Context of New Zealand

 

New Zealand (Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island (Te Ika-a-Māui) and the South Island (Te Waipounamu)—and over 700 smaller islands. It is the sixth-largest island country by area, covering 268,021 square kilometres (103,500 sq mi). New Zealand is about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the islands of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. The country's varied topography and sharp mountain peaks, including the Southern Alps, owe much to tectonic uplift and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, and its most populous city is Auckland.

The islands of New Zealand were the last large habitable land to be settled by humans....Read more

 

New Zealand (Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island (Te Ika-a-Māui) and the South Island (Te Waipounamu)—and over 700 smaller islands. It is the sixth-largest island country by area, covering 268,021 square kilometres (103,500 sq mi). New Zealand is about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the islands of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. The country's varied topography and sharp mountain peaks, including the Southern Alps, owe much to tectonic uplift and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, and its most populous city is Auckland.

The islands of New Zealand were the last large habitable land to be settled by humans. Between about 1280 and 1350, Polynesians began to settle in the islands and then developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight and record New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the United Kingdom and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which in its English version declared British sovereignty over the islands. In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire. Subsequently, a series of conflicts between the colonial government and Māori tribes resulted in the alienation and confiscation of large amounts of Māori land. New Zealand became a dominion in 1907; it gained full statutory independence in 1947, retaining the monarch as head of state. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 5.1 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening of culture arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori, and New Zealand Sign Language, with the local dialect of English being dominant.

A developed country, New Zealand ranks 13th in the Human Development Index. The country was the first to introduce a minimum wage, and the first to give women the right to vote. New Zealand underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which transformed it from a protectionist to a liberalised free-trade economy. The service sector dominates the national economy, followed by the industrial sector, and agriculture; international tourism is also a significant source of revenue. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the prime minister, currently Chris Hipkins. Charles III is the country's king and is represented by the governor-general. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica.

New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, UKUSA, OECD, ASEAN Plus Six, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Pacific Community and the Pacific Islands Forum.

More about New Zealand

Basic information
  • Currency New Zealand dollar
  • Native name New Zealand
  • Calling code +64
  • Internet domain .nz
  • Mains voltage 230V/50Hz
  • Democracy index 9.25
Population, Area & Driving side
  • Population 5118700
  • Area 268021
  • Driving side left
History
  •  
    One set of arrows point from Taiwan to Melanesia to Fiji/Samoa and then to the Marquesas Islands. The population then spread, some going south to New Zealand and others going north to Hawai'i. A second set start in southern Asia and end in Melanesia. 
     
    The Māori people descend from Polynesians whose ancestors emigrated from Taiwan to Melanesia between 3000 and 1000 BCE and then travelled east, reaching the Society Islands c. 1000 CE. After a pause of 200 to 300 years, a new wave of exploration led to the discovery and settlement of New Zealand.[1][2][3]

    New Zealand was the last major landmass settled by humans. The story of Kupe as the first human to set foot on the New Zealand archipelago, accredited to by most Māori iwi, is considered credible by historians; he is generally believed to have existed historically.[4] Most histories claim that in a time approximately 40 generations ago (between 900 and 1200 AD),[5] The more specific reasons for Kupe's semi-legendary journey, and the migration of Māori in general, is contested....Read more

     
    One set of arrows point from Taiwan to Melanesia to Fiji/Samoa and then to the Marquesas Islands. The population then spread, some going south to New Zealand and others going north to Hawai'i. A second set start in southern Asia and end in Melanesia. 
     
