Oh dear. The cost of posting a letter in NZ has just increased because the use of postal services is declining at a "significant rate". One of many things that being in the future requires us to adapt to.
Quote: NZPOST Changes From July 1st 2019
Why did New Zealand Post increase prices?
The price of sending a standard letter within New Zealand increased by 10 cents to $1.30 on 1 July 2019, to better reflect the true cost of sending a letter.
NZ Post delivers over 400 million mail items a year, but the number of letters sent continues to drop at a significant rate. We’re working hard to keep the cost of posting mail as low as possible, by significantly reducing our network costs and making big changes to how we operate.
How did the letter price affect KiwiStamps?
Existing KiwiStamps retained their value. You can use any KiwiStamps you have already purchased for Standard Mail after 1 July 2019, without paying any more postage. New packs of KiwiStamps purchased from 1 July 2019 reflects the new pricing.
Why did NZ Post increase the price to send a letter or parcel overseas?
Letter volumes around the world are declining, while the cost to process and deliver mail continues to rise. We have worked hard to keep prices as low as possible, however we need to increase the price from time to time.
It has actually become difficult to find an actual post box when the need to actually post a letter arises. These red NZPost boxes used to be numerous and handy but they have been slowly disppearing and we have the strange situation now that when we post a letter in Hamilton for an address in Hamilton it actually gets taken 123kms (77miles) north to Auckland for sorting before being delivered back to its destination in Hamilton. This can take up to ten days now that all Hamilton's mail sorting centres have been closed down to reduce overheads.
We do have some privately owned postal providers in NZ but they are more expensive than the state provider:
The State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986 required New Zealand Post to operate as a successful business and to be:
as profitable and efficient as comparable businesses not owned by the Crown a good employer an organisation that exhibits a sense of social responsibility by having regard to the interests of the community in which it operates and by endeavouring to accommodate or encourage these when it is able to do so. The Act also spelled out the broad nature of the Crown’s ownership of the company, defining the role of directors and outlining the responsibilities of shareholding Ministers. The reporting requirements for SOEs are also outlined in the Act.
The Act creates an arms-length relationship by distancing management tasks from political control. Under the Act, the Government must fund any non-commercial activities that the Government wants carried out.
The decline of the postal system is not actually a big problem for me personally as I don't post many letters now, doing most of my invoicing by email, but it is one of the small things that add up to a major changing of ways in a person's lifetime.