Correct address formats & envelope layouts

Find out how to address mail for New Zealand Post street, rural and PO Box and Private Bag addresses so your mail reaches its correct destination.

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Addressing tips

  • Write the return address in small letters on one line in the top left-hand corner or on the back of the envelope
  • If you want to put the name of a person or business, put this at the top (on the top line)
  • The stamp goes into the top right-hand corner
  • Print clearly
  • Write the address in this order
    • Receiver (person or business)
    • Delivery address
    • Suburb
    • Town/city postcode
  • Use a light-coloured envelope made of firm paper or card
  • Line the address up on the left hand side.

Download A quick guide to addressing your letters and parcels (PDF - 76KB).

Street addresses

  • Use the street number in preference to a building’s name. However, if you only have a building name, put it by itself on the line immediately above the street name and put any unit or floor above the building name.
  • Don’t use corner addresses, eg ‘corner Main and High Streets’.
  • Don’t use street number ranges, eg ‘4-12 Main Street’.
  • If the street number includes a letter, leave out the space, eg ‘21A Main Street’, not ‘21 A Main Street’.
  • Use the suburb if it is in common use. You can leave out a central city suburb, eg ‘Auckland Central’.
  • Don’t use a province, region, district or territory name instead of (or in addition to) the town or city name.

Rural addresses

  • Use 'RD' plus the RD number instead of a suburb.
  • 'RD' has no spaces or punctuation (eg. 'RD 1' not 'R D 1').
  • Include the name of a registered occupant if the rural address doesn't have a street number.
  • Don't use floor levels in rural addresses.
  • Use the correct mail town – this is the town name of the rural delivery route - it is not always the town where the address is located.

PO Box and Private Bag addresses

  • If you're using a PO Box or Private Bag address, don't include a street address as well.
  • PO Box and Private Bag numbers have no spaces (eg. 'PO Box 23226', not 'PO Box 23 226').
  • 'PO' has no spaces or punctuation (eg. 'PO Box 23226' not 'P O Box 23226' or 'P. O. Box 23226').
  • You can leave out the box lobby name if it's exactly the same as the town/city name.
  • Always use a postcode

Unique postal addresses

We have a unique postal address for every delivery point in New Zealand. Addresses are made up of multiple lines of information which vary depending on the type of address. There are three types of New Zealand Post postal address:

  • Urban
  • Rural
  • PO Box, Private Bag or Counter Delivery (known as delivery service addresses).

Address types shouldn't be combined. For example, you shouldn't combine an urban or rural street address with a PO Box address. All mail items must also show a full return postal address.

Using abbreviations in your addresses

Wherever possible, spell in full each word of your address, including words like ‘Street’ and ‘Road’. If that’s not possible, here are abbreviations you can use.

Unit or floor type Abbreviation
Apartment Apt
Flat Flat
Floor Fl
Kiosk Ksk
Level L
Room Rm
Shop Shp
Suite Ste
Unit Unit
Villa Villa


Street type Abbreviation
Avenue Ave
Close Cl
Court Crt
Crescent Cres
Drive Dr
Esplanade Esp
Grove Grv
Heights Hts
Highway Hwy
Hill Hl
Lane Lane
Line Line
Mall Mall
Parade Pde
Place Pl
Quay Qy
Rise Rise
Road Rd
Square Sq
Street St
Terrace Tce
Way Way


Street direction Abbreviation
North N
East E
South S
West W
Northeast NE
Southeast SE
Northwest NW
Southwest SW
Upper Upr
Lower Lwr
Central Ctrl
Extension Ext


Street/suburb/town prefix Abbreviation
Mount Mt
Saint St


Building name Abbreviation
Building Bldg
House Hse

Detailed guides

For more detailed information about address layouts, download the Address and layout guide (PDF - 153KB). This guide covers every type of address, from apartments to farms, and includes examples to help you get your addressing right.

For more detailed information about all the essential elements of a valid New Zealand Post postal address download the Address standards (PDF - 950KB). This includes the contents of address lines, formats for different types of address and acceptable abbreviations.