    The Māori people descend from Polynesians whose ancestors emigrated from Taiwan to Melanesia between 3000 and 1000 BCE and then travelled east, reaching the Society Islands c. 1000 CE. After a pause of 200 to 300 years, a new wave of exploration led to the discovery and settlement of New Zealand.[1][2][3]

    New Zealand was the last major landmass settled by humans. The story of Kupe as the first human to set foot on the New Zealand archipelago, accredited to by most Māori iwi, is considered credible by historians; he is generally believed to have existed historically.[4] Most histories claim that in a time approximately 40 generations ago (between 900 and 1200 AD),[5] The more specific reasons for Kupe's semi-legendary journey, and the migration of Māori in general, is contested. It is thought by some historians that Hawaiki and other Polynesian islands were experiencing considerable internal conflict at that time, which is thought to have caused an exodus from them. Some historians contest that this was because of the fallout from the 1257 Samalas eruption, which caused crop devastation globally and possibly helped trigger the Little Ice Age.[6][7]

    Radiocarbon dating, evidence of deforestation[8] and mitochondrial DNA variability within Māori populations[9] suggest that Eastern Polynesians first settled the New Zealand archipelago between 1250 and 1300,[10][11] although newer archaeological and genetic research points to a date no earlier than about 1280, with at least the main settlement period between about 1320 and 1350,[12][13] consistent with evidence based on genealogical traditions.[14][15] This represented a culmination in a long series of voyages through the Pacific islands.[16] It is the broad consensus of historians that the settlement of New Zealand by Eastern Polynesians was planned and deliberate.[17] Over the centuries that followed, the Polynesian settlers developed a distinct culture now known as Māori. The population formed different iwi (tribes) and hapū (subtribes) which would sometimes cooperate, sometimes compete and sometimes fight against each other.[18] At some point, a group of Māori migrated to Rēkohu, now known as the Chatham Islands, where they developed their distinct Moriori culture.[19][20] The Moriori population was all but wiped out between 1835 and 1862 in the Moriori genocide, largely because of Taranaki Māori invasion and enslavement in the 1830s, although European diseases also contributed. In 1862, only 101 survived, and the last known full-blooded Moriori died in 1933.[21]

    An engraving of a sketched coastline on white background 
     
    Map of the New Zealand coastline as Cook charted it on his first visit in 1769–70. The track of the Endeavour is also shown.

    In a hostile 1642 encounter between Ngāti Tūmatakōkiri and Dutch explorer Abel Tasman's crew,[22][23] four of Tasman's crew members were killed, and at least one Māori was hit by canister shot.[24] Europeans did not revisit New Zealand until 1769, when British explorer James Cook mapped almost the entire coastline.[23] Following Cook, New Zealand was visited by numerous European and North American whaling, sealing, and trading ships. They traded European food, metal tools, weapons, and other goods for timber, Māori food, artefacts, and water.[25] The introduction of the potato and the musket transformed Māori agriculture and warfare. Potatoes provided a reliable food surplus, which enabled longer and more sustained military campaigns.[26] The resulting intertribal Musket Wars encompassed over 600 battles between 1801 and 1840, killing 30,000–40,000 Māori.[27] From the early 19th century, Christian missionaries began to settle New Zealand, eventually converting most of the Māori population.[28] The Māori population declined to around 40% of its pre-contact level during the 19th century; introduced diseases were the major factor.[29]

    A torn sheet of paper 
     
    The Waitangi sheet from the Treaty of Waitangi

    The British Government appointed James Busby as British Resident to New Zealand in 1832 following a petition from northern Māori.[30] His duties were to protect British commerce, mediate between the unruly Pākehā (European) settlers and Māori, and to apprehend escaped convicts.[30][31] In 1835, following an announcement of impending French settlement by Charles de Thierry, the nebulous United Tribes of New Zealand sent a Declaration of Independence to King William IV of the United Kingdom asking for protection.[30] Ongoing unrest, the proposed settlement of New Zealand by the New Zealand Company (which had already sent its first ship of surveyors to buy land from Māori) and the dubious legal standing of the Declaration of Independence prompted the Colonial Office to send Captain William Hobson to claim sovereignty for the United Kingdom and negotiate a treaty with the Māori.[32] The Treaty of Waitangi was first signed in the Bay of Islands on 6 February 1840.[33] In response to the New Zealand Company's attempts to establish an independent settlement in Wellington[34] and French settlers purchasing land in Akaroa,[35] Hobson declared British sovereignty over all of New Zealand on 21 May 1840, even though copies of the treaty were still circulating throughout the country for Māori to sign.[36] With the signing of the treaty and declaration of sovereignty, the number of immigrants, particularly from the United Kingdom, began to increase.[37]

