Mail and Parcel Sorter Kaimāhiti Reta/Pūhera

Mail and parcel sorters work in processing centres. They sort mail and parcels by address, either manually or by machine.

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Mail and parcel sorters may do some or all of the following:

  • check mail and parcels have been clearly addressed and that correct postage has been paid
  • stamp the date onto mail
  • hand-sort mailbags into cages and compartments
  • feed mail and parcels into automated sorting machines
  • send sorted mail and parcels to deliverers
  • redirect mail and parcels that have an incorrect address
  • maintain and update databases of customer information
  • answer customer enquiries
  • act as a team leader, supervising other mail and parcel sorters and helping to train new people.

Physical Requirements

Mail sorters need to be fit and healthy because they spend long periods on their feet and may have to move heavy sacks of parcels and mail (up to 25kg). They also need to have good hand-eye co-ordination.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for mail and parcel sorters includes:

  • casual mail work during peak times
  • postie or delivery agent work
  • factory work.

Personal Qualities

Mail and parcel sorters need to be:

  • honest, punctual and reliable
  • organised and efficient, with an eye for detail
  • able to work well in a team and independently
  • able to read quickly and accurately
  • able to learn how to use industrial machinery
  • skilled at decision making, organising and communicating
  • able to memorise streets, addresses and mailboxes.


Mail and parcel sorters need to have knowledge of New Zealand locations.


Mail and parcel sorters:

  • may work full time, part time, or casually
  • work varying shifts, depending on the needs of the business
  • work both day and night shifts, including weekends
  • work at New Zealand Post processing centres and for large businesses.

Subject Recommendations

No specific secondary education is required for this job, but maths and English to at least NCEA Level 1 are useful.

Mail and Parcel Sorters can earn around $23 per hour.

Mail and parcel sorters usually earn minimum wage, plus a $3.50 an hour allowance if they work nights between 8pm and 6am.

Mail and parcel sorters in supervisory positions can earn more.

Source: New Zealand Post, 2018.

Mail and parcel sorters may progress into training and supervisory roles.

Years Of Training

<1 year of training usually required.

There are no specific requirements to become a mail and parcel sorter as skills are learned on the job.

However, to become a mail and parcel sorter for New Zealand Post you need to pass competency tests (on critical reading, memory and hand-eye co-ordination) and a pre-employment drug test.

New employees undergo six weeks of introductory training. New Zealand Post mail and parcel sorters usually have to pass regular competency tests to assess their speed and accuracy.

As mail and parcel sorters can also handle freight, a forklift licence may be useful.

Mail and Parcel Sorter