* Our thanks to Tourism New Zealand for the following information - current as at January 2013
New Zealand is generally a very safe place to travel with a relatively low crime rate, few endemic diseases and a great healthcare system.
However, you should take the same care with your personal safety and your possessions as you would in any other country, or at home. Take copies of your important documents (like your passport and credit cards), and keep them separate from the originals. You should also keep a record of the description and serial number of valuable items (like digital cameras). And remember, in an emergency dial 111.
Keeping yourself safe
Keeping your possessions safe
If any of your possessions are stolen or valuable items misplaced, advise local police as soon as possible.
The emergency telephone number in New Zealand is 111. It is a free phone
call. If you have an emergency and need a quick response from the
Police, the Fire Service, Ambulance or Search and Rescue, dial 111.
There are Police Stations in all main towns and cities in New Zealand and in many rural locations. Contact details can be found in local telephone books.
Don’t hesitate to contact the police if you feel unsafe or threatened. Report any theft and crime to the police immediately.
Keeping Safe via Text Messaging
Vodafone and Telecom offer a txt messaging service for visitors.
You can send updates about your location and travel movements via txt to number 7233 [SAFE]. These details are kept on a central database which can be accessed by police if necessary.
Each text message sent to 7233 will be acknowledged by an automated response, which advises you to call 111 and request police assistance if you are in danger.
Police and the New Zealand tourism industry encourage you to use this service as another way of letting people know where you are and what you are doing while in our country.
Safety in the outdoors
People can sometimes get caught out by New Zealand’s rugged terrain and unpredictable weather.
Seven safety tips to help you stay safe in New Zealand's great outdoors:
For more information visit the Outdoor Safety website.
Other safety precautions in the outdoors
Although there are no snakes or dangerous wild animals in New Zealand, you should be aware of the following:
Safety in the water
New Zealand’s extensive coastline and network of waterways provide ample
opportunity for swimming, boating and fishing. However many people are
unprepared for the potential dangers of the water.
We recommend that you visit Water Safety, for advice on how to stay safe on New Zealand's beaches and waterways.
Accidents and health insurance
With a little care and common sense, your visit to New Zealand should be
accident free. If you are injured here, you may need the help of the
Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) - New Zealand's accident
In New Zealand, you cannot sue anyone for compensatory damages if you are injured. Instead ACC helps pay for your care - and that means paying towards the cost of your treatment and helping in your recovery while you remain in New Zealand.
You still need to purchase your own travel and medical insurance because ACC does not cover everything:
We strongly advise you to arrange your own health insurance. New Zealand's public and private medical/hospital facilities provide a high standard of treatment and service, but it is important to note these services are not free to visitors, except as a result of an accident.Medication and vaccinations
Visitors bringing in a quantity of medication are advised to carry a doctor's certificate to avoid possible problems with New Zealand Customs. Doctor's prescriptions are needed to obtain certain drugs in New Zealand.
No vaccinations are required to enter New Zealand.