    New Zealand was administered as part of the Colony of New South Wales until becoming a separate Crown colony, the Colony of New Zealand on 3 May 1841.[38][39] Armed conflict began between the colonial government and Māori in 1843 with the Wairau Affray over land and disagreements over sovereignty. These conflicts, mainly in the North Island, saw thousands of imperial troops and the Royal Navy come to New Zealand and became known as the New Zealand Wars. Following these armed conflicts, large amounts of Māori land was confiscated by the government to meet settler demands.[40]

    Black and white engraving depicting a crowd of people 
     
    A meeting of European and Māori inhabitants of Hawke's Bay Province. Engraving, 1863.

    The colony gained a representative government in 1852, and the first Parliament met in 1854.[41] In 1856 the colony effectively became self-governing, gaining responsibility over all domestic matters (except native policy, which was granted in the mid-1860s).[41] Following concerns that the South Island might form a separate colony, premier Alfred Domett moved a resolution to transfer the capital from Auckland to a locality near Cook Strait.[42][43] Wellington was chosen for its central location, with Parliament officially sitting there for the first time in 1865.[44]

    In 1886, New Zealand annexed the volcanic Kermadec Islands, about 1,000 km (620 mi) northeast of Auckland. Since 1937, the islands are uninhabited except for about six people at Raoul Island station. These islands put the northern border of New Zealand at 29 degrees South latitude.[45] After the 1982 UNCLOS, the islands contributed significantly to New Zealand's exclusive economic zone.[46]

    In 1891 the Liberal Party came to power as the first organised political party.[47] The Liberal Government, led by Richard Seddon for most of its period in office,[48] passed many important social and economic measures. In 1893 New Zealand was the first nation in the world to grant all women the right to vote[47] and in 1894 pioneered the adoption of compulsory arbitration between employers and unions.[49] The Liberals also guaranteed a minimum wage in 1894, a world first.[50]

    In 1907, at the request of the New Zealand Parliament, King Edward VII proclaimed New Zealand a Dominion within the British Empire,[51] reflecting its self-governing status.[52] In 1947 the country adopted the Statute of Westminster, confirming that the British Parliament could no longer legislate for New Zealand without the consent of New Zealand.[41]

    Early in the 20th century, New Zealand was involved in world affairs, fighting in the First and Second World Wars[53] and suffering through the Great Depression.[54] The depression led to the election of the first Labour Government and the establishment of a comprehensive welfare state and a protectionist economy.[55] New Zealand experienced increasing prosperity following the Second World War,[56] and Māori began to leave their traditional rural life and move to the cities in search of work.[57] A Māori protest movement developed, which criticised Eurocentrism and worked for greater recognition of Māori culture and of the Treaty of Waitangi.[58] In 1975, a Waitangi Tribunal was set up to investigate alleged breaches of the Treaty, and it was enabled to investigate historic grievances in 1985.[33] The government has negotiated settlements of these grievances with many iwi,[59] although Māori claims to the foreshore and seabed proved controversial in the 2000s.[60][61]

