continue to provide:
- 5 day per week delivery to all delivery points which received the rural delivery service as at 30 June 2013, except for those points which had a lower delivery frequency
- 2 or 3 day per week deliveries to each delivery point that received 2 or 3 day per week deliveries as at 30 June 2013
- 5 day per week deliveries to PO Box and Private Bags, except where they received less than 5 day per week deliveries as at 30 June 2013.
Minimum number of delivery points in total
At least 1,910,010.
Commitment to add new delivery points
NZ Post must add new delivery points upon request unless operationally impracticable, or if to do so would jeopardise the commercial sustainability of NZ Post’s Universal Service Obligations.
Proportion of delivery points that can be communal
No more than 3.0% of total delivery points, subject to the condition that conversion of existing individual delivery points to communal delivery points may only occur with the written consent of the user.
Size of retail network
At least 880 points of presence, comprised of physical outlets and self-service kiosks.
Postal outlets with additional postal services
At least 240 manned points of presence where customers:
- can receive personal assistance from an NZ Post employee or agent
- can access a wider range of products and services over and above basic postal services.
Access to postal network
Obligation to provide competitors with access to the NZ Post postal network.
NZ Post shall not re-introduce the rural delivery fee.
- Deed of Amendment to the Deed of Understanding between The Sovereign in right of New Zealand acting by and through the Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications and New Zealand Post Limited (2022) [PDF 282KB]
- Deed of Amendment to the Deed of Understanding between The Sovereign in right of New Zealand acting by and through the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media and New Zealand Post Limited (2018) [PDF 209KB]
- NZ Post deed of understanding - 2013 variation [PDF 651KB]
- Summaries of public submissions on NZ Post proposals [XLSX 249KB]
- NZ Post discussion document [PDF 1018KB]
- Castalia report - Impact of reducing Rural Delivery frequency [PDF 1.3MB]
- NZ Post deed of understanding - 2010 variation [PDF 99KB]
- NZ Post deed of understanding 1998 [PDF 18KB]