What is the difference between Counter Delivery and Poste Restante?

We have several options customers can use to request mail be sent to a nominated collection point.


Aren't counter delivery and Poste Restante the same thing?

At first glance, Poste Restante and Counter Delivery look like the same service - you have your mail forwarded to your local NZ Post Postshop and pick up your mail at the counter there.

However, there are some important differences. 

The biggest difference is that Poste Restante can be used at any time with no prior planning - just forward your mail to a participating NZ Post branch, and off you go!

Counter Delivery on the other hand, while offered at a much larger number of NZ Post outlets, requires that you register for the service is advance at the NZ Post outlet you wish to receive the mail. You need to visit the NZ Post outlet with some photo ID and make an application to be able to use the counter delivery.  If you haven't registered - the outlet is likely to refuse your mail and have it returned.

Whichever service you use - you should ALWAYS send your mail via Courier from our offices.  The postshops don't like accepting mail being sent using other postal services - and because we use DX mail to process all standard post within New Zealand, it increases the likelihood that the post shop won't accept the delivery.


What is Counter Delivery?

If you need a short term mailing address of up to three months, use the Counter delivery service located at your local PostShop and some PostCentre outlets.

Visit your local PostShop to organise for your mail sent via the NZ Post delivery network to be held by Counter delivery. You will have to bring along a photo ID to set up and register for counter delivery.  NZ Post provide more information about Counter Delivery on their website.

Counter delivery is a short term delivery option and will only be provided to you for a maximum period of 3 months. NZ Post may refuse or terminate Counter delivery if other delivery services, such as Postie delivery, Rural delivery or PO Box/Private Bag delivery, are available to you. They may also terminate the Counter delivery service by giving you 30 days' notice.

You may arrange for items sent via the NZ Post postal network to be held at a PostShop or PostCentre for collection. Items addressed only to a town are treated as addresses for Counter delivery.  As Private Box uses DX mail for standard post, you should always select courier as the postage option if you want us to forward your mail via Counter Delivery.

Counter delivery items will be held for 30 days before being returned to sender unless:

~ the sender has requested a shorter period of time;
~ the item is a ParcelPost or ParcelPost Tracked item - these items are returned to sender after 14 days; or
~ you have been receiving the Counter delivery service for longer than 3 months or NZ Post have given you notice that the service is being terminated and that notice period has expired - these items will be immediately returned to sender.

You must present suitable identification when collecting items over the counter.

If you have set up Counter Delivery with NZ Post, we can certainly forward your mail to you there - simply use our standard mail forwarding service (and ensure you have your mail forwarded via courier).  Input the counter delivery address as your forwarding address, and we'll get the mail to you.


What is Poste Restante?

Poste Restante allows you to have your mail forwarded to select NZ Post PostShops in NZ, so you can go into the PostShop to collect your mail at the counter.  The best thing about it is that you don't need to register ahead of time to use this service.

Not all NZ Post PostShops provide this service, there is a full list of all post shops that provide Poste Restante services available on the NZ Post website.

NZ Post charges storage fees for all mail not collected within 7-days of arriving.  So be sure to pick up your mail soon after having it forwarded there!

After two months, any unclaimed letters or parcels will be returned to sender.  This means that the PostShop will return your mail back to your Private Box address.

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