A lack of street numbers is posing a risk to the health and wellbeing of those who live in heartland Central Otago, more than initially thought.

Omakau was highlighted in The News last month as an area that does not have a door-todoor mail delivery service, which has made mailboxes redundant and so some dwellings do not have their street number displayed at the gate.

Naseby has the same problem, an issue that has meant, in some cases, emergency services cannot find addresses easily.

Naseby Chief Fire Officer Rodger Murphy said while some houses did have visible numbers, others were small or non-existent.

‘‘[Sometimes] you’ve got to find someone that’s got a number and work back from that, which isn’t ideal.’’

A large portion of homes without numbers were holiday homes, which was often where the fire brigade was called to, Mr Murphy said.

In many cases, people thought having their street number visible from the road was not important, ‘‘until the day they need one and think they should have done something’’, he said.

He urged people to make sure they had their number, in large print, in view of the road.

Ross and Colleen Arnold, who live in Channel Rd, Naseby, were among those who had their street number on display.

They initially placed it on their front fence, but it became restricted by the garden. Instead, they placed a fluorescent version in front of their home.

A lack of street numbers was a national issue, particularly in towns with no door-to-door mail delivery service.

A suggestion made by Omakau Volunteer Fire Brigade personnel was to have the rapid number system widely used.

However, Central Otago District Council infrastructure services acting executive manager Quinton Penniall said townships that operated under an urban address system did not qualify.

Omakau and Naseby both have PO boxes.

Mr Penniall ‘‘strongly’’ encouraged all property owners and residents to display their residential street numbers clearly and responsibly on their property so that they were easily visible for emergency services.

Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan said the point made by the fire brigades was a ‘‘very valid one’’, but he did not think the lack of numbers on some homes was for the broader community to fix.

‘‘Realistically, the answer lies with the homeowners concerned, taking the small amount of time and making the small investment needed to put numbers somewhere on their fence or gate in lieu of a mailbox if they don’t have one.’’

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