Safety and security
- Take the same precautions with your belongings and personal items in New Zealand as at home. Look out for petty crime anywhere and always take sensible precautions:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home
- In large cities there are always areas which are better to avoid, particularly late at night. Use common sense and inform yourself 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 accommodation and unattended vehicles, including campervans, can occur.
- Tourism New Zealand has comprehensive safety advice on its website
If your passport is lost or stolen while you’re in New Zealand please report it to the police as soon as possible and to the Consulate on the next working day. 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.
You’ll need a birth certificate to replace a lost or stolen passport and we advise you 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 case you need to apply for a new passport in New Zealand.
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.
If you’re a victim of a crime while in New Zealand, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Wellington Wellington if you need help.
If you’re planning to drive in New Zealand, take the same care as you would 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. There are few motorways, and journey times can be deceptively long. Check before you drive.
If you want to drive:
- Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
- When you park on a road make sure the vehicle is facing in the direction of the traffic
- If you plan to stay in New Zealand for 12 months or more, you are required to get a New Zealand driving licence.
It’s compulsory to carry your driver’s licence with you when driving, and there’s an instant fine for not doing so. Check the insurance policy of any car you’re driving, particularly if borrowing a car from a friend.
Driver fatigue is a major killer on New Zealand roads and we recommend that you take regular rest breaks when driving long distances. It’s also important to check the roadworthiness of your vehicle, particularly before setting out on long distance travel in remote areas.
As with driving in Ireland, you should respect the rules of the road including the law regarding drink driving. Use your common sense in avoiding dangerous situations such as travelling as a passenger with a driver who is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Many travellers go to New Zealand to take part in adventure activities. It’s important that you inform yourself fully of the risks involved and be sure that tour and activity operators are meeting safety standards. Never take part in these activities unless you’re covered by an adequate level of travel insurance.
Make sure lifeguards are on patrol and always swim between the flags on New Zealand beaches. However tempting a remote and unsupervised beach may appear, don’t swim there. Many beaches have dangerous ‘rips’ (currents). Always check the signs before swimming. Never swim after drinking alcohol or taking drugs and avoid swimming alone.
Accident Compensation Corporation
There is no reciprocal health agreement between Ireland and New Zealand. The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) scheme in New Zealand may cover some costs incurred for treatment needed as a result of an accident, but it may not cover all costs. Because of the support available through ACC, it's not possible to sue for personal injury in New Zealand. ACC doesn't cover any cost of treatment for non-accidental injuries.
Mon, 01 Oct 2018 15:14:47 BST