Petition launched in a final bid to stop Kiwibank and NZ Post from closing

CHANGE: Eastgate Mall's Kiwibank and New Zealand Post branch will close at the end of the month, but NZ Post will be shifting its postal services to another agency.

A petition has been launched in a bid to stop Kiwibank closing its branch at Eastgate Shopping Centre.

More than 1300 people have signed the petition, which will be put to Kiwibank chief executive Steve Jurkovich and chairwoman of the board Susan Macken before the closure on January 30.

It was launched by Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson, city councillor Yani Johanson and Woolston Community Association chairwoman Jackie Simons.

New Zealand Post, which is a joint operation with Kiwibank, will also close on January 30.

But NZ Post is still planning to provide postal and bill payment services in Eastgate through an agency.

Head of retail Mark Yagmich said it is working on shifting postal services to another local business and hopes to be able to announce who the operator will be later this month.

The Kiwibank closure comes three months after Environment Canterbury reduced its bus services in Linwood. Environment Canterbury replaced the 535 bus route with a shopper service.

The 155 service runs three times a day, Monday to Friday, and is on trial for 12 months.

The closure of Kiwibank has been described as “one more frustrating thing” for residents living in the area.

Ms Simons said the closure of Kiwibank is “just ridiculous” as it is the third branch in the area to close.

Kiwibank has previously closed its branches on Stanmore Rd and in Woolston.

Said Ms Simons: “We have just had a load of bus cuts in the Linwood-Bromley area . . . it is just one more frustrating thing for people who don’t have the same necessary advantages other people do,” she said.

City councillor Yani Johanson said the closure was “death by a thousand cuts” and a petition was one way of expressing community concern.

“It is absolutely heartbreaking to see the corporate approach they are taking at the expense of the community,” he said.

Kiwibank announced in November it would open a standalone branch in Papanui on February 1 and withdraw services from Eastgate and Merivale.

A Kiwibank spokeswoman said the way its customers access banking services has changed dramatically over the past 17 years. Less than 10 per cent of Kiwibank’s service transactions now occurs in its physical network.

The nearest banking service is at The Palms Kiwibank, which is 5km away.

Ms Dyson said it was a terrible time of the year to be launching the petition, but it was “fantastic” to have got more than 1300 signatures.

Westpac provides the other banking service at Eastgate.

•To sign the petition go to https://bit.ly/2FeyfAU

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