Surely this was an April Fools joke, sadly it isn’t

Some womble called Paul Charman thinks that NZ Post should be protected.

He argues there should be zero job losses at NZ Post because one day in the future the Internet might fail and we’ll need to return to sending letters…and the skills will be lost.

Sadly, he is serious and it wasn’t an April Fool joke.

Bill English has signed off on elimination of 500 more jobs at NZ Post – bad mistake.

Alongside efficient electronic communications, every functional country needs an efficient postal service. If something happens to the first, you can get by using the second.

There is a disturbing chance of New Zealand losing internet service during the next few decades and having to fall back on other means of communication.   

Even if this were only one chance in 100, there’d be no excuse for Mr English’s ill-starred plans to diminish our postal services through cost-cutting.

It’s like a Boeing 787 Dreamliner pilot ripping out his manual controls in the belief “the computer can fly the plane better than me”.

Mr English should be enhancing our vital postal service, not destroying it with death by 1000 cuts.

If this country ever did lose the net, the result will be a short-term horror, of course.

But humans are adaptable; we’d get by as long as an alternative means of communication existed.

And it will exist, as in the ability to send letters, which till recent history kept the wheels of business and civil society turning just fine, as long as this facility is not dismantled.

The man is a fool. There are already credible, efficient and useful alternative to delivery…they are called courier companies, some are also experimenting with robot delivery…mail in the unlikely event it survives could also be delivered using robots.

With archaic and idiotic ideas like that it’s no surprise he works for the Herald. I await his next column calling for the return of buggy whip manufacturers and farriers in case cars and trains fail.

I’d say he will be next against the wall as cost cutting looms at NZME.


– NZ Herald


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  • Disinfectant

    Such a fool probably also believes that an April fools joke extends over two days into April the 2nd.

  • PhantomsDoc

    A closer analogy would not be a Boeing but a train…

    Anyway, the only event where we would lose internet would be a nuclear event over NZ creating an EMF pulse strong enough to destroy the electronics….I think e-mail would be the last thing on many people minds.

    Even if the rest of the world went down we should still be able to keep going (excluding internal sabotage) throughout NZ. This should be enough for him unless he want’s NZ post servicing the world.

  • Dog Breath

    Anyone who thinks they can control or stop the impact of the Internet are dreaming. I recall Microsoft in the 90’s setting up an Internet alternative, it failed specularly, if they cannot do it know one can.

  • David Moore

    The riders of the pony express say we will all rue the day we rely solely on the telegraph…

  • Tiger

    I’ll wager that the Post Office too would cease to function should the internet go down. What an imbecile.

  • Blockhead

    If I might paraphrase the poor gentleman:
    “every functional country needs a reserve of whale oil. If the electricity system goes down we would be able to light our homes (and enlighten our minds) with Whaleoil (lamps)”.

  • phronesis

    There are no manual controls in a 787. It’s all fly by wire. The controls are just a way to ask the multiple redundant flight control computers to do what you want. In other words the Dreamliner is an excellent example of the almost certainty that we have in multiple redundant computers not ever failing. It’s the perfect example of why the author is so wrong.

  • Diehard

    Has to be a joke?

  • Woody

    He did get one thing right “But humans are adaptable;”. That statement on its own argues against the entirety of the rest of his waffle.

  • cows4me

    I wouldn’t worry, the people that bill us for our existence, parasites, IRD, council’s will soon organize some thugs to rob.

  • Keyser Soze

    Where do I sign up to get paid to sit around on my chuff and wait for the interwebby to fall over?

  • rexabus

    Almost no physical industry is safe from the advance of automation and robotics – It’s just a matter of time. Using his logic, perhaps we should have a fleet of horses and carriages at the ready too in case this new fangled motorcar thing doesn’t work out

  • Red

    I don’t think Dreamliners have strings and pulleys – Reporters do & we’ve survived the collapse of their profession…

  • andrewo

    Amusing when you consider that the Internet is a derivation of Arpanet – a communication system designed for the US Department of Defence for its robustness and survivability in war.