New Zealand Country Report
New Zealand is a democratic and highly stable country. The system of proportional representation ensures an evenly balanced chamber and promotes coalition governments. New Zealand's growth trend is set to slow over time, although its fundamentals remain sound, with long-term growth being supported by the primary sector's export potential to the Asia region. The pro-business National Party has declined in popularity, but is still likely to form a coalition government with New Zealand First following the September 2017 election. Unions are active across a range of industries, including aviation and marine transport, and pose a moderate risk of peaceful industrial action.
New Zealand is one of the least regulated markets in the world. The government welcomes foreign investment, and the operational environment is conducive to business. The number of industrial disputes has fallen dramatically from the highs of the 1980s, although acrimonious disputes still occur periodically. The country's infrastructure is well developed, and corruption is not a concern. In 2017, the World Bank ranked New Zealand as the best country in the world in its annual Ease of Doing Business Index, an improvement from the country's 2016 ranking of second best.
New Zealand is unlikely to be targeted or used as a base of operations by terrorist groups. The risk of domestic or international terrorism affecting New Zealand is low, although the government has made it clear that it regards the threat from domestic Islamist terrorism to be credible, and is re-evaluating the terrorism threat level following the terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom.
War risks remain low, as New Zealand faces no external security threats and, in the unlikely event that one arises, the country could rely 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 violating vessels.
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 are small and peaceful, mainly relating to wages or environmental issues.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
No vaccinations are required to enter the country.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz