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Essential facts for international visitors

New Zealand is a developed economy with a high standard of living, reliable infrastructure and a stable economy and political system and visitors should find it easy to adapt. Here is some useful info to help you prepare for your visit.

Geography

New Zealand is located in the South Pacific between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, between latitude 35 and 45 degrees south, approximately 1200 miles to the east of Australia. New Zealand has a temperate climate with relatively high rainfall, green rolling hills in the North Island and majestic mountains, lakes and fiords in the South Island.

Healthcare

New Zealand’s public and private medical and hospital facilities provide a high standard of treatment and care. Medical services are not free to visitors. Travel and health insurance for delegates and partners is strongly recommended.

Government and politics

New Zealand has had a recent election, with the government still in negotiations. But in general it is a politically stable country governed under Westminster-style democracy, with free elections held every three years. The quality of goods and services – as well as food and beverage within New Zealand – is exceptionally high, with New Zealand wines, dairy produce, meat and horticultural products having a well deserved reputation for excellence.

Money matters

New Zealand currency comprises of New Zealand dollars and cents. Major international credit cards are accepted throughout New Zealand. Trading bank hours are 9.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Most banks have a selection of branches that are also open on Saturdays, with some open on Sundays too. Banking facilities are available at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch International Airports. Travellers cheques can be issued and cashed at banks, and also at bureaux de change, hotels and shops in cities and towns. There are over 3,500 ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) in New Zealand, accessible 24 hours a day. Credit cards with international debit and credit plans can access New Zealand ATM machines.

Visas

Visitors from over 50 countries are waived from the requirement of having a visa for stays of less than three months. For further information about visas please visit: www.immigration.govt.nz

Electricity and voltages

Electricity supply 230/240 volts, 50 hertz (USA voltage is 110 volts). Most hotels and motels provide 110 volt AC sockets (rated at 20 watts). New Zealand and Australia use the same type of three-pin plug. Adapters are available from airport and electronic shops. Step-down transformers are required for US appliances (except most laptop computers). These are available from electronic shops in New Zealand. Note: hairdryers and irons are available in most hotels.

Mobile telephones

New Zealand mobile networks operate on GSM at 900 MHz and 1800 MHz, and UMTS at 850MHz, 900MHz and 2100MHz. As of August 2012 there is no longer a CDMA network in New Zealand. Travellers from the USA and Canada will need to set up international roaming with their network provider if they wish to bring their own phones. Local phones and sim cards are available for rental and do not incur roaming charges.

Laptops

You will need a RJ45 type plug to be able to connect your laptop into a computer socket in New Zealand, and an adaptor with a flat two or three-point power plug to connect to the power supply.

Vaccinations

No vaccination certificates are required. There are no snakes or dangerous wild animals in New Zealand.