Fri 24 Apr 2015 2:10AM

Address of dwelling

SD Sophie Davies Public Seen by 300

Dwelling address is a statutory requirement of the New Zealand census and indicates where all dwellings are located.

Our current recommendations relating to dwelling address

  • The collection of information on dwelling address is required by law under the Statistics Act 1975, so this information must be collected in the census.

  • No change is recommended for dwelling address.

See our preliminary view of 2018 Census content (page 18) for a more detailed discussion on address of dwelling information.


Bronwen (Facilitator) Thu 30 Apr 2015 9:53PM

Hello & welcome to our discussion of “Address of dwelling”.
I’m Bronwen, from Statistics New Zealand. I look forward to open and inclusive discussion over the next six weeks to understand your “Address of dwelling” needs. Looking forward to hearing from you


Kim Ollivier Sat 9 May 2015 2:56AM

The address for all spatial information critical for accurate location. But if a large part of the census is done online, how will the dwelling address be verified? Similarly the work address is clearly difficult to verify if written in. Perhaps online forms can have a built-in validation before the entered address is accepted.
This then raises the issue on what is the correct address for a dwelling, particularly for flats on the same property. There is no standard between NZ Post and the council on how these are designated. eg 71 and 71B are the same as 1/71 and 2/71. NZ Post NPAD is not the authority on address allocation.


Bronwen (Facilitator) Mon 11 May 2015 6:13PM

Good points thanks @kimollivier


Frances Horton Tue 2 Jun 2015 8:55AM

Hi Bronwen, great to have this opportunity to give feedback. I'm not sure if "Address Of Dwelling" is the correct location for my enquiry - it might be better suited to OTHER, but you can decide and advise accordingly.
My enquiry relates to BODY CORPORATE entities.
Will the 2018 Census include a question along the lines of "Do you belong to a Body Corporate" or "Does your dwelling involve membership of a Body Corporate"?
The reasons I feel that Census should ask this question is because [1] There is no national register of Body Corporates. [2] No one knows exactly how many BCs exist. Although the Body Corporate's identifing number is generated from the Unit Titles Act registration process, there are Cross-Leased and early 1960-1970 strata title dwellings throughout NZ which have formed Body Corporate structures to administer their common property. [3] There is an increasing compliance regime loaded onto Body Coporates by legislation: for example the new Health & Safety legislation due this year, and the amendments to the Unit Titles Act requiring Body Corporates to administer Long Term Maintenance Plans.
Body Corporate information would be of immense value to local TA's, the Government, Real Estate Agents, the public [who may have dealings with Body Corporates] and potential purchasers of properties.
There are many other applications.- such as interest from the education sector in providing short courses for those who are elected to Chair person. Often the Chairperson is "the last volunteer left standing" and unaware of the responsibilities and governance principles involved.
Looking forward to expert reply!


Bronwen (Facilitator) Tue 2 Jun 2015 7:46PM

Thanks @franceshorton This information is collected in the Household Economic Survey. But if you would like to raise it under other please do - thanks Bronwen


Kim Ollivier Tue 2 Jun 2015 9:37PM

I am surprised that no changes are planned for the dwelling address. I would like to see radical changes to the form design so that correct addresses are more likely and better able to be validated. The proposed PDF is much more dependent on resolving addresses unambiguously.

  1. It should be made much clearer that there is a difference between the postal_address and situation_address and that the situation address is required. This will be much more important for the proposed second address where the respondent is likely to have a vague idea of the correct address. What about having two entries, a situation address (maybe called a delivery address?) and mailing address if different? That would concentrate the mind for users where they are different. It would provide a place to divert non-address components such as RD numbers, Private Bag numbers and Postcodes. Still not using postcodes? I know these are useless, proprietary and not part of the situation address but the population think that they are the equivalent of overseas zip codes or UK postcodes.

  2. Alias addresses are a significant issue. Since there is no enforced official standard any old address will do to deliver a package. This is a problem with all components of the address - flat/unit/level/apartment/floor/whatever, numbers/letters/reversed orders, suburb/locality/rest home/institution, street/road/extension/state highway, town/city/district/council/island, RD/Postcode/private bag. All existing address systems simply ignore the issue by asserting that their version is correct or have duplicates to cover every possible case. How do you gently correct an alias or vanity address to the 'official' version, whatever that is. There is no ranking to tag an address as an alias in any system I am aware of because the official addresses held by councils are not readily available.

  3. The street name should be split into three parts: name, type, extension. There are a small fixed number of street types and extensions so these could be listed in the notes or a drop-down box on the online form.

  4. The flat number/letterand type of flat/unit/floor (subaddress) should be placed before the house number so that the address hierarchy is consistent.

  5. Since the address is so fluid a concept it is difficult to identify with actual property identifiers such as title or valuation number perhaps a field to fill in these could be optional to resolve ambiguity. There are difficulties here because some multiple dwellings are under the same title/assessment. Since 30% of assessments do not have a full situation address, having another administrative identifier would help locate the dwelling accurately and reliably. If so many properties do not have a recorded address, how can the address fields be filled in?

  6. NPAD distinguishes the four line postal address and the situation address, which is parsed into validated components. This would be a good start for the form design.

