Auckland Mail Centre up and running again after fire

14 May 2010

Yesterday's electrical fire at New Zealand Post's Auckland Mail Centre caused far less mail disruption than expected, New Zealand Post said today.

A fire in the main switchboard at the Auckland Mail Centre was put out quickly yesterday morning but the building was closed for most of yesterday due to toxic fumes.

New Zealand Post's Network Chief Operating Officer Sue Tucker said today that only 16,000 pieces of mail destined for Auckland mailboxes had been delayed.

"We were allowed back into the building and started our automated sorting machines at 7pm last night using portable generators. We had extra manual sorters processing mail throughout the day and thanks to the team's efforts there has been a far smaller impact on mail than we'd originally thought," Ms Tucker said.

Of 1.4 million mail items going through the Auckland Mail Centre, only 1 per cent was carried over to today. These letters were all destined for Auckland mailboxes. Mail for the rest of New Zealand was unaffected.

"We apologise to Auckland residents whose mail is a day late. While we don't expect to restore mains electricity to the building for up to a fortnight, from our experience last night we are confident that from today we can process all mail in the normal time using the generators to power our machines."

New Zealand Post continues to investigate the cause of the switchboard failure.

No mail was damaged in the fire.