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Latest updates: The Risk level(s) and Natural Disasters tabs were updated - removal of information for North Canterbury, Marlborough and Wellington Regions.
NEW ZEALAND - Exercise normal security precautions
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for New Zealand. Exercise normal security precautions.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Street crime takes place in major cities. Theft occurs from hotel rooms, tourist sites, recreational areas and unattended vehicles. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times.
In October 2014, the Government of New Zealand raised its national terrorism threat level from Very Low to Low. Continue to exercise normal security precautions.
Traffic drives on the left. Visit the website of the New Zealand Transport Agency to view its road code.
Travel times by car are easy to underestimate, as roads can be narrow, winding and cover hilly terrain. Weather conditions can change quickly, particularly during winter. Snow, ice, fog, rain and strong winds can lead to dangerous driving conditions. Landslides caused by heavy rain can block or wash away roads. Mountain roads, including those leading to ski hills, may be narrow, unpaved and without safety barriers. The New Zealand Transport Agency and the New Zealand Automobile Association publish information on road closures and warnings.
Be on the lookout for roaming animals in rural areas; dairy herds often cross main roads at milking time. Railway crossings may not have barriers, and bells may ring only during daylight hours, especially in rural areas.
Public transportation is considered reliable and safe.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
Although many tourists participate in adventure activities in New Zealand without problem, serious accidents have occurred and some activity operators have been accused of negligence. Make sure to choose a reputable company.
Ensure that you bring suitable and durable clothing and equipment on hikes. Obtain detailed information on trekking routes and weather forecasts. Leave a detailed itinerary with a friend or local acquaintance and consider carrying a personal locater beacon.
General safety information
Check with local tourist authorities before travelling to remote areas.
Cellular telephone coverage may be limited in remote areas.
It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from the authorities of New Zealand and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. It is your responsibility to check with the New Zealand High Commission or one of its consulates for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Canadians must present a passport to visit New Zealand, which must be valid for at least three months beyond the date of expected departure from that country. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.
Tourist visa: Not required (for stays of up to 90 days)
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
An onward or return ticket, a visa for the next destination (if needed) and proof of sufficient funds (NZ$1,000 per person per month, or NZ$400 per person per month if you have proof of prepaid accommodation) are required to visit New Zealand.
A departure tax of NZ$25 is levied on international flights for passengers aged 12 or over, except at the international airports in Auckland and Christchurch, where this fee is included in the airline ticket price. A small fee may be charged for domestic departures.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
- Measles: Global Update - July 28, 2016 00:00 EDT
Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow Fever Vaccination
|* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.|
|Country Entry Requirement|
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Australia and New Zealand. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in Australia and New Zealand, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Good medical care is widely available. Travellers to New Zealand who are injured in a work or motor vehicle accident are generally covered for public hospital treatment by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). As a result of this insurance scheme, individuals do not have the right to sue for damages (apart from exemplary damages) for personal injuries that are covered by the ACC.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
The New Zealand Customs Service provides a list of prohibited imports, including some medications.
New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Act precludes the right to sue for losses stemming from personal injury resulting from accidents, including car and sporting accidents. Comprehensive travel insurance is recommended. Consult the Accident Compensation Corporation for more information.
The use of mobile telephones while driving is illegal, unless the phone is fitted with a hands-free device.
An International Driving Permit is recommended.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in New Zealand. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you a New Zealand citizen. You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. You may also need to carry and present a New Zealand passport for legal reasons, for example to enter and exit the country (see Entry/exit requirements to determine passport requirements). Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
The currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZD). Traveller’s cheques can be exchanged at banks. Credit cards are widely accepted. Automated banking machines are widely available.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
New Zealand is located in an active seismic zone and is prone to earthquakes. Tsunamis may occur after a strong earthquake and can travel long distances across the Pacific. Strong earthquakes and aftershocks have been recorded throughout the country in recent years. In case of an earthquake, you should follow the advice of the local authorities.
On November 14, 2016, a 7.8 earthquake struck the southern island of New Zealand, 100 km away from the city of Christchurch. Tremors were felt in the capital city of Wellington, where numerous buildings were damaged. Strong aftershocks have reached 6.3 in magnitude and could occur again in 2017. Some transportation disruptions continue in affected areas in the South Island; in particular, State Highway 1 remains closed north of Kaikoura. For the latest information on road closures, consult the New Zealand Transport Agency.
There are a number of volcanoes and active thermal areas in the country.
Extreme weather events, floods, landslides and avalanches are frequent occurrences in New Zealand. Severe rainstorms can lead to flooding and landslides, which in turn can cause extensive damage to infrastructure and can also hamper the provision of essential services.
Exercise caution, monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities.
Dial 111 for emergency assistance.
Wellington - High Commission of Canada
For emergency assistance after hours, call the High Commission of Canada in Wellington and follow the instructions. You may also make a collect call to the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613 996-8885.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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