    ^ Anderson, Atholl; Spriggs, Matthew (1993). "Late colonization of East Polynesia". Antiquity. 67 (255): 200–217. doi:10.1017/S0003598X00045324. ISSN 1745-1744. S2CID 162638670. ^ Jacomb, Chris; Anderson, Atholl; Higham, Thomas (1999). "Dating the first New Zealanders: The chronology of Wairau Bar". Antiquity. 73 (280): 420–427. doi:10.1017/S0003598X00088360. ISSN 1745-1744. S2CID 161058755. ^ Wilmshurst, J. M.; Hunt, T. L.; Lipo, C. P.; Anderson, A. J. (2010). "High-precision radiocarbon dating shows recent and rapid initial human colonization of East Polynesia". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 108 (5): 1815–20. Bibcode:2011PNAS..108.1815W. doi:10.1073/pnas.1015876108. PMC 3033267. PMID 21187404. ^ "Kupe". Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Retrieved 14 March 2023. ^ "Kupe". archive.hokulea.com. Retrieved 24 February 2023. ^ "2: Tangata Whenua". RNZ. 8 October 2019. Retrieved 24 February 2023. ^ https://par.nsf.gov/servlets/purl/10347866 ^ McGlone, M.; Wilmshurst, J. M. (1999). "Dating initial Maori environmental impact in New Zealand". Quaternary International. 59 (1): 5–16. Bibcode:1999QuInt..59....5M. doi:10.1016/S1040-6182(98)00067-6. ^ Murray-McIntosh, Rosalind P.; Scrimshaw, Brian J.; Hatfield, Peter J.; Penny, David (1998). "Testing migration patterns and estimating founding population size in Polynesia by using human mtDNA sequences". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 95 (15): 9047–52. Bibcode:1998PNAS...95.9047M. doi:10.1073/pnas.95.15.9047. PMC 21200. PMID 9671802. ^ Mein Smith 2005, p. 6. ^ Wilmshurst, J. M.; Anderson, A. J.; Higham, T. F. G.; Worthy, T. H. (2008). "Dating the late prehistoric dispersal of Polynesians to New Zealand using the commensal Pacific rat". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 105 (22): 7676–80. Bibcode:2008PNAS..105.7676W. doi:10.1073/pnas.0801507105. PMC 2409139. PMID 18523023. ^ Jacomb, Chris; Holdaway, Richard N.; Allentoft, Morten E.; Bunce, Michael; Oskam, Charlotte L.; Walter, Richard; Brooks, Emma (2014). "High-precision dating and ancient DNA profiling of moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes) eggshell documents a complex feature at Wairau Bar and refines the chronology of New Zealand settlement by Polynesians". Journal of Archaeological Science. 50: 24–30. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2014.05.023. ^ Walters, Richard; Buckley, Hallie; Jacomb, Chris; Matisoo-Smith, Elizabeth (7 October 2017). "Mass Migration and the Polynesian Settlement of New Zealand". Journal of World Prehistory. 30 (4): 351–376. doi:10.1007/s10963-017-9110-y. ^ Roberton, J. B. W. (1956). "Genealogies as a basis for Maori chronology". Journal of the Polynesian Society. 65 (1): 45–54. ^ Te Hurinui, Pei (1958). "Maori genealogies". Journal of the Polynesian Society. 67 (2): 162–165. ^ Moodley, Y.; Linz, B.; Yamaoka, Y.; et al. (2009). "The Peopling of the Pacific from a Bacterial Perspective". Science. 323 (5913): 527–530. Bibcode:2009Sci...323..527M. doi:10.1126/science.1166083. PMC 2827536. PMID 19164753. ^ Walter, Richard; Buckley, Hallie; Jacomb, Chris; Matisoo-Smith, Elizabeth (1 December 2017). "Mass Migration and the Polynesian Settlement of New Zealand". Journal of World Prehistory. 30 (4): 351–376. doi:10.1007/s10963-017-9110-y. ISSN 1573-7802. ^ Ballara, Angela (1998). Iwi: The Dynamics of Māori Tribal Organisation from c. 1769 to c. 1945 (1st ed.). Wellington: Victoria University Press. ISBN 9780864733283. ^ Clark, Ross (1994). "Moriori and Māori: The Linguistic Evidence". In Sutton, Douglas (ed.). The Origins of the First New Zealanders. Auckland: Auckland University Press. pp. 123–135. ^ Davis, Denise (September 2007). "The impact of new arrivals". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 30 April 2010. ^ Davis, Denise; Solomon, Māui (March 2009). "Moriori – The impact of new arrivals". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 23 March 2011. ^ Mitchell, Hillary (10 February 2015). "Te Tau Ihu". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 15 September 2016. ^ a b Mein Smith 2005, p. 23. ^ Salmond, Anne (1991). Two Worlds: First Meetings Between Maori and Europeans 1642–1772. Auckland: Penguin Books. p. 82. ISBN 0-670-83298-7. ^ King 2003, p. 122. ^ Fitzpatrick, John (2004). "Food, warfare and the impact of Atlantic capitalism in Aotearo/New Zealand" (PDF). Australasian Political Studies Association Conference: APSA 2004 Conference Papers. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 May 2011. ^ Brailsford, Barry (1972). Arrows of Plague. Wellington: Hick Smith and Sons. p. 35. ISBN 0-456-01060-2. ^ Wagstrom, Thor (2005). "Broken Tongues and Foreign Hearts". In Brock, Peggy (ed.). Indigenous Peoples and Religious Change. Boston: Brill Academic Publishers. pp. 71 and 73. ISBN 978-90-04-13899-5. ^ Lange, Raeburn (1999). May the people live: a history of Māori health development 1900–1920. Auckland University Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-86940-214-3. ^ a b c Orange, Claudia (1990). "Busby, James – Biography". In Oliver, W. H.; Orange, Claudia; Phillips, Jock (eds.). Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 7 January 2011. ^ "First British Resident comes ashore". NZHistory. New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 24 December 2020. Retrieved 19 October 2021. ^ Foster, Bernard John (April 2009) [1966]. "Sir George Gipps". In McLintock, Alexander Hare (ed.). An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 20 March 2021 – via TeAra.govt.nz. ^ a b Wilson, John (16 September 2016) [2005]. "Nation and government – The origins of nationhood". In Phillips, Jock (ed.). Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 20 March 2021. ^ McLintock, Alexander Hare, ed. (April 2009) [1966]. "Settlement from 1840 to 1852". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 7 January 2011 – via TeAra.govt.nz. ^ Foster, Bernard John (April 2009) [1966]. "Akaroa, French Settlement At". In McLintock, Alexander Hare (ed.). An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 7 January 2011 – via TeAra.govt.nz. ^ Simpson, K. A. (1990). "Hobson, William – Biography". In Oliver, W. H.; Orange, Claudia; Phillips, Jock (eds.). Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 20 March 2021. ^ Phillips, Jock (1 August 2015) [2005]. "History of immigration – British immigration and the New Zealand Company". In Phillips, Jock (ed.). Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 20 March 2021. ^ "Crown colony era – the Governor-General". NZHistory. New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. March 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2011. ^ Moon, Paul (2010). New Zealand Birth Certificates – 50 of New Zealand's Founding Documents. AUT Media. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-95829971-8. ^ "New Zealand's 19th-century wars – overview". NZHistory. New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. April 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2011. ^ a b c Wilson, John (16 September 2016) [2005]. "Government and nation – From colony to nation". In Phillips, Jock (ed.). Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 2 February 2011. ^ Temple, Philip (1980). Wellington Yesterday. John McIndoe. ISBN 0-86868-012-5. ^ Levine, Stephen (13 July 2012). "Capital city – A new capital". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 4 May 2015. ^ "Parliament moves to Wellington". NZHistory. New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. January 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017. ^ Jobberns, George (1966). "Kermadec Islands". In McLintock, A. H. (ed.). An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, Te Ara. Retrieved 18 March 2022. ^ "Pacific Island Exclusive Economic Zones". TEARA. Retrieved 24 October 2022. ^ a b Wilson, John (March 2009). "History – Liberal to Labour". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 27 April 2017. ^ Hamer, David. "Seddon, Richard John". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 27 April 2017. ^ Boxall, Peter; Haynes, Peter (1997). "Strategy and Trade Union Effectiveness in a Neo-liberal Environment". British Journal of Industrial Relations. 35 (4): 567–591. doi:10.1111/1467-8543.00069. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 May 2011. ^ "A brief history of the minimum wage in New Zealand". Newshub. Retrieved 19 July 2022. ^ "Proclamation". The London Gazette. No. 28058. 10 September 1907. p. 6149. ^ "Dominion status – Becoming a dominion". NZHistory. New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. September 2014. Retrieved 26 April 2017. ^ "War and Society". New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 7 January 2011. ^ Easton, Brian (April 2010). "Economic history – Interwar years and the great depression". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 7 January 2011. ^ Derby, Mark (May 2010). "Strikes and labour disputes – Wars, depression and first Labour government". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 1 February 2011. ^ Easton, Brian (November 2010). "Economic history – Great boom, 1935–1966". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 1 February 2011. ^ Keane, Basil (November 2010). "Te Māori i te ohanga – Māori in the economy – Urbanisation". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 7 January 2011. ^ Royal, Te Ahukaramū (March 2009). "Māori – Urbanisation and renaissance". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 1 February 2011. ^ Healing the Past, Building a Future: A Guide to Treaty of Waitangi Claims and Negotiations with the Crown (PDF). Office of Treaty Settlements. March 2015. ISBN 978-0-478-32436-5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 January 2018. Retrieved 26 April 2017. ^ Report on the Crown's Foreshore and Seabed Policy (Report). Ministry of Justice. Retrieved 26 April 2017. ^ Barker, Fiona (June 2012). "Debate about the foreshore and seabed". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
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Stay safe
  •  
    Stay safe

