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Sending Mail Overseas from New Zealand ✉️ [2022]

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Sending Parcels Overseas (with NZ Post)

So it is Christmas-time and you want to send some Kiwi treats back home whilst you’re on your gap year or working holiday? How nice of you. The other scenario could well be that you want to send your crap home since you have accumulated too much stuff! Either way, this guide will give you the ins and outs of sending mail overseas from New Zealand with NZ Post services.

Since you are being nice to your overseas recipients, we are too by making a very simple guide to sending mail internationally from New Zealand.

Bear in mind that as much as we try to keep all our priced examples up to date, this might change from time to time. When sending mail, make sure to refer to your nearest NZ Post shop for up-to-date prices. Additionally, see the bottom of this article for the Christmas deadlines for sending mail overseas, because that would really be a shame that your thoughtful gifts arrive late…

The Five International Zones

NZ Post divides the world into five distinct zones when sending mail and parcels overseas. Each zone will have a different price structure. The zones are:

  • Zone A: Australia
  • Zone B: South Pacific
  • Zone C: Asia
  • Zone D: North America, UK and Europe
  • Zone E: Rest of the world
Sending Mail Overseas from New Zealand© NZPocketGuide.com

Sending a Simple Letter or Postcard

A letter is an envelope that weighs under 200g (7oz). If it weighs more then it will be sent and priced as a parcel. This is the item sent the most by travellers sending mail overseas from New Zealand, as it is the most budget-friendly option. Postcards and letters usually take 3-6 days to be delivered to Australia and 6-10 days to the rest of the world. Prices are pleasingly low with NZ Post:

  • Sending a postcard overseas will set you back only NZ$3.00.
  • Sending a medium letter (130mm x 235mm x 6mm) cost NZ$3.00 to Australia and NZ$3.80 to the rest of the world
  • Sending a large letter (165mm x 235mm x 10mm) cost NZ$3.80 to Australia and NZ$4.50 to the rest of the world.

More options are available for bigger letters (260mm x 385mm / 10″ x 15″) but never exceeds NZ$6.70.

KiwiStamps can be used to send letters overseas too. However, you must use enough KiwiStamps so that their value is equal to or more than the rate of sending a letter overseas. A KiwiStamp is worth NZ$1.50. Therefore, if you send a postcard overseas, you will use two KiwiStamps, for example.

A quick tip: Don’t forget to place an International Air sticker in the upper left-hand corner for faster processing. You can find them for free in any Post Shop.

See here for information on sending mail within New Zealand.

Pexels© Pexels

Sending a Parcel Overseas with International Courier Services

To send a parcel overseas, NZ Post has a range of international delivery services that are designed to meet every need, from fast but really expensive delivery to, well, still expensive but slow delivery. Couriers are in the “fast-but-expensive” category. You will have two options: International Courier or International Express Courier. Here is a quick breakdown of the prices and other important information.

Note: NZ Post prices increase by a small percentage each year. Be prepared for a price rise from the prices listed below – around a 5% increase on courier parcels and 17.9% on the express courier.

Update: There is now a NZ$5 fee to send parcels internationally in an NZ Post Shop.

Size update: On top of the weight (discussed below) your package size will also influence the price. Pack a parcel as small as possible to avoid extra charges.

International Courier

This option is open to 46 destinations and offers a door delivery with tracking and signature upon reception for parcels under 30kg (66lbs). Delivery in target time is set for 2-6 working days.

Note for the following price examples, prices have increased and are no longer publicly available. Below are the last published prices from 2020.

Price example: I am sending a 1kg (2.2lbs) parcel to

  • Zone A: The postage cost will be: NZ$30.59
  • Zone B: The postage cost will be: NZ$47.70
  • Zone C: The postage cost will be: NZ$47.70
  • Zone D: The postage cost will be: NZ$59.83
  • Zone E: The postage cost will be: NZ$58.71
  • Zone US: The postage cost will be: NZ$63.89

Price example: I am sending a 2.5kg (5.5lbs) parcel to

  • Zone A: The postage cost will be: NZ$42.02
  • Zone B: The postage cost will be: NZ$69.99
  • Zone C: The postage cost will be: NZ$80.41
  • Zone D: The postage cost will be: NZ$85.74
  • Zone E: The postage cost will be: NZ$90.79

For this option, you will be charged by actual weight. It means that if your parcel weighs 0.852kg, for example, it will be charged as a 0.852kg parcel.

International Express Courier

This option is open to 220 destinations and offers door delivery with tracking and signature upon reception for parcels under 30kg (66lbs). Delivery in target time is set for 1-5 working days.

