Hip and groovy
IN 1911 THE POST OFFICE put its first truck on the road. Whilst mainly used for work associated with mail and telecommunications, over the years the trucks have also been used in a variety of roles, including transporting floral tributes in state funeral processions, transporting baggage for VIP tours, and in civil defence. In 1990 NZ Post entered into a joint venture with Airwork Ltd to operate dedicated aircraft to move mail within New Zealand.
NZ Post started to move away from company operated vehicles when Courier Post became owner-driver-based in 1992, with the model being put into place across most of the transport fleet in the following years. The decline in the traditional letter market and the rapid increase in the parcel market, driven by online shopping, has changed the mix of products moved, but the use of road to provide an efficient, reliable, cost-effective but flexible service still exists.
Photo: Taken in Auckland in 2000 this picture provides a good illustration of the type of vehicles used to move mail around New Zealand in the 21st century. The aircraft, a F27 Friendship, was converted to carry freight in containers designed and purposebuilt in New Zealand. Dedicated jets now operate this service.