Is it a “NZ Post” office box, or a “NZ” post office box?


This was new to me too.  


What the…


Did you know NZ Post “post office boxes” only accepted mail from NZ Post and companies that have signed an agreement with NZ Post for delivery?

Or did you assume, like I did, that they accepted everything?

That could end up somewhat frustrating when receive something from overseas via a mail service that does not have an agreement with NZ Post.  Where does it end up?  Who is in charge?  Will anyone tell you?


– via Twitter



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  • peterwn

    The situation is even worse in USA. The US Postal Service has complete control over the mail box outside your house that you paid for. It is illegal for anyone but USPS to place items in your mailbox even if you agree to it. If you want others to deliver stuff to your box you need to provide a second box, something which most people cannot be bothered doing. And the current political balance is such that Congress will not relax that hold for fear of disintegration of USPS through competition.

    Establishing private PO boxes is quite feasible – a firm called MBE (Mail Boxes etc) does just that and presumably leveraged off the inertia of postal services to provide sufficient PO Boxes for demand. Presumably NZ Post has been sufficient nimble in ensuring there are sufficient PO Boxes as MBE has not really taken off in NZ (one franchise was set up in Kilbirnie, Wellington but went bust through lack of custom).

  • caochladh

    I receive parcels from all over the world into my PO Box and I have never in some 40 years been advised that anything was rejected or undeliverable. There are many company’s both here and overseas that will not deliver to a PO Box.

  • Its one of NZPosts sole remaining strategic assets, of course they are going to protect it. There is not a contract with NZCouriers for access to PO Boxes, so of course they will not be delivered there. Courier use 101 I’m afraid. Some arguments used to be made constantly about courier deliveries to rural addresses on TM’s message board.

  • Asian_driver

    Is the problem really that the Courier companies wont pay NZ Post to handle the package, why should NZ Post even touch a courier package unless they are being paid for the labour carriers liability etc. If the courier put a stamp on it it would get delivered through nz Post

  • James M

    I’ve known this for a very long time.

    They will accept “Post” from overseas handlers which they have agreements/contracts with. and from my experience they accept “Post” from pretty much every corner of the globe.

    But they will not accept Courier deliveries from any competitor within NZ nor outside NZ.

    Remember a Post Office box is for Post. In fact many Post Offices will even refuse to take delivery from Courier Post to a PO box.

    • Never in the dark…..

      You’ll find with your last comment, this would tend to apply where the PO Boxes are separate from an actual PostShop. Often a courier item requires a signature.

      I have had one NZ Courier item sent to my PO Box, which is attached to a PaperPlus. In that instance a card was left me to go, not to the PostShop counter, but to the normal PapaerPlus counter. It happened once and has been denied since.

  • Michael_l_c

    Always assumed the boxes accepted what went through the NZ Post system, not couriers or alternative mail co’s. By my reasoning lucky that NZ Post Couriers are accepted. And for my benefit that explains why many sellers on trade me won’t courier to post office boxes.

    There is a business opportunity for NZP to make a ‘small’ charge to put courier packets in PO Boxes

  • ex-JAFA

    Companies can operate under pretty much any conditions they like to impose. If you don’t like it, vote with your wallet and go to another provider. Or use none. Whatever.

  • TSD

    NZ Post hasn’t had a strategy for a decade. Here’s what they’ve tried.

    Losing money on mail because people are emailing? Put the rate up then wonder why even less people are using the service.

    Annoying customers don’t want another increase in postal costs? Don’t put the cost up but make the size/weight restriction for an individual rate smaller and smugly assume the average Kiwi is too dumb to notice.

    Branches too expensive? Get the taxpayer funded (set up without risk no matter what the adds try to claim) Kiwi Bank to help pay the rent.

    Other couriers competing with your god given socialist right to claim absolute monopoly on mail? Do deals with a limited number of couriers (but only your own domestically) with blatant disregard for the customers rightful expectation to use the box they pay you for and you hold the monopoly on.

