- Hancy, K, recruitment analyst, New Zealand Post, Careers New Zealand interview, October 2013.
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2003-2012 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2013.
- New Zealand Post, 'Annual Report 2012', October 2013, (www.nzpost.co.nz).
- Rutherford, H, 'Jobs to Go and Fewer deliveries', Stuff website, October 2013.
- Strickland, S, courier recruitment consultant, New Zealand Couriers, Careers New Zealand interview, August 2010.
Courier/Postie - Job opportunities Alternative titles
Couriers/posties sort, collect and deliver mail, packages, parcels and other goods to houses or businesses, using a vehicle or on foot.
Call us on 0800 222 733
Pay for couriers/posties depends on experience, where they are located, and their employer.
Posties employed by New Zealand Post:
- earn between about $15 and $17 an hour (or $29,600 to $33,600 a year, based on a 38-hour week)
- may also receive a wet weather allowance and a sixth shift allowance if they work six days a week.
Couriers usually work as contractors for courier companies. They usually get paid per item delivered.
- usually earn between $30,000 and $60,000 a year, after running costs
- can earn up to $130,000 on a busy round, before tax and expenses.
About a third of what a courier earns goes on running costs such as fuel and maintenance of their vehicle.
To cover slow periods, many courier companies pay their drivers a retainer or stipend if they earn below a set amount.
Postie pay Source: New Zealand Post
What you will do
Couriers/posties may do some or all of the following:
- sort and deliver mail, parcels and other goods
- collect items for delivery from businesses or private homes
- confirm deliveries and collections with the depot by radio, telephone or pager
- keep a record of deliveries made, including the delivery of registered mail
- receive payment on delivery of goods, or arrange for accounts to be settled
- hold mail for customers who are away and redirect mail for people who have changed address
- identify and avoid hazards that could cause harm to themselves or their colleagues, such as a dog at a certain address
- keep their delivery vehicle in good working order.
Skills and knowledge
Couriers/posties need to have knowledge of:
- the area they work in, including the names of buildings and streets
- correct lifting techniques
- how to use tracking equipment such as scanners
- the Road Code, defensive-driving techniques, and transport regulations
They may also need to know how to handle hazardous goods.
Couriers/posties running a small delivery business also need business skills.
- usually work five or six days a week, and start between 5am and 7am to sort mail before they start their deliveries. Posties usually work 38 hours a week and finish around 1.30pm, but couriers regularly work more than 50 hours a week
- Posties spend about half their time sorting mail for their round and half the time delivering it.
- work outside in all weather conditions and may drive or cycle in heavy traffic
- travel locally - usually within a set area.
What's the job really like?
Diane Bartrum - Postie
Diane Bartrum says getting outside every day is one of the best parts of being a postie. "I like architecture and gardens – I just love it."
Working quickly and methodically gets the job done
Diane says she is never bored. She begins each work day sorting mail, which takes about two and a half hours, before going out on her delivery bike.
The work is fast-paced, especially when sorting mail. "You have to be able to scan letters quickly and also know which ones have been mis-sorted and don't belong to your round. You quickly place letters into the correct slot – in the order that your route will go."
A job that leaves time for creative pursuits
There's no change in pace once Diane is out doing her deliveries. "The quicker I deliver my mail, the quicker I get home. I do a lot of creative stuff, like develop my own photos, and I've got my afternoons to do all that."
- Getting outdoors on a good day.
- Having free time for your hobbies.
- Being able to move into training or supervisory positions at New Zealand Post.
- Working in bad weather.
- Keeping watch for hazards on the road.
- Wearing a uniform.
Most skills for couriers and posties are learned on the job.
To work as a courier, or postie who does their round by vehicle, you must have the correct type of licence for the vehicle you are driving.
Courier/postie drivers may need their own vehicle (such as a van), and must have a current driver's licence, a dangerous goods (D) endorsement, and a goods service licence.
- New Zealand Post website - information on becoming a postie
- New Zealand Post website - tips for those wanting to get a job with New Zealand Post
NCEA Level 1 English is useful.
Couriers/posties need to be:
- able to sort quickly and accurately
- good at reading maps, and able to memorise road names, street numbers and names
- skilled at driving or cycling
- honest and reliable
- friendly, helpful and polite
- able to work well in a team and independently
- organised and punctual.
Jackie Lahmert - Mail Delivery Contractor
Useful experience for couriers/posties includes:
- work as a mail sorter or newspaper deliverer
- taxi driving
- work in the freight industry, or any work that involves driving.
Couriers/posties need to be fit and healthy, as they spend long periods on their feet, and may cycle around an area to deliver goods. They may also have to handle heavy parcels.
Find out more about training
- NZ Post
- (04) 496 4999 - www.nzpost.co.nz
year of training required
What are the chances of getting a job?
According to Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment estimates, the number of posties/couriers has increased slightly between 2011 and 2013.
However, mail volumes decreased by about 30% between 2006 and 2013. Because of this, New Zealand Post has signalled that as of 2015 it will reduce the number of days urban postal deliveries are made from five to three. This will see the loss of hundreds of postie jobs.
In rural areas, New Zealand Post will continue to deliver five days a week, and rural postie numbers will likely see little change.
Opportunities for couriers increasing
While letter numbers have been falling, the increasing popularity of online shopping has seen parcel volumes increase. This has seen some increase in demand for couriers.
Better opportunities during holiday season, and at smaller courier companies
Opportunities for couriers/posties increase during busy holiday periods such as Christmas, when mail volumes grow significantly. These courier/postie jobs tend to be casual or part time only.
It is often easier to find work with smaller courier companies, as competition is strong for jobs at larger companies. Larger companies offer better pay, and some have a backlog of people interested in becoming couriers.
New Zealand Post the largest employer
New Zealand Post has about 95% of the letter delivery market. It employs all posties and is also a big employer of couriers.
Couriers/posties work for:
- courier companies as employees, or self-employed owner-operators in a franchise or contract arrangement
- New Zealand Post as a self-employed rural mail delivery contractor
- other registered postal operators.
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Progression and specialisations
Experienced couriers/posties may move into training or supervisory roles.
How many people are doing this job?
Job vacancies by region
Updated 7 Nov 2013