Migration from xtra.co.nz

Email Account Migration     

For Pension Increases see further below

Last month Spark New Zealand (the country’s largest Internet service provider) advised that they will no longer provide free email accounts to their Internet customers from 16 May 2024.  Those choosing to retain the email service will be charged $5.95 per month.  Similarly, those customers who currently pay $5 per month for the email service because Spark is not their ISP will pay $9.95 per month.

If you currently use Spark’s Xtra email service, you may be considering changing your email provider.  If this is the case, you should carefully plan how you are going to do this as there are a number of implications.

Your plan needs to cover the following:

  1. Setting up a new email account with an alternative provider.
  2. Advising all contacts and entities that have your old email address recorded of your new email address.
  3. Delete emails that you don’t need to keep.
  4. Moving your existing messages (those that you wish to retain) to your new account.
  5. Close your Xtra email account. (If you don’t do this, you will get billed each month for the service!).

The above is a simple outline plan.  The following paragraphs contain more details for each of the above steps.

  1. Setting up a new email account. You may already have another email account. If you do and you are happy to use that account, there is nothing more you need to do.  Otherwise I suggest you setup a new email account with one of the well-established big email providers such as Gmail (Google), Outlook (Microsoft) or Yahoo mail.  It would pay to do a bit of research as there are other providers.  One thing to keep in mind is that email providers do set storage limits for email but they are very generous limits in most cases.  Also, the ‘big three’ provide some cloud storage for documents and other data.
  2. Advising Contacts of your New Email Address. This is going to be the most time consuming and important part of the migration process.   You may have had your Xtra address for a very long time and, over that time you have probably provided your email address to countless contacts and business entities.  Also, you are likely to have used your email address as a login user ID.  You need to create a list of these people, entities and logins.  Here are a few places to look for this information.
    1. Existing mail (both received and sent),
    2. Password management system (login credentials),
    3. Loyalty cards in your wallet.
    4. Invoices and other business documents

The above short list is just a start.  Over time  you will think of others.  You need to start advising these entities of your email address.  This can normally be done on-line and usually involves the site sending you a verification email to your new address which you need to acknowledge.

  1. Deleting emails. I suggest you keep only Xtra email that you really need to retain.  Delete the rest.  This will make the next step (moving your email to your new email account) easier.
  2. Moving your existing email to your new email account. Moving your email is the next logical step.  How much email do you have to migrate?  In the unlikely circumstance where you have very few email messages to transfer, you could just forward them to your new email address.  However, it is much more likely that you will have hundreds, maybe thousands of email messages to transfer.  To do this efficiently, you need to use a desktop email client program.  This will allow you to easily bulk copy messages between inboxes.  Note that you cannot do this by opening your email accounts in Internet browser tabs.  If you do not have this software available, you should download a free version of EM Client or Thunderbird.  Once downloaded you need to add inboxes for both your Xtra email and one for your new email provider.  Once this is done, you will be able to bulk move email by copy and pasting or dragging selected email messages.  Note that setting up a mailbox in the client software for Xtra can be a bit tricky as you will most likely have to set it up manually.

Here is a link to a YouTube clip that may help: https://www.youtube.com/?v=LlBW7et-m5E

  1. Close your Xtra email account. Once you have carried out the above steps and confirmed that all your email messages have been transferred, you can close your Xtra email account and not incur a monthly charge.  You should already have an email from Spark telling you how to close your email account.  The following  also PDF also tells you the process (it’s on the second page).  Page one contains some useful information.

You do have a bit of time up your sleeve, but I suggest you make a start now on your email migration.  As I have already mentioned, ascertaining which entities have your old email address will be the biggest task.  Also, you may need help with setting up an email client in order to bulk transfer your accumulated email messages.  END



Pension Increases

From the Ministry of Social Development

Annual Increase to Super

New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension payments are adjusted each year to reflect increases in the cost of living (inflation), and the average wage.

From Monday 1 April, fortnightly rates have increased to:

  • $922.82 each before tax or $799.18 each after ‘M’ tax, for a married person or partner in a civil union or de facto relationship.
  • $1213.34 before tax or $1038.94 after ‘M’ tax for a single or widowed person living alone.
  • $1116.62 before tax or $959.02 after ‘M’ tax for a single or widowed person sharing accommodation.

The payment for Tuesday 9 April will be partly paid at the new rates. Your first full payment at the new rate will be in your pay on Tuesday 23 April 2024.

The Winter Energy Payment is starting again on Wednesday 1 May.

The Payment is to help with the cost of keeping your home warm and dry, and other costs over winter.

If you get NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension, you will be entitled to get the Winter Energy Payment all winter, from Wednesday 1 May until Tuesday 1 October. The payment is made automatically, you don’t need to apply.
When you receive NZ Super on Tuesday 7 May it will include a part Winter Energy Payment. Your first full Winter Energy Payment will be on Tuesday 21 May. 

Couples and people with dependent children will get $31.82 a week. Single, and widowed, people will get $20.46 a week.
Couples will receive a combined payment which is made to one person in the couple – unfortunately we can’t split it, but we can switch it to the other person’s account. Please get in touch if you want to do so by calling the seniors line on 0800 552 002.

If you are overseas
If you are overseas during this period, or you are already in another country on Tuesday 1 May, you can keep getting the Winter Energy Payment for up to 28 days (or four weeks).

You must tell MSD if you’ll be away for more than 28 days, otherwise you could be paid incorrectly. If this happens, you may be required to pay some money back.

The easiest way to let MSD know about your travel is using the ‘Overseas travel dates for NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension’ online form, or giving them a call on 0800 552 002. You will also need to tell MSD when you return, so your payment can be started again. 

If you don’t want to get it

If you get NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension, you’ll receive the Winter Energy Payment automatically, along with your fortnightly payments. If you don’t want to get Winter Energy Payment, you can opt out by either:

If you’ve opted out in the past and want to get this payment again, you can fill in the same form, or contact us on 0800 552 002 (Mon-Fri 7am-6pm and Saturday 8am-1pm).

End of Daylight Saving  Sunday 7 April – put your clocks and watches back an hour - and check or renew your fire alarm batteries.

Claim your Rates rebate – forms available from City Councils – you can save up to $700.00!

SCAMS is a simple acronym to help you identify red flags: 

  • Surprise: Is the message or problem unexpected? 
  • Control: Are you being pressured to make quick decisions or switch communication platforms? 
  • Access: Is there a request for personal information or passwords? 
  • Money: Are you being asked to make online payments? 
  • Stop: If you spot any of these warning signs, stop communicating  

Netsafe’s helpline team are happy to assist with advice. Call on 0508 638 723 or email [email protected] However, if you have lost money to a scammer, you must notify your bank immediately.

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