    None of these are strategy, they are just short sighted ways of alienating the customer. There is absolutely nothing stopping them from allowing other couriers to access their boxes except the poor financial state that decades of mismanagement and entitlement have left them in.

    It’s often better to get a (not Courier Post) courier to pick up your package from your door and deliver it to the source, not much of a price difference, quicker, and they tend to understand that little thing called customer service is important.

    • twr

      And who has been Chairman of NZ Post for most of that decade? That’s right, Michael Cullen, enjoying his National party bribe to sod off out of Parliament and stay quiet.

      • TSD

        Interesting, I forgot he’s been running it for the last half a decade. Did he ever do any real world jobs prior to entering parliament?

        • twr

          No, he was a university history professor. Excellent qualifications for running a large business.

          • bristol

            Cullen should have been given the top job at KiwiRail. Then he could have shown us how smart he really is.

          • TSD

            Bristol – Awesome!

      • damm good thrashing

        He’s a doctor isn’t he?……(haha)

  • Mrs_R

    I am wondering if this is a new decision from NZ Post. I have often received packages from Amazon to my PO Box, however prior to Christmas NZ Couriers contacted me twice to say I had a package(s) from Amazon that required an address other than a PO Box.

  • Mark

    Yes, I’m well aware of the practice as I’ve had a PO Box for the last 22 years. It’s somewhat annoying having to check with a TM seller as to which courier company they use, before placing a bid on an auction…

    • dgrogan

      No. It is not a new policy. In fact, CourierPost sell it as a customer benefit. That is, that they are the only courier company which can deliver to a NZ Post box or bag.
      Edit: Sorry. Reply to Mrs_R below.

  • 40something

    Had this problem before Christmas – an organisation I’d done work for ‘gratis’ were sending me the finished product – said they would post it. Nothing arrived to my P O Box – NZ Post very unhelpful to the point of rudeness. Had to ask for another set to be dispatched and felt badly about it – then the entity contacted me after Christmas saying NZ Couriers had phoned them complaining I’d given a PO Box for a package delivery. The couriers were peeved apparently as had been sitting on it for two weeks. Charity concerned was very apologetic and finally the first parcel gets delivered to my door and the request for the second lot was cancelled by me. I’m the one who should be annoyed as the said organisation never mentioned to me the use of the courier.
    Oh well…all the more reason to cancel my P O Box when it expires this year. Not the first time this has happened, plus constantly getting other peoples mail with clearly their box number on it. Service very bad these days from NZ Post.

  • Gillie

    Maybe you should ask NZ Couriers why they won’t fork out for an access agreement with Post. Why would Post handle product through their network that they aren’t getting paid for?

  • Rhodzrunner

    About 15-20 years ago when I was in Despatch we were always told by N.Z & Ansett Couriers that we couldn’t courier parcels to a P.O Box, it had to be a physical address.

  • FredFrog

    It’s quite simple – How can a courier deliver to a PO Box, there’s no-one there to sign for their delivery.

    Packages sent via CourierPost go through the NZ Post system, so can be delivered to a PO Box (or at least a card to call if the signature is required)

    Most courier companies state in their T&Cs that they require a physical address for delivery

    Amazon state that “All orders with “PO BOX” in the address are automatically shipped via U.S. Mail.”. Usually anything shipped to NZ via US Mail ends up with NZ Post. However, bear in mind that purchases on Amazon are not always fulfilled by Amazon – you may have ordered an item from another company that merely uses Amazon to market their product.

  • GoingRight

    We have an added problem, our post box also refuses to,accept parcels but living in town in a five story appt block few couriers will come up to the top floor with the parcels and insist we meet them downstairs at the front door. Sometimes the parcels are heavy for we oldies, it just isn’t good enough!

  • ruawai

    We live rurally and don’t have a letterbox, we have a PO Box in our nearest town. It is always a pain when we want a parcel delivered as it has to go to a physical address, so we have to get it sent to my parents address and then collect from there.