The human power behind the Aotearoa delivery machine

With a network that covers Aotearoa in its entirety, it’s no wonder that NZ Post relies on more than 6,000 New Zealanders to run their delivery machine. We met a few of his employees where they work and found that there is more than one way to be a Post person.

This content was created in a paid partnership with NZ Post.

IIt is in the nature of a delivery business that NZ Post’s “workplace” extends to the streets – and to the doors of more than two million homes. COO Brendon Main says this “network of people” is fundamental to what the business is and does – and it’s diverse.

When Carlene Enosa first ventured into the workforce in 2017, she was simply looking for something part-time to facilitate her return to work. But her manager at NZ Post’s New Lynn depot could see that the new mail sorter had something about her, and Enosa was quickly offered a permanent service delivery agent position – a postie, like they are more commonly called.

Four years later, the 35-year-old mother of five is now the Acting Service Delivery Coordinator (SDC) at nearby Henderson Depot and is eagerly awaiting her first management course.

“That’s what I love about working for this company – all the opportunities that have been given to me in the short time I’ve spent here,” she says. “I love that.”

By the time Enosa arrived at Henderson, she had already established herself as someone with the skills and personality to train other new employees. Rightly so, this role is now an integral part of his work week.

“If I’m not a postman, I’m a coach. All the new people who apply to work here, I’m always nominated to train this person. I am also learning the management side. I am just preparing for a future with this company. Any opportunity that is given to me, I will take it.

These opportunities included the possibility of accessing the interim role of DDC.

“I help the manager who takes care of the administrative aspect of things, plans the days, deals with senior executives. I help the team, distribute the workload – it can be quite difficult at times, but the more I do, the more I get at it.

But part of his week is still devoted to delivery to local households.

“After I finish sorting my mail, I load and leave at 9 am at the latest. It’s nice, we’re outside – you don’t have anyone breathing down your neck. I always make sure I do my job and watch others as well.

However, it hasn’t always been easy – getting to work as a mother of five takes some organization.

“I’m up at six o’clock. Breakfast, get ready, before school babysitting for my two youngest, then I’m there just before 7am to start my day. We start with team briefings every morning just to find out what’s going on in our day. This was especially important during the lockdown, just to have everyone on the same page and to make sure they felt safe on the job. “

Carlene Enosa, one of NZ Post’s service delivery agents (Photo: Joe Hockley for The Spinoff)

With postal delivery being designated as an essential service, Enosa and her team worked through last year’s level 4 Covid-19 lockdown – a responsibility she admits to being ‘difficult’ at times.

“I was very careful, especially with my children at home. My children were quite sad. My partner stayed at home with them and he was also very worried about me. But every time I got home my partner had everything at the door for me so I could run straight to the shower.

“I tried to see it as positive, because a lot of other people across the country, around the world, haven’t had a chance to keep their jobs. I just felt very lucky that I could still work.

The near absence of traffic on the roads during the lockdown made it easier to get around, but the real benefit, she said, was “the comments from the public, acknowledging us and saying ‘thank you for the job you do.’ Honestly, I didn’t see myself that way, but the audience was amazing. It was definitely a highlight of the work so far. “

Enosa is now registered for one of NZ Post’s Set for Success seminars, which are designed for staff interested in pursuing a management path.

“I can’t wait to attend the seminar and learn as much as possible. I also have great support from my manager. All I want to know, she told me to ask her.

That’s not all she has to do. She recently completed the company’s in-house first aid training and is now considering joining the NZ Post health and safety team. It’s a remarkable story for a young woman who, as a teenage mother, was not supposed to be successful. Enosa says she “basically had to learn how to grow up. I felt like I had grown a lot at a young age, but having to mature very quickly was a blessing. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my children.

Today, her eldest daughter supports her own university studies by working part-time in the same depot. So, I ask, did the management skills learned as a mother of five influence her new professional life? She laughs.

“You could say that!”

Moeroa Parataina already had a career behind him when he started at NZ Post in 2018. The 62-year-old, born in the Cook Islands and raised in Auckland, had worked as a chef in New Zealand and abroad. But when his wife passed away, he realized he needed a change in his life – and a job he could engage in without the stress of running a kitchen.

