Emergency services need to know where you live easily and quickly, RAPID numbers make this possible. Is yours correct?
RAPID numbers are vital for emergency services and are still used as the primary means of locating properties.
RAPID stands for Rural Address Property Identification. This system gives every rural property with a dwelling an address, which means simple identification of the exact location within a rural area.
How are RAPID numbers allocated?
The RAPID system assigns a number using the distance measured from the start of the road to the main vehicle access of the property.
General numbering rules still apply. Rural RAPID address numbers are calculated by dividing the distance in metres from the start of the road to the main vehicle access by ten. This number is then rounded to a whole and adjusted to an even or odd number, whichever is required.
Are onsite property numbers still relevant?
Emergency response relies upon a verified location or address point; the RAPID system is the main method used.
GPS is used by emergency services, but only when a call is made from a portable or mobile device and uses cell tower triangulation to help verify a location. This is far less accurate in rural locations due to the sparse number of towers.
Should someone require emergency help in a remote location without cell tower triangulation, and uses a cell phone to call emergency services, they will still need to give details of a RAPID address for the location.
How should my RAPID number be displayed?
The RAPID number should be displayed on the gate post at the property entrance from the road, or at the end of the legal and formed road as appropriate.
The number should be placed on the far gate post from the direction that emergency services will be coming from.
The number should be always visible and clear of vegetation.
Where can I order my RAPID number?
Numbers can be ordered directly from RTL using the following links.
If you need 3-5 numbers per plate.
If you need 1-2 numbers per plate.
Council has partnered with Road Signs and Traffic Control Equipment Limited (RTL) to design a preferred number plate for use in the Hurunui District.
These are blue 2mm thick alloy plates with reflective digits. They are designed to be extremely durable and visible at night.
Should all buildings on my property have a RAPID number?
Generally, only dwellings and businesses are required to be numbered.
Buildings that only have occasional use such as shearing sheds are not required to be numbered.
If a dairy shed has individual access off the road it is required to be numbered.
If a dwelling uses the same access road as a dairy shed, the dwelling’s number can be used to locate the entrance to the property. The Fonterra or Synlait farm number can then be used to locate the dairy shed.
What if there are multiple dwellings on my property?
Where there is more than one dwelling on a site, each should have its own number displayed accordingly.
If more than one dwelling is accessed off the same point on the road then an alpha suffix should be used for each dwelling – with the suffixes running in the same direction as the underlying road numbering.
In these instances, numbering can get confusing quickly. Council can assess the property numbers free of charge and assign numbers following Council and Land Information New Zealand’s numbering policies. Contact Scott Rose at Council on 0278089913 or email@example.com to have your property assessed.
How will emergency services locate the dwellings when on my property?
Signage should be placed at appropriate points on-site to direct emergency services to the dwellings.
If it is not immediately apparent where the dwelling is from the entry point to the property (i.e., the dwelling is located some distance away via forking farm tracks and difficult to locate) then signage should be placed at appropriate points on-site to direct emergency services to the dwellings.
Do I have the correct RAPID number?
It is strongly advised that you check with Council that your property number is correct.
There are many instances where farms may have had the same number for many years but for several reasons, it is no longer correct. Such reasons could include:
- Historical incorrect or non-numbering that has never been rectified.
- Provisional numbers being assigned at subdivision and have not been updated when development occurs.
- Subsequent dwellings or businesses constructed on a property and numbers have not been assigned.
- Vehicular access to a property being relocated without Council knowledge and property not re-numbered.
What if the RAPID number for my property must change?
When assigning or changing property numbers, Council will advise you of the new numbers and update our records accordingly.
The following agencies are then informed and advised to update their records:
- Automobile Association
- Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ)
- Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)
- NZ Post
- Quality Valuation NZ
- Registrar of electors
- St John
NB: Private agencies (such as GoogleMaps) request regular updates from LINZ to update their mapping services.
What if my RAPID number is not the preferred HDC style?
Alternative display methods (vertical numbering/different coloured backing) are appropriate, if they are clear, bold, and visible at night. This being said, we have a preferred style and strongly encourage you to use this.