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Sending Mail Within New Zealand


Everything you need to know about sending mail in New Zealand.

Sending mail? What is that? Why don’t we just use Whatsapp? We know, we know, sending mail seems a little unnecessary these days but, believe it or not, there may be a few situations in New Zealand where you’ll need to send mail. Most likely, it will be forms, perhaps for the Inland Revenue Department for your IRD tax number, applying for an 18+ Card or sending other paperwork. You may even want to send parcels if you have sold something online, for example. Indeed, the possibilities are endless!

Although there are multiple courier companies in New Zealand, New Zealand Post is the most well-known postal service where you can send letters and parcels from the PostShop found in most towns. We’ll take you through the time frame, packaging and costs of sending mail within New Zealand. Be aware that prices in this article are an estimation, as postage prices change often. Note that prices have been updated as of July 2018.

How long does it take to send mail within New Zealand?

The time it takes for a parcel to reach its destination in New Zealand depends on which postage service you use and the destination of the parcel or letter.

For a letter, standard post takes up to three working days, while FastPost is delivered the next working day between major towns and cities. These estimations can take longer if being delivered to rural or remote areas.

For a parcel, standard or tracked parcels usually take:

  • 1-2 working days across town
  • 1-2 working days within the island (for example, within the North Island)
  • 2-3 working days between islands (for example, sending from the North Island to the South Island).

Courier parcels are delivered the next working day in major towns and cities. Delivery to remote locations and rural areas tend to take a little longer.

For sending mail overseas from New Zealand, please refer to our Sending Mail Overseas from New Zealand guide.

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What packaging to use for parcels in New Zealand

You can buy the packaging in a PostShop, however you can also use your own packaging if you follow the guidelines stated in the “Using Your Own Packaging” section of this article.

Postage included bags

NZ Post’s red postage bags, both flat and bubble bags, come in six different sizes which have postage included with a bag purchase. Postage is a flat rate for all weights under 3kg. You can upgrade your postage for additional costs (see the “What Type of Postage is Available to Send Mail Within New Zealand” section below).

When you purchase a bag, there are tables and pens provided in the PostShop so you are able to fill in the information required on your postage bag, including delivery address and sender address.

NZPost postage bags come in a range of sizes from 125mm x 230mm costing around NZ$3.50 to 395mm x 455mm costing around NZ$9.50.

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Packaging only bags and boxes

Packing only bags

These are a worthwhile option if your parcel weighs more than 3kg or if you are sending overseas. The white packaging bags, available as flat or bubble bags, do not have postage included. You will pay for postage separately.

NZ Post packaging only bags are between the internal dimensions of: 185mmx270mm costing around NZ$1 and 395mm x 455mm costing around NZ$4.

Packaging only boxes

The white cardboard boxes are packaging for larger parcels. They come in a range of sizes between: 235mm x 165mm x 70mm costing around NZ$2 to 500mm x 410mm x 295mm costing around NZ$8.50. Wine boxes are available too.


Using your own packaging

You can use your own packaging to send parcels within New Zealand using NZ Post.

Any packaging outside of the size and weight restrictions of NZ Post need to be sent via a tracked courier or courier & signature service. Although this incurs additional costs, these parcels can still be sent from the PostShop.


Sending large parcels within New Zealand

To send large parcels you can only use a tracked, courier or courier + signature service with NZ Post. The price is at a flat rate for any parcel up to 25kg, but prices vary between destination. For example, the price for a tracked parcel within the island is around NZ$8 or to send it from the North Island to the South Island is NZ$12.70.

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What type of postage is available to send mail within New Zealand

Optional upgrades with NZ Post postage include:

  • Tracked delivery
  • Courier
  • Courier + signature

There are surcharges for parcels in the following situations:

  • Rural delivery on tracked, courier and courier + signature parcels
  • Optional Saturday delivery on courier and courier + signature parcels

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Sending letters within New Zealand

There are two services for sending letters within New Zealand: Standard Post and FastPost, which determines the delivery time. The maximum weight for a medium or large letter is 500g, while the oversize letter weight must be a maximum of 1kg.

The size of the letter also determines the cost.

  • Medium sized letters have a maximum size of 130mm x 235mm x 6mm, costing around NZ$1.20 for standard postage.
  • Large letters have a maximum limit of 165mm x 235mm x 10mm costing around NZ$2.40 for standard postage.
  • Oversize letters have a maximum limit of 260 x 385mm x 20 mm costing around NZ$3.60 for standard.


Check these articles out for all your backpacking essentials in New Zealand.

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