Receiving mail 

How do I avoid receiving junkmail in my letterbox?

You might need to do several things to stop getting junk mail:

You can paint or place a “No junk mail” sign onto your mailbox. This should reduce the number of unaddressed circulars (such as supermarket specials notices, real estate flyers etc) you get. People who deliver unaddressed mail can interpret the term “junk mail” to include community newspapers and other circulars that you might want to receive - so if you want to receive these you might need to adjust the wording on your sign (for example, to “Addressed mail and newspapers only”).

If you are still receiving unaddressed mail despite having a “No junk mail” sign,  call the Mailbox Helpline on 0800 111 081 to report it and the New Zealand Marketing Association will look into it. You’ll need to tell them exactly what unwanted mail you have received, as this helps them work out which distributor is responsible. This covers the two major distribution services, Reachmedia and PMP Distribution.

If you  receive personally addressed marketing mail then you can register on the ‘Do not mail’ register – also run by the New Zealand Marketing Association. This register will help cut down on personally addressed junk mail that you get, but again it doesn’t cover all marketing companies.  The register lists each person individually, so other people in your household might need to sign up as well.

You can also contact the businesses that are sending you addressed marketing mail, and ask them to stop. 

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What should I do if I get a scam letter?

If you get a scam letter then you should report it to NetSafe as soon as you can to help protect others. Read more about this on our Scams page.

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I’m going on holiday - what can I do to stop my mail from piling up?

Many people ask a friend or neighbour they trust to drop by and pick up their mail every day or two. If this is not an option for you then New Zealand Post can hold your mail for a small fee. For more information on this service, including the fees charged, visit the New Zealand Post website.

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I haven’t received a courier parcel I’m expecting, what can I do?

First, contact the sender and see if they have a tracking number which you can use to try and track down the parcel. You can find out whether it is still in transit, for example, or whether it has been delivered as according to the courier company’s records. 

You might be covered by the Consumer Guarantees Act for the late or non-delivery if: 

  • the parcel you’ve been expecting is something you’ve bought from a New Zealand based business or trader, and   
  • the seller had arranged for delivery.

If you bought from a New Zealand business and they arranged delivery, then the seller is responsible for ensuring that goods they sold to you arrive on time and in a good condition. Contact the seller and get them to follow-up what has happened to your parcel. If it has been lost or damaged then they are responsible for making it right, e.g. replacing the goods or refunding you. More about this is on our Moving goods around page.

If the Consumer Guarantees Act does not cover your situation, then your next step is to contact the courier company directly. They should have a clear process for dealing with lost, mis-delivered or damaged goods. You will normally need to provide as many details as possible including the sender and recipients address as well as the tracking number.

Most couriers carry goods with "limited liability" meaning that they are liable for up to $1500 worth of loss or damage for each parcel. Under the Consumer Guarantees Act the courier company must provide their service with reasonable care and skill, so they are required to compensate you if they have lost your parcel. More about this is on our Moving goods around page.

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My brother sent me cash via post but I never received it. Am I entitled to compensation from NZ Post?

No you aren't - cash is a prohibited item, which means that you should not send it by post or courier. If you send a prohibited item and it is lost, damaged or destroyed, NZ Post will not accept liability for the loss or compensate you.

You can find out the circumstances in which New Zealand Post would pay compensation following the loss or damage to a postage item, on their website.

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I suspect someone has been stealing from my mailbox. What do I do?

Firstly, it is a good idea to check whether the delivery of the item is simply late, by checking with New Zealand Post. You can complete an online form on the New Zealand Post website. If it is a consumer item that you bought from a business, you can also contact the business.

If you have reason to believe that someone could be stealing your mail, you could involve your local neighbourhood – for example, your local Community Patrol or Neighbourhood Support group.

If you have evidence that someone is stealing from your mailbox, such as surveillance camera footage or a mail that appears to have been tampered with, take it to the Police.

If you want more security for your mail in future you could consider replacing your mailbox with one that locks; or a post office box.

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I’ve received some mail that was delivered to me by mistake. Am I legally obliged to take it to the right address?

Under the Postal Services Act 1998, you must either:

  • take the mistakenly delivered mail to the correct address, or
  • take it to a postal operator eg a Postshop