  7. There should be no tolerance for alternative suburb names. There is a single preferred surburb pattern defined and used by the Fire Service that is a de-facto standard and at least is defined. There is an alternatives list but that is only to identify the correct suburb/locality.

  8. All RD numbers have an equivalent postcode so the RD number is redundant and gets in the way.

  9. All vanity addresses have an equivalent situation address. Therefore have a field for vanity addresses so that the correct address can be subsequently filled in when left empty. eg High Country Run, Golden Years Retirement Village, Mountain View Retreat,

  10. All addresses are a linear referencing system linked to a road centreline. Without a road there is no address. So addresses are really a coordinate. This approximate coordinate has been hijacked into a unique property identifier. To cope with missing identifiers everyone simply interpolates the number to find the entrance to the property which is why the system works even though it is incomplete. This provides an opportunity to validate allocated addresses by having a minimum and maximum possible number and parity for a unique road. The old census address file to code for meshblocks used this information.

  11. A maintained set of road segments with correct parity and address ranges on each side, with correct suburb and meshblock ID would enable missing address to be automatically located correctly. This would supplement the PAF and improve the quality of the census.


Frances Horton Wed 3 Jun 2015 12:18PM

Hi Kim - it's difficult I agree.
re # 1 Agree your analysis about difference between situational address and conventional postal address.
re: # 4 it's my experience that different entities treat my physical address differently and my mail reflects the different protocols they apply. I Sometimes my Unit denomination comes before the street number, sometimes after, sometimes separately. I prefer it to follow the street number - seems easier for the postie. e.g. 122-J, rather than J-122. And easier to say when telling the address. My suburb's name seems to have changed over time - the Council randomly "simplified" our districts and suburb names. Real Estate agents combine my suburb with others, due to school zonings. We don't use our vanity address in mail, too risky. It would never arrive. Re: your point #10 - hope private roads and lanes are included? Re: # 11 In central Auckland we have many buildings being converted to Unit Titles, also new blocks built across two or more former "sections". The developers just choose their number.


Kim Ollivier Wed 3 Jun 2015 11:14PM

Real Estate agents do not define suburbs, councils do, after consultation, and then gazette the agreed boundaries. 8-) . It is up to the various database administrators to only accept the official address. They can do that easily with a validation routine.

Private roads that have had official addresses allocated are included in all databases. Some may not be clear on the legal status of the road, but it is used for an address. This is not so well managed for closed communities, and other large institutions but those developer-allocated identifiers are supposed to be in the sub-address.

The point about a unit number/letter is that it is the sub-address, not to be confused with the house number extension. So your correct address would be Unit J 122 Main Street. So that it can be correctly identified and not confused with your neighbour at 122J Main Street. The occupier's preference should not be an issue. Just as you cannot decide the order of the credit card digits on your card!

Just consider the confusion with more options for say 23 Balmain Road: these dwellings: 23, 23A, 23B, 1/23, 2/23, 3/23, 1/23A, 2/23A, 3/23A recorded. 9 addresses in LINZ, 8 addresses in NPAD, 7 addresses in GeoPAF. Which ones are aliases, missing, duplicates? There are 9 titles, 3 parcels, 7 assessments. Three of the NPAD address points are in the wrong parcel, potentially being miscoded into the wrong meshblock. A pity I cannot add an image in loomio to illustrate that it is obvious on a map but impossible to fix in a text based database without any spatial capability.

[The NPAD location error has been corrected as at 21 May]


Kim Ollivier Wed 3 Jun 2015 11:20PM

I suggest that the census should be loaded into a spatially aware database when collected. Then address errors would be obvious and be able to be corrected on entry by picking the correct property! I know this is a long shot, but why not? The online forms will all be on a web interface so it is easy to add a "map to the app" to override the presumed location.

For the paper forms, since they have a number pre-allocated, they could also have a small location map so that X could mark the spot for verification. I have done this in the past for locating water meters by inspection.

This would then be the ultimate quality assurance by crowd sourcing (what a crowd!), each person would then be able to verify the address database for you.


Frances Horton Sun 7 Jun 2015 11:30AM

Hi Kim, thanks for clarifying the address issues.
A 'spatially aware data base' sounds spookily like Google Earth mapping our every street and lane; without anyone's informed consent.
I agree that addresses are not secure, and irregularities have grown topsy-turvy since the Torrens Land Registration system began in NZ in the nineteenth century. Sometimes, our suburb is referred to by a name from the distant past, e.g. Newton Gully, a district formerly of bad repute. With the motorway built right through it, we still get Newton sometimes, but more often Eden Terrace since the Council? or NZ Post? gave us our latest post code. And 'good schools' zoning.
I am often bemused at how my address gets mangled by different entities, as noted previously. It would be good to get some national standard formality.

However, is it the purpose and intention of Census to capture every single person present in every single dwelling nationwide?

I have no issue with "the correction of physical addresses" if it's limited to the physical address of a dwelling.
But, there are those who are living illegally in relatives' garages, in illegally converted flats, living in cars or vans, itinerant travellers on horseback, [I know of one personally] and rough sleepers with no dwelling place at all.
Any roof is better than none and I'd hate to think that people were located by Census and officials kicked them out of whatever shelter they had arranged for themselves. Does Census reveal the extent of this type of problem?
Agree - what a crowd!

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