Irish travellers to New Zealand are encouraged to register their details with the Department.
It is recommended that all Irish travellers to New Zealand take out travel insurance for the entire period of their stay. Travel insurance should cover the cost of repatriation to Ireland in the event of serious injury, illness or death in New Zealand.
If you extend your stay, be sure to extend your insurance as well. While the ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation)scheme in New Zealand may cover some costs incurred for treatment required as a result of an accident, it may not cover all costs. Because of the support available through ACC, it is not possible to sue for personal injury in New Zealand, except for exemplary damages. ACC does not cover any cost of treatment for non-accidental injuries.
There is no reciprocal health agreement between Ireland and New Zealand.
If you intend to participate in adventure activities, such as bungee jumping, white water rafting, hang gliding, sky diving etc, you should ensure that your travel insurance covers these types of activities.
Travellers should note that the Irish government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains.
Safety and Security
Many travellers go to New Zealand to take part in adventure activities. It is important that travellers inform themselves fully of the risks involved and on tour and activity operators to ensure that safety standards are met Travellers should only participate in these activities if covered by an adequate level of travel insurance.
Ensure lifeguards are on patrol and always swim between the flags on New Zealand beaches. However tempting a remote and unsupervised beach may appear, do not swim there. Many beaches have dangerous ‘rips’ (currents). Always check the signs before swimming. Never swim after drinking alcohol or taking drugs. Avoid swimming alone.
The same precautions with belongings and personal items should be taken in New Zealand as at home. Avoid carrying everything in one bag. Remain vigilant for petty crime anywhere.
Notwithstanding the generally good safety levels in New Zealand, in large cities there are always areas which it is better to avoid, particularly late at night. Travellers should use common sense in informing themselves locally of safe places to socialise.
Be particularly careful with personal possessions and travel documents in popular tourist destinations such as Auckland, Rotorua and Queenstown. Thefts from hotel/motel/backpacker rooms and unattended vehicles can occur. If your passport is lost or stolen while you are in New Zealand please report it to the police as soon as possible and to the Consulate on the next working day.
Tourism New Zealand has comprehensive safety advice on its website:
CARRYING ID/PASSPORT IN NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand law does not require that you carry your passport with you and, to avoid loss or theft, we advise against doing so unless it is absolutely necessary. It is a good idea to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you during your visit. We recommend anyone in New Zealand on the one year working holiday scheme to apply for a HANZ 18+ card. This is an approved photographic “evidence of age” document under the Sale of Liquor Act. The HANZ 18+ card is easier to carry than a passport and can be replaced more easily and with less expense if lost or stolen.
Many visitors lose their Irish passports in New Zealand each year. The Consulate can issue Irish passports on completion of a new application, duly witnessed, with all supporting documents and fee. The process normally takes approximately six weeks. Emergency arrangements are available for those who need to travel but the Consulate will not issue an emergency travel document for purposes other than urgent travel.
A birth certificate will be required to replace a lost or stolen passport. It is advisable to travel with a Garda certified copy of your birth certificate or, at the very least, make sure someone at home has easy access to it in the event that you need to apply for a new passport in New Zealand.
Local Laws and Customs
Irish passport holders do not need a visa to enter New Zealand and, on arrival, may be granted a visitors permit for up to 90 days. They are still required to provide:
· travel tickets or evidence of onward travel arrangements, and
· evidence of funds for maintenance
New Zealand has very strict biosecurity procedures at airports and ports to prevent the introduction of pests and diseases of animals and plants. On arrival, you will be given a ‘Passenger Arrival Card’ that you will need to fill in before entering New Zealand. This is a legal document. If you break the law by giving false or incorrect declarations it may result in fines or imprisonment.
People failing to declare biosecurity risk goods can receive an instant fine of $400, be fined up to $100,000 and/or face up to five years in prison.
Declare or Dispose. If you have any risk goods you no longer wish to keep, put them in the amnesty bins provided at the airport's arrivals area or declare them on your Passenger Arrival Card. The bins are usually your last opportunity to throw away risk goods before entering MAF's Biosecurity area. Risk items include food, plants and plant products, live animals, animal products, salt and freshwater products and items associated with water, sporting and camping equipment. A full list of risk goods that must be declared is on the Passenger Arrival Card or from the MAF Biosecurity website www.biosecurity.govt.nz
On arrival you may see MAF Biosecurity Detector Dogs that are specially trained to sniff out risk goods. Your bags may also go through an x-ray machine. If any items are found, Biosecurity staff may open your bags for inspection. Make sure that you declare or dispose of any prohibited items before the biosecurity process.
For further advice and information, please contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of New Zealand.
Drive responsibly. The same care should be taken when driving in New Zealand as when driving at home. Road quality in New Zealand is generally very good however roads through more remote areas such as ski-fields or National Parks may not be in good condition.
It is compulsory to carry your driver’s licence with you when driving, and there is an instant fine for not doing so. Check the insurance policy of any car you are driving, particularly if borrowing a car from a friend. You should be aware of the local speed limits and note that when you park on a road the vehicle must be facing in the direction of the traffic.
Driver fatigue is a major killer on New Zealand roads and it is recommended that you take regular rest breaks when driving long distances. It is also important to check the roadworthiness of your vehicle, particularly before embarking on long distance travel in remote areas.
As with driving at home, the rules of the road including the law regarding drink driving should be respected. Common sense should be used in avoiding dangerous situations such as travelling as a passenger with a driver who is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Seatbelts are required by law and should always be worn.
CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL
Attitudes to alcohol can vary from one society to another and New Zealand is generally more conservative in this regard than often imagined. A number of Irish visitors have spent a night in the police cells in New Zealand having been arrested while under the influence. While minor indiscretions are dealt with quickly by the courts and will usually be dealt with by a fine, it is surprisingly easily to acquire a criminal conviction, and this will have a negative effect on your ability to remain in New Zealand, to re-enter in the future, or to obtain a visa for other countries.
Be aware of the risk of having drinks spiked and take normal precautions.
Finally, remember that New Zealand Police are strict and will not tolerate disrespectful language, much less physical contact, from inebriated revelers.
Natural Disasters and Climate
New Zealand lies along a seismically active area and as such is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity. For advice on what to do in an earthquake, please check the New Zealand Earthquake Commission.
Christchurch has been extensively damaged by a series of earthquakes and large sections of the city have been earmarked for demolition and clearance. While the majority of buildings have been reconnected to water, sewerage and power there may be some interruptions to services. Do not enter damaged building or fenced off areas. Check the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority for up to date information regarding restricted areas.
When travelling to or through remote areas it is advisable to check on weather conditions before departing and pack equipment and clothing suitable for extremes of weather. Ensure when travelling through remote areas that park operators (or someone) are advised of your route and expected time away. Check New Zealand Department of Conservation for more information about enjoying National Parks and MetService for up to date weather forecasts and warnings.
Additional Country Information
CONSULAR MISSION IN NEW ZEALAND
The Embassy of Ireland in Canberra, Australia is accredited to New Zealand. The Honorary Consulate General of Ireland office is based in Auckland. For contact details please click here:Top