World Stamps

New Zealand conducts trial to stop cancellation process

Sep 20, 2018, 11 AM
Will machine-canceled stamps from New Ze­aland be a thing of the past?

By Denise McCarty

New Zealand Post has stopped canceling stamps on mail — at least temporarily.

A New Zealand Post spokesperson told Linn’s Sept. 18: “New Zealand Post is currently trialling some new processes to reduce costs, due to the accelerating mail volume decline, this includes stopping the cancelling of stamps by processing machines.”

The spokesperson reported that the trial is nearing completion. When the trial started was not mentioned, however, according to a collector in New Zealand it dates back to at least early August.

As for concerns about the not-canceled stamps being reused, the spokesperson said: “While stamps are not currently being machine postmarked, we do have processes in place to detect the re-use of stamps and postage included envelopes.

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“Where we detect this, then items will be treated as unpaid, meaning they will either be returned to the sender if a return address is shown, or if there is no return address, they will be forwarded to our Returned Letters Office to be processed in accordance with the Postal Services Act 1998.”

The spokesperson also assured Linn’s that stamp collectors in New Zealand could still have their stamps canceled by using the special cancellation service at mail centers.

The spokesperson provided statistics related to the decline in mail volume, stating that there were more than 63 million fewer letters delivered in fiscal year 2018 compared to the same time period in 2017, This represents a 12-percent decline in mail volume and a 11-percent decline in revenue, according to the spokesperson.

After the trial period is over, New Zealand Post will “assess how to proceed in the future.”