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National Address Register Announced

Government announces plans for a National Address Register

The State Services Commission (SSC) today announced plans for a National Address Register and a Request for Proposal calling for interested suppliers to build and operate the register was released.

Laurence Millar, Deputy Commissioner Information and Communication Technologies, said the register will hold data about addresses, places and the transport infrastructure. However, no personal data would be recorded.

"A key benefit of the register will be to drive out duplication in government held address data, resulting in higher quality address records, and reduced costs.

"There are currently many address databases operating across government which not only means a lot of effort to maintain them separately, but also that there are opportunities for errors to creep in. These errors can cause inefficiencies for agencies and frustration for clients," Laurence Millar said.

The National Address Register will create a national source of addresses and place names each linked to a geocode, a single location defined by a set of authoritative geographic coordinates.

Mr Millar said the register will coordinate overall maintenance, ensuring the accuracy of the data will steadily improve over time. He emphasised that no personal information will be recorded, such as people's names or ownership of properties.

"Another benefit of the register will be helping emergency services to respond in a coordinated way to call-outs. Ready availability of authoritative address data will also be a base for commercial innovation; international studies suggest that this can be a driver of economic development in the geospatial area," Laurence Millar said.

The value of the National Address Register was confirmed by a recent report – "NAR – Moving Forward" which identified the benefits from a single, reliable common source of location information.

This report stated that whilst location information underpins many business and government activities, the use of addresses and place names are subject to colloquial use and personal interpretation. This can lead to problems for activities such as utilities attempting to supply services, emergency service responses, the delivery of surface mail and freight, maintenance of infrastructure and verifying electoral enrolment.

Previous phases of the project have been led by Land Information New Zealand. New Zealand Police is taking the lead role in managing this next phase of the project on behalf of government agencies. The work is overseen by a Steering Group including senior executives from Land Information New Zealand, Statistics NZ, NZ Police, Ambulance NZ, Accident Compensation Corporation, local government and SSC, to ensure the interests of different government agencies are met.

The National Address Register was identified in the New Zealand Geospatial Strategy launched in January 2007 and was also a key part of the New Zealand Digital Strategy launched in May 2005.


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