What is the difference between the 'postal' address and the 'a' address?
For the vast majority of New Zealand addresses, the
a address attributes are identical.
There are two known cases where they are different:
- Rural addresses, as our two main data suppliers define them differently.
- Addresses containing macron characters, at this time, only supplied by Land Information New Zealand.
The decision on which attribute to use depends on your purpose for collection.
Address verification purposes
Many organisations need to verify the physical location of the customer.
This could be part of a “know your customer” legal requirement. If this is the case, then you should store the
a address as it prioritises the official address as supplied by Land Information New Zealand.
Courier delivery or similar purposes
If you are an ecommerce store, or an organisation that that needs to make delivery using a courier service, then you should use the
This address attribute prioritises the official address as supplied by Land Information New Zealand.
a address will not include rural delivery numbers that are meaningless to many couriers.
a address will include the accurate locality of the rural address - this is essential to ensure that the package gets to the intended destination.
Mail delivery purposes
If you want to send an actual letter (with the NZ Post “postie” service), then you should store the
postal address attribute.
When delivering to a rural address the
postal attribute includes the rural delivery number which NZ Post prefer to be present.
The vast majority of postal addresses are exactly the same as the
a addresses but occasionally they will contain different locality data (mailtown & post_suburb).
These different localities are supplied by NZ Post and helps to improve their mail delivering efficiency.
Address in CRM
If you are collecting these addresses and storing them in your CRM we suggest you collect both the
Having both means that you can use the correct address for appropriate purpose as/when required.
Example rural differences
This example is for an address in the rural community of Opiki between Levin and Palmerston North. The address as supplied by Land Information New Zealand identifies the locality of Opiki.
postal address from NZ Post substitutes the locality for a rural delivery number and the nearest main centre of Palmerston North.
|913 Opiki Road, Opiki 4474||913 Opiki Road, RD 4, Palmerston North 4474|
Example macron differences
This example is for an address with a macron in the street name.
postal address from NZ Post is identical, apart from the macron.
|7 Kōtare Drive, Coastlands, Whakatane 3120||7 Kotare Drive, Coastlands, Whakatane 3120|
a address is the accurate and correctly formatted address as supplied by LINZ.
Its locality information (
city) will be geographically accurate.
a address should be used when sending courier parcels to the property but this should be checked with your delivery provider.