From the Mayor - Rakaia - Legendary Landmark


It is great to see Rakaia featuring on a newly-launched set of New Zealand postage stamps this month, named the Legendary Landmarks stamp issue.

The 80 cent Rakaia stamp – which features an image of a giant salmon – is one of a set of 18 new stamps that showcase New Zealand towns which have made a name for themselves by erecting legendary landmarks that tell stories about the towns’ history, culture and landscape.

The message on the Rakaia stamp reads Rakaia means great fishing.

What a great way to not only remind other New Zealanders about Rakaia’s reputation for outstanding fishing, but to also attract the attention of people who might live overseas and are coming here for a holiday – especially those who are looking for good fishing spots.

So good on you Rakaia – I’m proud of your legendary stamp and you should be too.

This celebration of Rakaia as an iconic fishing spot reminds me of the importance of the post service in rural districts like ours.

When NZ Post proposed cutting postal delivery services from five to three days a week back in 2013, there was, understandably, significant concern, particularly from rural communities.

Rural post is an essential part of the daily running of many rural people’s businesses and households, especially if they’re not online yet.

The reality is that many rural businesses are still heavily reliant on a five-day-a-week service – probably more so than residents in the towns.

The fact that 90 per cent of the submissions received against the proposed change to a three-day-a-week service (one of which was made by Ashburton District Council) related to the rural services was certainly proof that daily delivery of post on business days is extremely important in rural areas.

I think we were all relieved when NZ Post announced that they had secured agreement from the Government allowing it to move to three-day-a-week letter deliveries from 2015 but that rural areas would retain their current services.

The internet might have changed our lives in lots of ways and hard copy letters might be on the decline but I hope we continue to get good old fashioned post delivered on a daily basis to rural properties like my own, for a long time to come yet.

On that note, next time you need to post a letter, make sure you buy one of the celebratory Rakaia stamps.

Angus McKay

Page reviewed: 16 Jul 2014 9:05am