His role as a sorter at the Auckland West depot in Avondale means that every morning he unloads incoming packages and distributes them to a line of individual cages for the day shift courier drivers to collect, load and ship. distribute. It is based on a lifelong knowledge of Auckland’s geography – and a new level of fitness on the part of Paratainga.

Moeroa Paraitanga works as a sorter at NZ Post’s Avondale depot (Photo: Joe Hockley for The Spinoff)

“After being a chef for so long, I had gained a bit of weight, so I was looking for something physical,” he says. “And I lost a lot of weight and actually got pretty good. I also learned a lot, which I did not expect. I discovered the industry itself and how it works, how much people depend on freight and how hard some people work. It really showed when Covid was on. It was then that I realized how important this particular job is, how much our economy relies on the freight industry itself. You are part of a network and every industry is counting on you.

The rapid increase in demand for messaging services over the past year has been well documented, but what is perhaps less understood is the impact of this change on those responsible for implementing it – people like Moe. While the process naturally introduced considerable challenges, he says it was made much smoother by the collaborative approach taken across the company.

“There was some skill enhancement as part of that, but the top management developed a system that would work for us. Everyone’s contribution went there. But there was also the softer side [of the increase in demand], where you got a package from overseas and you could see it was a granddaughter sending it to her grandmother and you thought, well, that was really cool. You could see that there had been a lot of effort. You realized that what we were doing was really important. I like this part of the job.

The other thing Paratainga saw were people in its old trade, hospitality, looking for work after their own jobs dried up in line with Covid alert levels. The past year has been an eventful one with dramatic variations in demand, but NZ Post has made it through the year with no downsizing.

“I’m lucky to still have a job. There are a lot of people in the hospitality industry who don’t.

It is a job that suits the stage in which it is in life. He lives nearby and loves the people he works with every day.

“The people here are really good. The ethnicities here are huge – Polynesian, Asian – so you can also meet other cultures and get a glimpse of them. You realize how hard some people had to work to get there. I have worked in nice places as a chef, but I am comfortable here. I am happy where I am.

Sanjay Patel can name the exact day he started providing services for CourierPost at the Auckland West depot: May 22, 2004. He is a contractor for NZ Post and as a courier driver owns his own business – y including his own van – and handling his own GST and taxes, but it’s pretty clear that when he wears the uniform, “I’m proud to be considered a New Zealand Post person.”

Sanjay, now 44, started out as a residential courier, but after three years he was able to participate in one of the depot’s ‘industrial aisle’ rides, meaning his day consists of pickups from manufacturers. and local distribution centers. He will bring packages from regular customers to the depot for sorting and delivery to their final destinations.

“You have to be good with customers,” he says. “I deal with the same clients every day, several times a day. So it’s like family and friends.

Do they give him Christmas cards?

“Yes, they do,” he smiles. “And Christmas presents.”

New Zealand Post courier Sanjay Patel (Photo: Joe Hockley for The Spinoff)

The popularity of Sanjay with its regulars also has a business advantage. “Sanjay keeps us customers,” says depot service delivery manager Linda Larsen. Some of those clients he has worked with for 14 years.

“They never tried to go to other companies,” Sanjay says. “Because they get good service and loyalty. “

In an area dense with delivery competitors, that means a lot. But the contract model also means that it is worth Sanjay to identify and develop new customers.

“If I bring more customers on board, there is more business for me, more business for the company as well. “

And if Sanjay loses a customer, he won’t forget it. He stays in touch.

“Right now I’m working with a big client, who was with us and went to a competitor. But they don’t like the service they get. They realized, oh, Sanjay’s service was good – maybe it would be time to come back.

Luckily for the company, Sanjay, who has a wife and two children, has no plans to go anywhere: “I love what I do,” he says.

But nearly two decades of negotiating Auckland traffic for eight or nine hours a day? Is there a secret to dealing with it?

“Always turn on the radio and listen to music,” he smiles. “It’s a habit after 17 years.

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