RAPID numbers

1. Overview

What is RAPID numbering?

RAPID stands for Rural Address Property IDentification. It gives every rural residential property a road number, just like urban streets have. It can be hard to explain exactly where you live on long rural roads. RAPID is useful for emergency services such as police, fire, ambulance and civil defence. It is helpful for service providers such as NZ Post, Telecom, couriers and power authorities. Most of the rural areas in NZ are now RAPID numbered and the system has been very successful in assisting in fast location of rural properties. 

3. Common questions and answers

How do I find out if a property has a RAPID number?

The distinctive blue and white number plate will be at the entrance to the property. If no number is visible and you think that the property has a RAPID number you can contact us to check if it appears on our database. If not, you may apply for one.

How long will it take before I receive my RAPID number?

This can take up to 3 weeks. The plate will then be made up and posted out for you to attach at the entrance to the property.

What if I need a number for emergency services?

As a temporary resource the nearest number to the property would be used. Telecom, Top Energy and NZ Post will accept this information for temporary use until they have been notified of the correct detail.

How are RAPID numbers allocated?

RAPID numbers are allocated south to north and/or east to west along the road. Your RAPID number will be based on the distance your property is from the beginning of the road on which it is located. The numbers are allocated to properties by measuring, in metres, the distance from the commencement of the road to the centre of the dwelling's driveway. The final measurement is divided by 10, and then rounded to a whole number. Numbers on the right of the road are even; those on the left are odd. For example a property located 825 meters from the commencement of the road would be numbered 82 if on the right side of the road or 83 if on the left side of the road. If there is more than one dwelling off a driveway then a letter e.g. A, B, or C is appended. The first house along will be A, the second B, etc. It is the owner's decision whether they want to put up their own number on the house itself. There are particular protocols for long roads, such as state highways, and where long roads continue through townships.

State Highways

The maximum length of RAPID numbering is 100km, then the numbering starts again. For this reason it is important that the locality of the property accompany the RAPID number e.g. No 2345 SH1, Ohaeawai.

SH1 has 3 sections:

  • Whangarei to Ohaeawai
  • Ohaeawai to Kaitaia (Ohaeawai is the junction of SH1 & SH12)
  • Kaitaia to as far as the road SH.1 goes.

SH10 has 2 sections as it just over 100km:

  • SH1 (Pakaraka) to Kaeo
  • Kaeo to SH1 (Awanui)

SH12 has 2 sections:

  • Dargaville to Opononi
  • Opononi to SH1 at Ohaeawai


Where a township has no existing numbers the RAPID numbers are continuous through the township. If urban numbers exist the RAPID stops at the commencement of the urban numbers, and starts again where urban numbers end. However the distance measurements continue through the town e.g. Kawakawa (SH1) has urban numbers, so the RAPID stops at 5349 and starts again at 5630.

However if the town is the point of commencement for a new section (ie, its getting close to 100 kms) then the RAPID ends at the commencement of urban numbering and starts a new series where urban numbering ends. Every attempt is made to avoid overlaps in the numbers in the urban/RAPID changeover. However, there may be some sorting out required where people have 'adopted' a number for themselves. Often an urban part of the SH network has its own name which helps.

How will RAPID affect my address?

The RAPID number should be added to the usual RD address e.g. 963 *road name*, RD3 *town*

Where are they put/what do they look like?

Rapid Number displayed on rural fence

Your RAPID plate should be attached in a prominent position close to your vehicle entrance, which could be on a letterbox, gatepost or wooden fence. Plates are to be fixed parallel to the road. They have reflective blue numbers for ease of visibility and the FNDC logo to distinguish them from other plates (eg. dairy company plates).

What happens to the information?

The RAPID number is geo-located and recorded on council's GIS (Geographic Information System). It is also loaded into Landonline, Land Information New Zealand's national property database. Emergency services have access to this information so they can quickly and accurately locate a residential property in a rural area.

Can I have another plate for my stockyard or packing shed?

You may buy a plate for a small fee.

What if my number goes missing or is destroyed?

Please keep a record of the RAPID number that has been allocated to a property in a safe place so it is easily replaced if the plate goes missing for any reason. There is a charge for replacement plates.