A Te Awamutu couple say they are devastated beyond words by a High Court decision to deny them an injunction against NZ Post.
Danny and Ian Kennedy sought to stall NZ Post’s plans to terminate their rural delivery contract and allocate mail and parcels to third party contractors.
Justice Gault released his decision last week – and the Te Awamutu couple’s contract was immediately terminated.
The hearing centred on a notice to terminate their contract, but was part of a bigger picture which potentially impacts on RD runs all over the country.
Kennedy said she and husband Ian were devastated by the outcome for their $500,000 Three Hills Group.
More than 500 customers on the RD3 run had signed forms backing them just a couple of weeks ago.
At the heart of the issue was whether or not the contract the Kennedys entered into, initially in 2019, gave them exclusive rights to RD3 – the largest rural delivery area in Waikato.
The two parties were so far apart they even disputed whether or not a meeting was held between them in November 2018. Issues arose over exclusivity soon after the initial contract was signed.
In April NZ Post accused TGH of undermining it and announced it was terminating the contract.
Justice Gault noted court proceedings were a last resort – but the hearing took place only 11 days before the six months’ notice of termination was due to take effect.
He agreed there was a serious question to be tried in the case of exclusivity but accepted NZ Post’s view that he “should not effectively decide the merits of the substantive issue on this application”.
Pro Drivers Advocates chief Peter Gallagher, who has backed the Kennedys, said NZ Post has a de facto national ‘courierisation’ strategy.
“If allowed to proceed…it could well see over 500 rural delivery businesses and 750,000 rural people become the collateral damage of its restructure plans,” he said.
He says moves are underway to reduce their workload to three day weeks instead of the traditional six and a new One Network concept will be introduced early next year.
It will also see a Multi Courier Business model implemented and its courier network expanded through the purchase of PBT Couriers freight volume as NZ Post responds to increasing online shopping, he said.
Gallagher said it was intended to continue to pursue the issue through political channels and he believed it warranted a Ministerial Review.