Recommended NZ | Guide to Money | Gimme: Competitions - Giveaways

Rapid numbers help emergency services find you

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Selwyn District Council is reminding all rural property owners to check they have a rapid number displayed at their driveway entrance. Having a rapid number is essential as it gives every rural property an identifiable address to help identify where you live.

Summer is the high-risk season for fires in Selwyn, especially in rural areas, so the council is also encouraging people to ensure their driveways are wide enough to allow emergency vehicles in and out.

Four-digit rapid numbers are found on blue plastic posts and are used to help identify the exact address of a rural property. Numbers are allocated based on a system which measures the distance from the start of the road to the property’s driveway. This nationwide system is known as the Rural Address Property Identification system or RAPID.

Selwyn’s Emergency Management Officer Ryan O’Rourke says it is important for people to understand what a rapid number is and how it can be helpful in an emergency.

"Rapid numbers are particularly useful for emergency services such as Police, Ambulance, Fire Department and Civil Defence, as they make it easier to find rural properties. It is a good idea to write your rapid number down close to your phone so it is easy to access in an emergency," says Mr O’Rourke.

"It is also important to ensure that your driveway or yard entrance is wider than four by four metres to allow enough room for emergency vehicles like a fire tanker to access your property and turn around if they need to," he adds.

Each blue post should show four digits, but many still show seven digits from when posts showed two sets of numbers - a three-digit ‘road ID number’ followed by a four-digit ‘property ID number’. Properties that have a seven-digit number should remove or cover the top three digits (road ID number) as it can be confusing for emergency or postal services.

Mr O’Rourke says that as many new families have recently moved to Selwyn, it’s possible not every rural property will have a rapid number. Any rural property that does not have a number should request one. Rapid numbers are not used in townships and urban properties do not need a number.

Rural property owners can request or replace a rural rapid number by filling out an online form at

All articles and comments on have been submitted by our community of users. Please notify us through our contact form if you believe an item on this site breaches our community guidelines.