Challenges Of Home Mail Delivery In Pacific Islands Subject Of Forum In Tonga

Houses with no street names, numbers are left out of global networks

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Jan. 24, 2017) – Pacific islands people who live on unnamed roads without street numbers rely on the nearest mango tree or church building to give directions for deliveries to their homes.

"A home delivery service is not an option and in today's business environment having no proper address means we are not part of the network, which will mean we will miss out on a lot of potential business," said Tonga's Acting Minister for Public Enterprises Hon. Saia Piukala in opening the first South Pacific Postal Business Forum, being held from January 24-26 in Nuku’alofa.

"Addressing the future", is the theme of the Forum that brings together postal officials and managers from seven countries. Besides discussing how to create a proper addressing system for Pacific Islands, they are looking at e-commerce and innovative ways to remain relevant in a digital era.

Hon. Piukala said it was no secret that in any country, postal services are experiencing difficult times as the world we live in becomes increasingly more digital and electronic.

He said postal services in small Pacific Islands countries, in particular, needed to become more innovative and could help stimulate and promote socio-economic growth.

"The effective use of address information can facilitate development and social inclusion...Tonga Post has started the National Street and Home Addressing Project in 2012 and this forum is part of the process to lead the collaboration among stakeholders in order to complete this important initiative," he said.

At the moment, "Tonga like many of our Pacific Island neigbours does not benefit from a proper addressing system."

Post office mailboxes have been the cornerstone and more reliable way of receiving post in Tonga. "Those who do have one and live on roads without official names or street numbers rely on a descriptions such as opposite the big mango tree next to the white church building to direct someone for a delivery," he said.


Derek Osborn a facilitator and co-founder of Whatnext4u Ltd., a business and career coach from the United Kingdom said addressing is a key thing not just the Post but for government services.

He said this forum will also discuss e-commerce because now there is the internet and people are able to buy from abroad and everyone is multi-national now, trading globally.

Attending are Postal CEOs and senior officials from Cook Islands, Fiji, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Tonga Post.

Matangi Tonga Magazine
Copyright © 2017 Matangi Tonga. All Rights Reserved

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