Traveling Luck for New Zealand

New Zealand is located in Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia.

Land in New Zealand is predominately mountainous with some large coastal plains.

New Zealand land covers an area of 268680 square kilometers which is about the size of Colorado

As for the New Zealand climate; temperate with sharp regional contrasts.

New Zealander(s) speak English (official), Maori (official).

New Zealand National Map

New Zealand Map

Regions of New Zealand

The Polynesian Maori reached New Zealand in about A.D. 800. In 1840, their chieftains entered into a compact with Britain, the Treaty of Waitangi, in which they ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria while retaining territorial rights. In that same year, the British began the first organized colonial settlement. A series of land wars between 1843 and 1872 ended with the defeat of the native peoples. The British colony of New Zealand became an independent dominion in 1907 and supported the UK militarily in both World Wars. New Zealand's full participation in a number of defense alliances lapsed by the 1980s. In recent years, the government has sought to address longstanding Maori grievances.


New Zealand Country Profile

Over the past 20 years the government has transformed New Zealand from an agrarian economy dependent on concessionary British market access to a more industrialized, free market economy that can compete globally. This dynamic growth has boosted real incomes (but left behind many at the bottom of the ladder), broadened and deepened the technological capabilities of the industrial sector, and contained inflationary pressures. Per capita income has risen for six consecutive years and was more than $24,000 in 2005 in purchasing power parity terms. New Zealand is heavily dependent on trade - particularly in agricultural products - to drive growth. Exports are equal to about 22% of GDP. Thus far the economy has been resilient, and the Labor Government promises that expenditures on health, education, and pensions will increase proportionately to output.

New Zealand natural resources include natural gas, iron ore, sand, coal, timber, hydropower, gold, limestone

about 80% of the population lives in cities; Wellington is the southernmost national capital in the world

New Zealand religion is Anglican 14.9%, Roman Catholic 12.4%, Presbyterian 10.9%, Methodist 2.9%, Pentecostal 1.7%, Baptist 1.3%, other Christian 9.4%, other 3.3%, unspecified 17.2%, none 26% (2001 census).

Natural hazards in New Zealand include earthquakes are common, though usually not severe; volcanic activity.

Travel Advice on New Zealand

New Zealand

This advice has been reviewed and reissued.  The overall level of the advice has not changed.

SUMMARY

  • There is no British consular representation on the Cook Islands, or the islands of Niue and Tokelau.

  • If you are visiting remote areas, you should ensure that your journey details are made known to local authorities or friends/relatives before setting out.  Weather conditions can quickly become treacherous, especially in winter.

  • Motor insurance is not a legal requirement in New Zealand.  Therefore, even though the UK has a reciprocal Healthcare Agreement with New Zealand, private accident insurance is strongly recommended.  This is because New Zealand law has removed the right of accident victims to sue a third party in the event of an accident.

  • The threat from terrorism in New Zealand is low.  But you should be aware of the global risk of terrorist attacks which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.

  • Around 300,000 British nationals visit New Zealand each year.  Most visits to New Zealand are trouble-free.  The majority of cases for which British nationals require consular assistance are due to replacing lost or stolen passports or when getting into difficulties whilst enjoying outdoor activities i.e hiking, climbing and canoeing.

  • We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  If you intend to participate in adventure activities eg: bungee jumping or white water rafting, you should ensure that your travel insurance covers these types of activities.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see: Travel Insurance.


SAFETY AND SECURITY


Political Situation


New Zealand Country Profile
Local Travel
There have been a number of tragic accidents involving British visitors.  If you intend visiting remote areas, you should check with local tourist authorities for advice before setting out.  You should ensure that you register your journey details with a Visitor Information Centre or family or friends.  Weather conditions can quickly become treacherous in some areas and you should keep yourself informed of regional weather forecasts.
Road Safety
Whilst road conditions are generally good in New Zealand, it takes a little while to get used to local driving conditions.  Serious road accidents are statistically higher than in the UK and you are advised to read a copy of the Road Code (the official guide to traffic rules and traffic safety) before driving.  Particular attention should be given to the section covering the right of way rules, which are different from other countries.  UK driving licences are valid for use for a maximum of 12 months.
Motor insurance is not a legal requirement in New Zealand.   Therefore, even though the UK has a reciprocal Healthcare Agreement with New Zealand, private accident insurance is strongly recommended.  This is because New Zealand law has removed the right of accident victims to sue a third party in the event of an accident.  Instead the Accident Compensation Commission (ACC) helps pay for your care if you are injured as the result of an accident.  However, the ACC only covers the cost of treatment in New Zealand and delayed travel or loss of income in a third country is not covered.


LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS

The importation of illegal drugs is punishable by up to 8 - 12 years' imprisonment.
New Zealand has an established tradition of tolerance towards homosexuality, but there are still isolated incidents of homophobic related crimes.  Gay and lesbian travellers should be aware of local sensitivities, particularly when visiting rural areas.
Quarantine Procedures
New Zealand has very strict bio-security regulations.  It is illegal to import most foodstuffs (meat and meat products, honey, fruit, dairy produce etc) and strict penalties are handed out to those breaking these rules.  You may also need to take care when importing wood products, golf clubs and shoes (may have soil and dirt attached), wellington boots (for the same reason) and items made from animal skin (eg crocodile handbags).  The immigration arrivals card has full details.
If in doubt, declare possibly illegal possessions to a Ministry of Agriculture official or dump them in one of the bins available at the airport.
Failure to comply with these regulations can result in a heavy fine.
As a result of these quarantine procedures, you should expect some delay on arrival.


ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

New Zealand’s immigration rules are strict, particularly in the areas of employment.  Anyone wishing to work requires a visa allowing employment.  British passport holders can enter New Zealand as a visitor for up to 6 months on arrival without a visa, provided they can satisfy an Immigration Officer that they meet the requirements of the Rules.  Visitors must have an onward ticket.
Single parents or other adults travelling alone with children should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country.
For further information before travelling on exactly what is required at immigration, please contact: New Zealand representation in the UK.


HEALTH

We strongly recommend that you obtain appropriate comprehensive medical and travel insurance before travelling.  If you intend to participate in adventure activities, such as bungee jumping, white water rafting etc, you should ensure that your travel insurance covers these types of activities.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see: Travel Insurance.
Due to its southerly position, the ozone layer over New Zealand is thinner than elsewhere and burn times are shorter than in the UK.  During the summer, hats should be worn when outdoors and a high factor sun block applied.
Research has shown that asthma sufferers may be more at risk of an attack in New Zealand and sufferers should be suitably prepared.
Cook Islands
An outbreak of dengue fever has been ongoing in the Cook Islands since May 2006.  During October 2006 around 100 cases were reported but the outbreak now seems to be in decline.  Most cases have been centered on Rarotonga and the Southern Islands.  The local authorities are aware of the situation and have put into place measures to control the outbreak.  As there is no vaccine to protect against dengue fever visitors should use repellents and protective clothing to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes.  Symptoms of dengue fever usually begin 7 to 10 days after being bitten and include high fever with headache and aching bones and joints.  If you develop these symptoms you should consult a doctor.
NATURAL DISASTERS
New Zealand is located in a seismic zone and is subject to earthquakes.  You should follow the advice of local authorities in the event of a natural disaster.


GENERAL

If things go wrong when overseas, please see:  What We Can Do To Help.
New Zealand
Routine consular matters are covered by The British High Commission in Wellington.
Auckland is primarily a trade office but can offer limited consular assistance in an emergency.
British Consulate-General, Level 17/151 Queen Street, Auckland1; (tel: +64 9 303 2973; fax: +64 9 303 1836); www.uktradeinvest.co.nz/
In case of emergency in the South Island, contact Mr Alister James, the Honorary British Consul, 1st Floor, Harley Chambers, 137 Cambridge Terrace, PO Box 802, Christchurch (tel: +64 3 374 3367; mobile +64 (0)27 272 5590; fax +645 3 374 3368); E-mail: alisterjames@xtra.co.nz
The Cook Islands
Most visits to the Cook Islands are trouble-free.  You should check that local water sports and tour operators have adequate insurance.  The level of serious crime is low, but incidents of petty theft do occur.  You should not leave your belongings unattended and should use hotel safes for passports and valuables.
Medical facilities are limited and therefore medical evacuation by air ambulance may be necessary.  We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  In the event of a medical emergency, evacuation to mainland New Zealand is likely to be the only option for treatment, and insurance policies should cover this eventuality.
You are advised to check with local visitor’s bureaux on local customs/courtesies.
There is no resident British Diplomatic Mission in The Cook Islands.
In case of emergency, contact Mr Mike Mitchell, The Honorary British Consul,
Muri Beach, P O Box 552 Rarotonga, Cook Islands.
(Tel: +682 21080 – Office or +682 20444 – Home; Fax: +682 21087;
E-mail: mitchell@oyster,net.ck)
Routine consular matters are covered by The British High Commission in Wellington.
Niue and Tokelau
Most visits to the islands of Niue and Tokelau are trouble-free.
You are advised to check with local visitor’s bureaux on local customs/courtesies.
There is no resident British Diplomatic Mission in either Niue or Tokelau.
Medical facilities are limited and therefore medical evacuation by air ambulance may be necessary.  We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  In the event of a medical emergency, evacuation to mainland New Zealand is likely to be the only option for treatment, and insurance policies should cover this eventuality.
In case of emergency in Niue contact:
The Hon Sandra Lee
New Zealand High Commissioner
Tapeu
Alofi
P O Box 78
NIUE
Tel + 683 4022; Fax + 683 4173
Office Hours: Monday to Friday 0730 to1200hrs, 1300 to1600hrs
In case of emergency in Tokelau contact:
The Honorary British Consul in Samoa
Mr B Barlow
C/- Kruse, Enari & Barlow, Barristers & Solicitors, P O Box 2029
2nd floor NPF Building, Beach Road, Central Apia, SAMOA
Tel + 685 21895; Fax + 685 21407
E-mail: barlowlaw@keblegal.ws
Routine consular matters are covered by The British High Commission in Wellington.