Rural Women New Zealand is launching a Postman pat-on-the-back Award to celebrate the great service rural posties deliver.
“There are some heart-warming stories out there about posties who go above and beyond to make sure the mail gets through,” says RWNZ national president, Liz Evans.
“We’ve heard of posties who find the right home for mail addressed only with first names, who telephone first before delivering large parcels or who leave sweet treats in letterboxes.”
And in a crisis the rural delivery contractors can be a lifeline. During floods, when bridges have been washed away, rural posties have been known to deliver supplies by boat to people whose road access is cut off.
North Otago is the only place in the country which denotes rural mail runs with a letter. Where anywhere else your address might be 2 R.D. Heriot or 5 R.D. Te Anau, here it will be a number then C,D, H, K or O before the R.D., for example 3 C R.D. or 5 K R.D. The letter is more important than the number but is often missed out so our posties are called on to make educated guesses about where mail is supposed to go and they rarely get it wrong.
We haven’t had to ask our current rural mail contractor to go the extra mile for us, though we’re very happy with the service we get.
But the one we had about 20 years ago was very good at deciphering cryptic of vague addresses. He once delivered a postcard to us that had our first names only with the address a farm near Windsor.