Changes to New Zealand's address scheme

Hi, this is a cross-post of a message sent to the talk-nz mailing list.

Toitū Te Whenua/LINZ has recently made a mass-update to their Address dataset, which is used in OpenStreetMap.
Every address now has a “Town/city” field. Previously, there were 318,000 rural addresses that did not have a Town/City field.

OpenStreetMap currently uses addr:hamlet for rural addresses with no town/city, and addr:suburb + addr:city for urban addresses.
I believe this decision was made during the original import in 2017.

The address dataset from LINZ no longer gives us a way to distinguish urban vs rural addresses, which we previously did based on the presence of the Town/City field.
Therefore, every address in OSM will now have to use addr:suburb + addr:city, so there will be no more addresses in OSM with addr:hamlet.

Said differently, this means every address in NZ would follow this format (instead of the 2 separate formats we currently use):

housenumber street
city postcode

If everyone is happy with this change, I propose we do a bulk update using at most 100 changesets with 10,000 modifications per changeset, to avoid a spam of changesets.
The bulk update would only affect 3 tags: addr:suburb, addr:hamlet, and addr:city.
All other address updates will continue to happen via the usual system.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. The original email from Toitū Te Whenua LINZ can be viewed on the talk-nz mailing list. The information in that email about macrons is not applicable to OSM since addresses have already used names with macrons since 2021.


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