How a question on social media restored postal services from Australia to Niue

Postboxes at the Commercial Centre in central Alofi

What seemed like an innocent question posted on a Facebook page by Simotwoah Tala Tuineau on the 3rd of January 2023 started a flurry of frustrated responses from Niueans living in Australia about not being able to send their parcels to Niue over the festive season.

Concerns were raised on the Niue Island Facebook page, the largest online community of Niueans abroad, with members expressing their disappointment at being told by Australia Post that they do not offer postal services to Niue.

The Niue Island Facebook group, with more than thirteen thousand members, was set up by local artist Mark Cross several years ago and is a forum where Niueans and friends of Niue talk about Niue, travel, tourism and business opportunities.

Group member Simotwoah Tala Tuineau post said “Wanting to ask a question regarding posting from Australia, I know this question may have been asked before because we can’t post anything from Australia”

After seeing this post, a BCN News reporter contacted the Office of the Australian High Commission in Niue asking why there were no postal services to Niue and explaining the reactions on social media.

In a statement earlier this week, Australia High Commissioner to Niue H.E Louise Ellerton said that “the Australia High Commission Niue is pleased to announce that postal services from Australia to Niue will resume effective immediately.”

It’s understood that the postal services to Niue and many other countries including other Pacific islands were suspended during the pandemic. 

The suspension is now lifted according to H.E. Louise Ellerton saying that she is pleased to confirm that the suspension of mail services from Australia to Niue has been lifted”.

“Niue and Australia have deep people-to-people and business linkages, and I know that many people rely on postal services to stay connected.”

Effective immediately, Australia Post will accept standard parcels, economy parcels and economy air and international post-registered letters from customers in Australia for carriage to Niue, via New Zealand. 

Australia Post has advised items from Australia will take 10-18 business days for standard parcels and around 25 days for economy parcels and letters.

Just over six thousand Niueans live in Australia and some of them were quick to respond when the announcement was posted on the Australian High Commission Niue Facebook page four days ago, with some interesting reactions but overall was well received.

Simotwoah Tala Tuineau was one of the first to post their reaction saying “About bloody time”

Folia Konelio said “Now I can send a parcel to my Dad”

Some people made reference to their New Zealand relatives who must be sick and tired of having to on-forward their postage to Niue from Australia.

Berta Tuhaka S said, “Yes, thank you. Am sure AP is sick of me asking constantly”.

For the locals on the island, they can start to expect the slip of paper in their mailboxes telling them to pick up a package at the Niue Post.

In the statement from the Australian High Commissioner “Australia Post has confirmed that courier parcels and letters are not available at this time and express parcels and letters remain suspended.

All international post to Niue is sent via New Zealand as the only flight to Niue is from Auckland and all the cargo shipments to Niue originate from Auckland.”

The resolution to the postal debacle would not have been quick had it not been for the establishment of the Australia High Commission in Niue two years ago.

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