    The main emergency number in New Zealand is 111, and can be used to contact ambulance, the fire service, police, the coastguard, and rescue services. 112 works from mobile phones; 911 and 999 may work, but do not rely on them. You can call *555 from mobiles to report non-emergency traffic incidents. You can call 105 for non-emergency police, e.g. to report a theft or burglary (from overseas, you can call ☏ +64 4 910-5105 to reach 105).

    Deaf people can contact emergency services by fax on 0800 16 16 10, and by textphone/TTY on 0800 161 616. It is possible to send an SMS to 111, but you must register with police first.

    Full instructions are on the inside front cover of every telephone book. Other emergency numbers and personal crisis numbers are on pages 2 to 4 of the white pages section.

    Crime and security  Police officers in Auckland

    While difficult to make direct international comparisons, the level of crime in New Zealand is lower than in most other western countries. Dishonesty offences, such as theft, are by far the most frequent crime. Much of this crime is opportunistic in nature, so travellers should take simple, sensible precautions such as putting valuables away out of sight or in a secure place and locking doors of vehicles, even in remote locations.

    ...Read more
     
    Stay safe

    The main emergency number in New Zealand is 111, and can be used to contact ambulance, the fire service, police, the coastguard, and rescue services. 112 works from mobile phones; 911 and 999 may work, but do not rely on them. You can call *555 from mobiles to report non-emergency traffic incidents. You can call 105 for non-emergency police, e.g. to report a theft or burglary (from overseas, you can call ☏ +64 4 910-5105 to reach 105).

    Deaf people can contact emergency services by fax on 0800 16 16 10, and by textphone/TTY on 0800 161 616. It is possible to send an SMS to 111, but you must register with police first.

    Full instructions are on the inside front cover of every telephone book. Other emergency numbers and personal crisis numbers are on pages 2 to 4 of the white pages section.

    Crime and security  Police officers in Auckland

    While difficult to make direct international comparisons, the level of crime in New Zealand is lower than in most other western countries. Dishonesty offences, such as theft, are by far the most frequent crime. Much of this crime is opportunistic in nature, so travellers should take simple, sensible precautions such as putting valuables away out of sight or in a secure place and locking doors of vehicles, even in remote locations.

    Violent crime in public places is associated with alcohol or illicit drug consumption. Rowdy bars or drunken crowds in city centres, or groups of youths in the suburbs, are best avoided, especially late at night and in the early morning. New Zealanders can be somewhat uptight and lacking in a sense of humour when their country or their sporting teams are mocked by loud or drinking tourists.

    There are occasional disturbing high profile media reports of tourists being targeted in random violent robberies and sexual crimes. These crimes tend to happen in isolated places, where the chances of the offender being observed by other people are low. However, the chances of falling victim to such misfortune is low; statistics show you're more likely to be attacked by someone in your travelling party than a complete stranger.

    A major terrorist attack occurred in Christchurch on 15 March 2019, in which a white supremacist carried out consecutive shootings on two mosques, killing 51 people. However, the long-term terrorist threat in New Zealand is similar to other Western countries.

    The New Zealand Police is the national police force, and police officers are generally polite, helpful and trustworthy. Unlike in most other nations, New Zealand police officers do not routinely wear firearms, but have them in their cars, only taking them out when necessary; the exception is those guarding key installations such as airports, diplomatic missions and some government buildings. Officers on the beat typically only carry batons, offender control pepper spray, and Tasers. Firearm-related incidents are typically left to the specialist Armed Offenders Squad (AOS, similar to SWAT in the United States) to deal with when possible. Armed police or an AOS callout usually rates a mention in the media.

