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Country Reports

New Zealand Country Report

Overview

INTRODUCTION

Barring an act of nature (seismic activity, etc.), trips to faraway New Zealand can be expected to be carried out under very good conditions. This South Pacific nation is located 2000 km southwest of its giant neighbor, Australia.

NATURAL RISKS

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.

SECURITY

It should also be noted that rising crime rates, especially theft, have been observed in urban areas (Auckland in particular). Travelers should use basic common sense throughout their trip (keep an eye on belongings, store valuable objects and important papers in a safe place, be vigilant after sundown, etc.).

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:

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