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The Trucks of New Zealand Post


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New Zealand Trucking  /  February 2019

It’s in the bag

From the early days until the late 1980s, mail was traditionally carried in canvas bags. Between towns and cities, the mail was moved by trains that sometimes included a Railway Traveling Post Office, the last of which was withdrawn in 1971. Mail would often be picked up, sorted and dropped off en-route, sometimes without the train slowing down or stopping. 

A loophole in the transport licensing rules at the time allowed for licensed bus services to also carry freight on scheduled routes; this saw a uniquely New Zealand-designed bus that could carry goods at the back and passengers in the front; the composite. Ironically it was the Railways that operated many composite buses. Mail to and from overseas was also moved in canvas bags.

Photo: This picture shows three classic flat deck trucks of the 1950s and 1960s alongside the MV Wanganella in Wellington. Left to right they are: Bedford A, Ford Thames ET6 (Costcutter), and a Bedford OLB. From the ship’s side the mail would be taken to the Overseas Mail Branch for sorting and distribution around the country by rail or composite bus.


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New Zealand Trucking  /  July 2019

IN 1911 THE POST OFFICE put its first truck on the road. Whilst mainly used for work associated with mail and telecommunications, over the years the trucks have also been used in a variety of roles, including transporting floral tributes in state funeral processions, transporting baggage for VIP tours, and in civil defence. In 1990 NZ Post entered into a joint venture with Airwork Ltd to operate dedicated aircraft to move mail within New Zealand.

NZ Post started to move away from company operated vehicles when Courier Post became owner-driver-based in 1992, with the model being put into place across most of the transport fleet in the following years. The decline in the traditional letter market and the rapid increase in the parcel market, driven by online shopping, has changed the mix of products moved, but the use of road to provide an efficient, reliable, cost-effective but flexible service still exists.

Photo: Taken in Auckland in 2000 this picture provides a good illustration of the type of vehicles used to move mail around New Zealand in the 21st century. The aircraft, a F27 Friendship, was converted to carry freight in containers designed and purposebuilt in New Zealand. Dedicated jets now operate this service.


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NZ has many custom buses as described, or at least I have read about many over years in Truck and Bus magazine 

They had half bus half goods  carrying that worked in conjunction with their railways 

In the Otways (the part of Australia I grew up in) the local bus company had at least one bus like this

I did a quick Google and Im guessing like most things they have been bought out and shut down and erased from history 

One things for sure, them kiwis are custom builder's of most things and appear to have much straight off the shelf stuff 



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Dutch aircraft manufacturer Fokker built the F-27 prop jet. Fairchild-Hiller Corporation built the plane in the USA under license from Fokker and called it the FH-227. 

Boston based Northeast Airlines used several FH-227s on its smaller market routes in New England.


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