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Rural roads and 'RAPID' numbers

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Rural roads
Unsealed roads and 'paper' roads
'RAPID' numbers
Roads and livestock control

Rural roads

Sealed and regularly maintained rural roads form a significant part of the Waikato district's roading network, linking towns, small communities and settlements with each other; and with other rural and urban state highways which are managed by the NZ Transport Agency.

Road safety on our rural roads is an increasingly important issue as population growth and the increasing popularity of lifestyle blocks mean more people are using rural roads, often at faster speeds. 

The Council is also responsible for a number of unsealed and unformed ('paper') roads scattered throughout the district, many of these within rural areas. Unsealed roads are also maintained through our usual road maintenance work. See below for more details on unsealed roads.

A 'RAPID' numbers system is also applied to many of our rural roads so properties and facilities can easily be found based on their distance from a designated starting point on the road. Find out about RAPID numbers below, including how they're measured, why you need one and how to get one.

Not surprisingly, managing livestock in relation to our roads is more of a focus in rural areas. See roads and livestock control below for more information what you need to know about reporting livestock on our roads and controlling livestock on our roads.

Unsealed roads and 'paper' roads

Unsealed roads

There are three types of unsealed road maintenance work:

  • Unsealed upgrade – where the unsealed road is improved in terms of alignment, width, surface, but remains unsealed.
  • Isolated improvements – where the existing road is upgraded to improve safety or to reduce future maintenance costs.
  • Seal extension – where the unsealed road is fully designed and upgraded to a safe sealed road standard.

Paper roads

Council owns a number of roads which have never been formed. These are called  'paper roads' and they are not included in our road maintenance work programmes. If they are Council-owned, you are generally allowed to access them. Show some courtesy to nearby landowners though, as often they maintain these areas and/or use them for grazing stock or horses. In some areas, a 'licence to occupy' may have been granted to nearby landowners.

At times we may require paper roads for a planned future road, walking or bridle trail, which means the land containing the paper road is unlikely to ever be sold. However if the land is no longer required, then we may agree to it being sold to an adjacent owner.

For further information about using a paper road please contact us - call our freephone 0800 492 452 or request a service.

Rapid numbers

'RAPID' stands for Rural Address Property Identification. The Council is responsible for maintaining a database of these numbers, each of which identifies the physical location of a rural property based on its distance from a crossing, intersection or other similar starting point on the road. The property's entrance is allocated a number based on each 0.01 of a kilometre the entrance is away from the starting point of reference.

For example, if your house is allocated a '6', it is 60 metres from a designated starting point of the road. If your property was allocated a '60', the property would be 600 metres away from it; and a '600' would mean it's 6000 metres (or six kilometres) away from it. So a RAPID number of 1437 means a property is 14.37 kilometres from the road's designated starting point.

As well as providing a hub for keeping your property records in good order, RAPID numbers help emergency services and NZ Post to find a property. They are also used for voting purposes to ensure you are placed in the correct electorate. 

Any rural property that either has a dwelling, business or community centre requires a RAPID number. The Council allocates and issues red reflectorised numbers on a white background. We will post your number to you for you to fix to a fence post or letterbox at your gate in an easily visible location.

To get a new or replacement RAPID number or enquire about RAPID numbers, contact us on our freephone 0800 492 452 or make a request for service. Find about costs related to RAPID numbers in our Fees and charges schedule.

Roads and livestock control

Wandering livestock can pose a significant hazard on our roads and they have caused fatal accidents in our district. If you see livestock loose or lying on our district's roads, call us immediately to report it. Our animal control staff are available 24 hours a day - call them on our freephone 0800 492 452

Note that the NZ Transport Agency should be contacted for any incidents of stock wandering on state highways.

Find out more about roads and livestock including what permits are required when moving stock across or along rural roads in our district; and details on constructing a livestock underpass. Also see stock control.

Related documents

Information flier