Fight to keep branch continues

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A South Dunedin businessman is vowing to continue to fight to retain Kiwibank and New Zealand Post in his suburb.

In statements released on Tuesday, Kiwibank and New Zealand Post announced they would close four joint branches in Dunedin – Moray Pl, Dunedin North, Mosgiel and South Dunedin.

NZ Post confirmed it was now looking for local businesses to help it deliver postal services in the four affected areas.

Kiwibank said it was opening a stand-alone banking branch in the Dunedin CBD.

The four Kiwibank and NZ Post branches would continue “as usual” until postal partner businesses were secured, the statement said.

South Dunedin Business Association chairman Craig Waterhouse helped launch a petition to lobby for the retention of NZ Post and Kiwibank services in King Edward St.

Mr Waterhouse, speaking to The Star yesterday, said he wanted the South Dunedin branch to remain open. If NZ Post became part of a partner business in South Dunedin, he feared the services available at present, such as paying for power bills and car registration, would be reduced.

The South Dunedin branch often had long queues, he said.

“It is very well used and I think it is appalling they are looking at closing it.”

He would continue to collect signatures on the petition and give it to Dunedin South MP Clare Curran to present to Parliament.

Ms Curran, speaking to The Star on Tuesday, said she was “concerned” by the closures.

She had written to State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters about the issue and was waiting for a response.

Dunedin City Councillor Rachel Elder, speaking to The Star yesterday, said she had signed the petition to retain both services in the South Dunedin branch.

Many South Dunedin residents did not have access to the internet and many bills had to be paid online or in a NZ Post branch.

Access to vehicles, or income to pay for public transport, was limited for many South Dunedin residents, so it would be difficult for them to get to Moray Pl to pay bills. The loss of the branch in South Dunedin would be “huge”.