Note for the following price examples, prices have increased and are no longer publicly available. Below are the last published prices from 2020.

Price example: I am sending a 1kg (2.2lbs) parcel to

  • Zone A: The postage cost will be: NZ$59.78
  • Zone B: The postage cost will be: NZ$91.37
  • Zone C: The postage cost will be: NZ$91.37
  • Zone D: The postage cost will be: NZ$114.65
  • Zone E: The postage cost will be: NZ$114.65
  • Zone US: The postage cost will be: NZ$114.65

Price example: I am sending a 2.5kg (5.5lbs) parcel to

  • Zone A: The postage cost will be: NZ$63.76
  • Zone B: The postage cost will be: NZ$107.01
  • Zone C: The postage cost will be: NZ$122.21
  • Zone D: The postage cost will be: NZ$128.41
  • Zone E: The postage cost will be: NZ$134.64

Keep in mind that you will be charged the greater of actual or volumetric weight. It means that if your parcel weighs 0.852kg, for example, it will be charged as a 1kg parcel.

Sending Mail Overseas from New Zealand© NZPocketGuide.com

Sending a Parcel Overseas with International Air (International Postage Service)

This is the cheapest option offered by NZ Post and while the delivery time is longer, prices are 2-3 times cheaper than the option above. International Air is open to 220 destinations and offers a door delivery without tracking or signature for parcels up to 2kg (4.4lbs). Delivery in target time is set for 3-10 working days.

Note for the following price examples, prices have increased and are no longer publicly available. Below are the last published prices from 2020.

Price example: I am sending a 1kg (2.2lbs) parcel to

  • Zone A: The postage cost will be: NZ$15.14
  • Zone B: The postage cost will be: NZ$23.79
  • Zone C: The postage cost will be: NZ$29.74
  • Zone D: The postage cost will be: NZ$33.48
  • Zone E: The postage cost will be: NZ$35.69

Price example: I am sending a 2.5kg (5.5lbs) parcel to

  • Zone A: The postage cost will be: NZ$28.53
  • Zone B: The postage cost will be: NZ$46.11
  • Zone C: The postage cost will be: NZ$59.48
  • Zone D: The postage cost will be: NZ$67.92
  • Zone E: The postage cost will be: NZ$72.87

For this option, you will be charged by actual weight. It means that if your parcel weighs 0.852kg, for example, it will be charged as a 0.852kg parcel.

 U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Flickr© U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Flickr

Customs Forms

For parcels under 2kg (4.4lbs) and less than NZ$250 value, you will have to fill up a tiny Customs Declaration (OS008a). This green form is really easy to fill out; simply detail the content of your parcel and its retail value.

For all other international parcels and any of the International Courier options, you will need to fill a Consignment Note (CN300). This white form is essentially the same as the small green form except it adds the sender’s contact details (your’s) and the recipient’s one.

As with every official form, it is important to fill out the fields correctly and accurately. Don’t use a vague description if you want to avoid having to fill out the form again.

Remember, if you are having a parcel sent to you in New Zealand from overseas, it will go through New Zealand customs. Learn about the restrictions on what you can send to New Zealand in Care Packages: Restrictions on Imports and Courier Packages into New Zealand.

Christmas Deadlines for Posting Overseas

Every year, NZ Post issues Christmas deadlines to make sure that your parcel will be delivered before this special day.

Official 2021-2022 Christmas Deadlines

Christmas deadlines are usually published in mid-to-end of October, we will update them right here as soon as a new one is published. As a rule of thumb the parcel deadlines are for Christmas are:

International Economy Courier:

  • Zone A (Australia): No later than the 14th of November
  • Zone B, C, D (South Pacific, Asia, North America, UK and Europe): No later than the 19th of November
  • Zone E (Rest of the world): No later than the 15th of November

International Courier:

  • Zone A (Australia): No later than the 3rd of December
  • Zone B, C, D (South Pacific, Asia, North America, UK and Europe): No later than the 29th of November
  • Zone E (Rest of the world): No later than the 24th of November

International Express:

  • Zone A (Australia): No later than the 13th of December
  • Zone B, C, D (South Pacific, Asia, North America, UK and Europe): No later than the 10th of December
  • Zone E (Rest of the world): Before the 8th of December

Again, those estimates are based on historical data until official dates are published by NZ Post. In the meantime, for more Christmas goodness, head to What to do for Christmas in New Zealand.

Author

Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before calling New Zealand home. He has now spent over a decade in the New Zealand tourism industry, clocking in more than 600 activities across the country. He is passionate about sharing those experiences and advice on NZ Pocket Guide and its YouTube channel. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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