Carterton man's postal address woes

By Tessa Johnstone of the Wairarapa Times Age -
Russ Sadler's property number changed last year as a result of a switch to the RAPID (Rural Address Property Identification) system. Photo / Wairarapa Times-Age
Russ Sadler's property number changed last year as a result of a switch to the RAPID (Rural Address Property Identification) system. Photo / Wairarapa Times-Age

A Carterton man has been told his mail can no longer be delivered to his home - because there is no such address.

Russ Sadler's property number changed last year from number 15 to 21, as a result of a switch to the RAPID (Rural Address Property Identification) system, which is used to assist emergency services locate properties.

Properties are numbered based on the distance they are from the start of the road - in Mr Sadler's case, because his property is 210 metres from the road junction, it is number 21.

He said he has no issue with the system, but does have a problem with New Zealand Post's response to the change.

In a letter sent to Mr Sadler last month, NZ Post said after giving him a period of grace, they could no longer deliver mail addressed to number 15, only to 21, even though he lives in the same house.

Mr Sadler said he has informed everyone he can think of about the address change, but he is still missing mail.

"How am I supposed to advise people who I don't even know are going to write to me?"

He became aware of the problem after a close friend sent him an invitation to his 80th birthday, addressed to number 15.

The letter was returned to sender, with the "no such number/street" box ticked on the envelope.

Complicating the issue, the 2012 White Pages published his address as number 15, rather than 21.

"I hadn't even thought about the phone book," he said.

Mr Sadler said in principle mail should be delivered from person to person, not from address to address.

NZ Post spokeswoman Jaimee Burke said while she thinks mail is still sorted in Carterton, the policy is to deliver to addresses rather than individuals.

"It's simply unrealistic for us to monitor every change and exception to every address." She said that other residents on Mr Sadler's road had complied with the process of updating their details with those that send them mail, and are now receiving mail at their new numbered addresses.

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