Undeliverable mail

Find out what happens to mail sent within New Zealand and from overseas that’s undeliverable.

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Mail sent within New Zealand

Items sent within New Zealand that we can’t deliver and that have a sender’s address will be returned to the sender.

Mail without a return address that can’t be delivered is sent to our Returned Letters Office and dealt with in accordance with the Postal Services Act 1998.

We keep all undeliverable mail for a minimum of three months.

Mail sent from overseas

Undelivered letters, small parcels and all registered mail are returned to the country they were sent from. Parcels that are insured or over 2kg, and courier items, are dealt with according to the instructions on the customs declaration or consignment note.

Printed papers are only returned to the country they were sent from if specifically requested by the sender. This information must be marked on the item in the language of the destination country.

Terms and conditions

The standard terms and conditions of the products and services offered by New Zealand Post Limited, including information on the extent of our liability, are set out in the Public Contract and the Postal Users' Guide. They are also available for reference at PostShop stores and selected New Zealand Post retail outlets.

Delivery targets

Delivery targets are a guide only and we do not guarantee your item will reach its destination within the delivery target. Delivery to and from rural or remote areas may take longer.

Required postage

The required postage is the value of postage required for New Zealand Post to carry the item. Actual price paid may vary instore. The required postage and specifications are subject to change.

Cover for loss or damage, prohibited & restricted items

Before sending mail items, make sure your item is safe to send and will be covered if it goes missing or is damaged. Make sure you read about cover for loss or damage and prohibited & restricted items.