Country Reports

New Zealand Country Report

Content provided by
IHS Markit Logo

Risk Level

Very High


Executive Summary

New Zealand's growth rate is set to decline as earthquake-related reconstruction efforts reach completion after almost eight years, potentially triggering outflows of migrant workers. New Zealand's GDP growth is expected to slow from 2.7% in 2018 to 2.3% for 2019, largely due to expected weakening investment activity as earthquake-related reconstruction and broader construction activity eases. The rapid increase in inward migration since 2013 in response to reconstruction needs has created new risks for the small New Zealand 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, tighten regulation to create more affordable housing, and increase tax benefits for low-income earners. The small-arms attack on two Christchurch mosques by a right-wing militant in March 2019 is likely to prove exceptional. Significantly, the government implemented legislation that bans the semi-automatic rifles that were used by the gunman in early April. 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: May 30, 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. The country's infrastructure is well-developed, and corruption is not a concern. 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: May 31, 2019



New Zealand is unlikely to be targeted or used as a base by terrorist groups. The risk of domestic or international terrorism affecting New Zealand is low, although the government does regard the threat from domestic Islamist terrorism to be credible. The New Zealand Security Intelligence Service maintains a watch list of 40 individuals with links to the Islamic State.

Last update: November 29, 2018

War Risks

War risks are low, as 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: April 25, 2019

Social Stability


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, although they are usually small and peaceful, mainly relating to wages, environmental issues, or international trade.

Last update: April 25, 2019

Health Risk


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


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


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


Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz


Last update: April 5, 2019