RD Contractors


Rural Couriers Society Limited, operating under the Coural brand, was formed in 1981 as a cooperative company to assist RD contractors in operating as independent businesses. It provides a nationwide rural delivery service for parcels and unaddressed circulars through a comprehensive network.

All RD contractors who buy a rural delivery run are encouraged to enter into a service level agreement with and are entitled to become a Coural shareholder and attend and vote at annual general meetings which are held towards the end of June.

Coural has a board of directors elected by members who direct and control management on behalf of all members. Members’ entitlement to shares is on the basis of 1 share for every 4 registered boxholders.

Shares cost $1.00 each. Shares are eligible to receive dividends (which in recent years have been set at $2.50 per share).

Coural operates from an office in Palmerston North, and has logistics operations in Auckland and Christchurch.

Network Structure

All administration is based in the Palmerston North office. At a local level there are designated drop points where circulars and parcels are left for collection by RD Contractors.

In the interest of rapid information flow to RD contractors regarding circular job bookings or POD enquiries, we encourage all contractors to provide the office their mobile numbers and/or email address.


Contractors Responsibilities

  • Coural will strive to improve income streams and rates of payment for RD contractors
  • Contractors are to deliver goods in accordance with instructions provided
  • Contractors are required to respond promptly to any POD (proof of delivery) enquiries
  • Contractors will be asked from time to time to provided updated information on circular numbers and parcel drop off points.

Contractors Independence

The presence of Coural in the market provides RD contractors with an alternative source of income and assists in maintaining “independent” status with the IRD (as opposed to being considered an employee).

The IRD has a comprehensive checklist to determine status but the following are important:

  • Can you work simultaneously for someone else
  • Do you supply your own equipment, vehicle
  • Do you decide your own hours of work and make major decisions on work undertaken
  • Can you employ labour
  • Do you bear the risk of business failure
  • Are you responsible for your own GST, ACC and indemnity insurance.

Relationship to RDCA

The Rural Delivery Contractors Association (RDCA) is entirely separate from Coural.
RDCA provides benefits to RD contractors including insurance cover.

Delivery Ticket Types

There are three ticket types – red for documents and green for parcels and yellow for signature required.

  • Red tickets are for items up to 2kg or C4 envelope size and must fit in a standard letterbox.
  • Green tickets are for parcels up to 16kg and/or 0.075 cu m. Any parcel heavier or larger than this requires two tickets.
  • Yellow tickets for signatures provide for delivery of the parcel plus a premium for obtaining a signature.

Parcel Pickups

From time to time there is a need for a partner courier company to arrange for a parcel pickup from a rural address. This is managed through the Coural office who will contact the RD contractor with the pickup details. All parcels are then left at the normal drop-off point and a red or green parcel ticket will be left by the partner courier company to pay for the pickup.

LBM (letterbox marketing) Delivery Definitions

The delivery of unaddressed circulars and newspapers is a significant part of our business.

We provide customers with a wide range of target markets:

  • Total Boxholders (the number of registered boxholders on a RD — i.e. the sum of Farmers and Lifestyle)
  • Farmer—a property which is predominantly in the business of farming
  • Lifestyle—a property that is essentially a rural residence. May have limited farming activity.
  • Other farming specific types such as sheep, beef, sheep/beef, dairy/beef, horticulture.

Dangerous Goods

The carriage of dangerous goods is governed by the Land Transport Rule: Dangerous Goods 2005. This provides that certain items normally classified as dangerous goods but if within the defined Small Packages criteria can be carried by courier companies. This rule is abbreviated to DGLQ (dangerous goods in limited quantities).

Coural has developed the following criteria:

  • no dangerous goods documentation required (although the packages should be marked to identify the nature of their contents)
  • no placards on the vehicle required
  • no dangerous goods endorsement on driver licences required
  • goods do not require segregation during transport
  • the allowable total weight limit is 50kg.

Note that for clarification on any matter relating to dangerous goods, reference should be made to the Land Transport Rule: Dangerous Goods 2005 (available from LTSA website). Schedule 2A of the Rule specifies a range of dangerous goods that must not be transported under the Small Packages provision (e.g. explosives).

Becoming a Shareholder

Rural Couriers Society Limited is a cooperative that is open for membership to all rural delivery contractors. The number of shares each member is entitled to is based on their boxholder numbers. One share for every 4 boxholders.

All prospective members are required to be sent a prospectus, an investment statement and a copy of the company's latest accounts. All of these can be sent on request from the office: 0800 731 299, coural@coural.co.nz