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Country Reports

New Zealand Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

New Zealand's GDP growth is expected to soften over 2019 as investment expenditures weaken with the easing of earthquake-related reconstruction. The rapid increase in inward migration since 2013 in response to reconstruction needs has created new risks for New Zealand's small economy. If construction work does generate significant outward migration, this will weaken the outlook for house prices and household spending. Considering that household spending accounts for almost 58% of GDP, this represents a significant risk to the economy. Near-term fiscal policy will be loose, and monetary policy will stay on hold as inflation remains low and robust employment growth continues. Monetary policy is likely to remain accommodative into 2020 to buffer the economy from near-term risks including the slowing of the construction sector. Although no party won a majority of seats, the Labour party formed the government following the September 2017 election after it reached a coalition agreement with New Zealand First (NZFP) and the Green Party. The Labour government continues to pursue its agenda to strengthen collective bargaining and tighten regulations to reduce carbon emissions. The small-arms attack on two Christchurch mosques by a right-wing militant in March 2019 was exceptional. The government implemented legislation in early April that bans the semi-automatic rifles that were used by the gunman. If further right-wing attacks inspired by the Christchurch incident take place, these would probably be low capability, most likely targeting mosques or Muslim individuals. There is also a risk of reprisal attacks by Islamists or Islamic State-inspired individuals, but these would also probably be of low capability.
Last update: October 8, 2019

Operational Outlook

The government welcomes foreign investment, and the operational environment is conducive to business, although the Labour government is increasing regulation in industrial relations and housing. Industrial disputes have fallen dramatically from the highs of the 1980s, but have surged in the public sector over the past year two years. The country's infrastructure is well-developed. In 2018, the World Bank ranked New Zealand as the best country in the world in its annual Ease of Doing Business Index.

Last update: September 4, 2019

Terrorism

Low

The small-arms attack on two Christchurch mosques by a right-wing militant in March 2019, in which 50 people were killed, was unprecedented in New Zealand. We assess that the attack was also exceptional and that New Zealand's terrorism risk remains low. Significantly, in April 2019, the government passed legislation that bans the semi-automatic rifles that were used by the gunman. If further right-wing attacks inspired by the Christchurch incident take place, these would probably be low-capability, most likely targeting mosques or Muslim individuals. There is also a risk of reprisal attacks by Islamists or Islamic State-inspired individuals, but these would also probably be of low capability.

Last update: September 4, 2019

Crime

New Zealand's crime rates are very low, and its police force is well trained. Extortion and kidnapping are rare and tend not to affect foreign businesses. Organised crime, such as the trafficking of drugs, people, and weapons, is centred in Auckland, New Zealand's main import-export gateway. In 2017, the murder rate reached a 40-year low, making New Zealand among the world’s least violent countries. Auckland's high unemployment rate makes it a key source of recruits for gangs like the Mongrel Mob, Nomads, and Black Power, although these groups are in decline, and police actively monitor and disrupt their activities.

Last update: September 4, 2019

War Risks

War risks are very low. New Zealand's relations with China have deteriorated over the government's decision to ban Chinese business participation in 5G telecommunications infrastructure, but this is very unlikely to escalate beyond a diplomatic dispute. New Zealand faces no external security threats and, in the event that one arises, the country could call on the support of long-standing allies, including Australia and the United States. New Zealand's strong stance on illegal fishing and whaling in the Antarctic is unlikely to cause maritime confrontations with illegal fishing vessels.

Last update: September 4, 2019

Social Stability

Low

The risk of violent unrest is low. Unions are active and industrial action is a moderate-to-low risk in the marine, aviation, and retail sectors, often causing several days of disruption. Protests occur frequently, but are usually small and peaceful, mainly relating to wages, environmental issues, social issues or international trade.

Last update: September 4, 2019

Health Risk

Elevated

Vaccinations required to enter the country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Other Vaccinations

Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Natural Risks

Severe

As alluded to above, the principal risks facing visitors to New Zealand are natural disasters.

The archipelago is situated in a very active seismic zone and earthquakes are concentrated along a fault line that runs through both North Island and South Island, passing through Wellington.

On average, six significant earthquakes are registered each year. On September 4, 2010, one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded in the country (magnitude 7.1) struck the Christchurch area (New Zealand’s second-largest city), causing significant material damages and pushing local authorities to issue a state of emergency that lasted for over a week. One year later, on February 22, 2011, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake killed 185 people and devastated Christchurch.

On November 14, 2016, southern parts of the island were hit by a 6.2-magnitude earthquake, hours after a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake had killed two people in the Christchurch region. A tsunami warning was subsequently issued but no major incidents followed.

Furthermore, the central and eastern regions of North Island are vulnerable to volcanic activity. Eruptions, like that of Mount Tongariro on August 7, 2012, can cause disruptions to air traffic (ash emitted into the atmosphere affected several dozen domestic flights). On December 12, 2012, local authorities increased the Volcanic Alert Level on White Island to 2 (minor eruptive activity).

While hiking in this mountainous country, certain precautions should be taken (ensure you have proper equipment and training, pay close attention to weather forecasts, etc.). Be sure to inform friends or colleagues of your excursion and the exact route you plan to take.

On June 24, 2013, a winter storm (southern hemisphere) wreaked havoc on Wellington (South Island), affecting transportation and the electric grid.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

New Zealand has a humid and windy oceanic climate with light breezes in the summer and strong winds in the winder. The country regularly receives rain throughout the year and the annual average temperature is 23°C. The western coast of South Island receives more rain than the eastern coast and temperatures on the island range between 19°C in the summer to 9°C in the winter. Both of the country's main islands receive snow in the winter. Weather conditions can often change rapidly within the same day.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +64
Police: 111
Fire Dept.: 111
Ambulance: 111

Electricity

Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019