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Paula Johns delivers newspapers, pamphlets and flyers in rain, hail and shine – and even snow.

It’s something she’s used to – after all she’s been doing it for 25 years.

DELIVERY: Paula Johns delivers another newspaper in Cobb Place, part of her regular round on the Plateau in Ōtaki.

Photo Ian Carson

Paula began the delivery job when she was still at Ōtaki College and aged only 16 in 1997. Since then, she’s delivered an estimated two million items of printed material into Ōtaki letterboxes. And she loves it, no matter what the weather or anything else that might distract her.

Reading difficulties have made it impossible for Paula to find regular work, so the paper round and other hobbies have kept her busy since leaving school.

It began in 1997 when she delivered the Weekly News, the midweek edition of the Levin Chronicle. Then she took on delivery of the Kāpiti Observer Mondays and Thursdays, and more recently Ōtaki’s own Ōtaki Today newspaper.

At weekends – usually on a Sunday – she would be busy with flyer deliveries.

“There used to be a lot of them in those early days,” Paula says. “They were mostly the big stores like Briscoes, Rebel Sport, The Warehouse and 4 Square. Sometimes it would take all day just to fold them, even before I got out to deliver them.”

Nowadays she’s not so busy, with fewer editions of newspapers and fewer flyers, although she’s happy to have the job of delivering Ōtaki Today as a new addition to her paper round.

Paula is a distribution company’s dream contractor. The weather and how she feels never deters her. Her mum, Kathy Johns, recalls her going out on her bike the last time it snowed in Ōtaki, in July 2011.

“She was still determined to get the job done,” Kathy says.

Paula was for 20 years a volunteer with St John, assisting paramedics at sporting and other events. She’s also an avid knitter. She knits blackets, scarves, ponchos and jerseys to give away. Last year she delivered 10 of them to residents at Ocean View Residential Care.

She’s happy to receive anyone’s spare yarn.

If you have any yarn to spare, contact Paula at 06 364-5491

Paula’s 25 years of newspaper deliveries



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