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The petition of more than 2,000 people opposed to the closure of Stoke Kiwibank and the downgrade of the PostShop is a strong message for the Government to reconsider, says Nelson MP Nick Smith in presenting it to Parliament today.

“This petition of 2088 signatures comes on top of the 230 attendees at November’s public meeting and shows the depth of concern in Stoke about this closure. The anger is not just about the loss of banking and postal services but at the arrogant way NZ Post, Kiwibank and the shareholding Ministers have behaved in not consulting or fronting with the community.”

“I am encouraged by this large response over just a few weeks and thank Nelson Greypower and the Nelson City Council for their support. It is a positive sign that neither NZ Post nor Kiwibank has yet set a timetable for closing the existing branch and that they are having difficulty finding a home for the NZ Post agency.”

“The parties in Government are feeling the heat on this issue. It has been total hypocrisy for Shane Jones to be criticizing the privately owned banks over bank closures when the bank of which he is a shareholding Minister is doing the same. The local Labour, Green and NZ First parties are aghast at this decision because they know how it will undermine their support in Nelson. The Government is indicating they are rethinking their approach and we need to ensure this happens before the Stoke branch is closed.”

The petition will be referred to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Select Committee for consideration next year where the lead petitioner 92 year old Daphne Stevens will be present with Greypower. The committee will then report back to Parliament.

“The fundamental issue our Stoke Kiwibank and PostShop is retaining face to face services for the large older population to help them maintain their independence. We owe a duty of care as the world changes to digital services to provide a just transition for our older citizens that have contributed so much to our community and nation”, concluded Dr Smith.

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