Letterbox louts go postal

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Letterbox thieves and vandals are proving to be a regular and annoying feature of Tamahere life for some residents.

In recent weeks, a row of four letterboxes have been stolen from a group of Newell Rd properties. Among other roads periodically affected by the mailbox blight, Pencarrow Rd residents report years of letterbox theft and vandalism. One resident re-built his mailbox around 10 times. Others have resorted to chunky brick affairs in attempts to defy the letterbox louts.

It's rough out there
It’s rough out there

Has your letter box been stolen or vandalized? Do you have ideas for combating the postal plague? Tamahere Forum would like to build up a picture of letterbox vandalism and theft, and ideas for tackling it. So, if your letterbox has disappeared or been damaged in recent times or you have found ways to thwart the louts please use the comments field below to let the Forum know or email me with your experience.

Have you seen any letterboxes that appear to have been thrown away? Let the Forum know and we will attempt to reunite them with their owners.

Letterbox by design

Letterboxes around our district vary hugely in style, size and placement but, in fact, NZ Post requires that rural mailboxes are of specific size and height and positioned to be easily accessible by rural delivery drivers. If its rules are not met NZ Post can refuse to deliver mail.

Boxes need to keep mail safe and dry
Boxes need to keep mail safe and dry

Rural boxes must be a minimum size of 400mm deep x 270mm wide x 270mm high, with a flag fitted to indicate mail is awaiting collection.

The boxes must provide access by a front-facing, non-locking hinged door, and be fitted with a posting aperture large enough for large size magazines (usually A4-sized) to be placed inside without bending or opening the door. The aperture should be no less than 250mm x 30mm. Mail should drop out of sight to keep it secure.

Boxes should be located to allow safe, easy, all-weather access and be positioned so your Rural Post owner-driver can reach it without difficulty and without leaving their vehicle. In some cases the mailbox cannot always be positioned at the owner’s gate. It is important that local by-laws, traffic regulations and telephone/power cable requirements are complied with.

Your box should have the street/road number of your property (if available) clearly printed on the box in numerals at least 25mm high. You may also use your name and initials or company name.

To allow easy and safe access without the delivery driver having to get out of their vehicle, the recommended height of your mailbox slot should be between 1m and 1.2m from the ground.

Gauge the accessibility of your mailbox by doing a test delivery from your own vehicle, remembering that our hardworking delivery people drive vans, which are slightly higher than most cars.

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