Post office corporatisation
People protest at the closure of Homedale Post Office, Wainuiomata, New Zealand, 24 October 1987 Photograph by Harry Todd (died 1994 or 1995), courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand (Harry Todd Collection, PAColl-6060-2-0435)
This Wainuiomata protest occurred in the build-up to a much more widespread closure of New Zealand post offices in 1988.
David Lange's 1984 Labour Government began a radical programme of state sector down-sizing and restructuring. At the time, the Post Office included postal, telecommunications, and banking services. The government considered the organisation inefficient and unprofitable. The rationalisation so characteristic of 'Rogernomics' was about to begin.
On 1 April 1987, the government split the Post Office into three state-owned enterprises, in preparation for their later sale. In just one day the next year – 5 February 1988 – more than 400 post offices closed around the country. The closures were mostly in small communities, much to the dismay of local residents.
The focus of surviving post offices became much more commercial.