    Police fines can be paid online by credit card or internet banking, by posting a cheque or in person at any branch of Westpac Bank. Do not try to pay the police officer directly as this is considered bribery and will be dealt with accordingly.

    Racism

    New Zealand is in general a fairly tolerant country with respect to race, and most visitors to New Zealand do not run into any incidents. While it is not particularly difficult to encounter someone who has racist views in the pub, it is in general rare to face open aggression in the street on the basis of one's race. Legislation prohibits hate speech and racial discrimination in a wide range of public spheres such as education and employment. New Zealanders are very open-minded people, yet the country's extreme isolation means that certain ethnicities are not as prevalent there as in places like the USA. People who are of African or Latin American descent might, for example, attract stares in remote areas of New Zealand. This is more out of curiosity than racism.

    Illicit drugs

    Most illicit drugs, including preparations, precursor substances and paraphernalia, are illegal to possess and to deal in New Zealand. Possession of illicit drugs is punishable by up to 6 months in prison, although it is rare for offenders to get more than a fine or community service. Police may offer diversion for possession of cannabis or another class C drug (e.g. barbiturates, benzodiazepines) as an alternative to being convicted in court. New Zealand has a "presumption of supply law", which means if you're found in possession drugs above a certain quantity (0.5 grams for cocaine and heroin, 5 grams for methamphetamine, 28 grams for cannabis), you'll be presumed to be a supplier and will be charged with dealing in drugs rather than possession.

    The penalties for dealing in illicit drugs, whether it be importing/exporting, trafficking, manufacturing, cultivating or selling, are much stiffer than for possession; dealing in class A drugs (e.g. heroin, cocaine, LSD, methamphetamine) can attract a sentence of life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 10 years.

    A referendum on legalising cannabis in New Zealand was held alongside the 2020 general election, but failed by a narrow margin (50.7% opposed to 48.4% in favour).

    Natural hazards

    Severe weather is by far the most common natural hazard encountered. Although New Zealand is not subject to the direct hit of tropical cyclones, stormy weather systems from both the tropics and the polar regions can sweep across New Zealand at various times of the year. There is generally a seven to ten day cycle of a few days of wet or stormy weather followed by calmer and drier days as weather systems move across the country. The phrase four seasons in one day is a good description of New Zealand weather, which has a reputation for both changeability and unpredictability. The phrase is also a popular Kiwi song.

    Weather forecasts are generally reliable for overall trends and severe weather warnings should be heeded when broadcast. However both the timing and intensity of any weather events should be assessed from your own location.

    You should always seek advice from the Department of Conservation when trekking in alpine areas. There are annual fatalities of both foreign nationals and New Zealanders caught unaware by the weather.

    There are other natural hazards you may encounter, though far more rarely:

     Earthquake damage to a roadStrong earthquakes - New Zealand, being part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, sits astride a tectonic plate boundary and experiences large numbers (about 14,000/year) of earthquakes every year, although only around 200 are strong enough to be felt by humans and only 1-2 causes any material damage. Only two recorded earthquakes in New Zealand have resulted in serious loss of life; the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake (7.8 magnitude, 256 dead), and the 2011 Christchurch earthquake (6.3 magnitude, 185 dead). The latest quake news is reported by GeoNet. In an earthquake, running outside the building is generally more hazardous than remaining inside and finding cover; buildings in New Zealand are built to high standards, and while they may be damaged in an earthquake, they should remain standing.If you do feel a strong earthquake, remember Drop, Cover, Hold: drop to the ground, cover yourself under a table or desk (or cover your head and neck with your hands if no table or desk is available), and hold on until the shaking stops.Tsunami is a possible risk in coastal parts of New Zealand. Warning of a tsunami from an overseas earthquake will be widely publicised via media. However, should you experience a very strong earthquake (over a minute long, or so strong you cannot easily stand) you should move to high ground (35 m or more) or at least 1km inland as a precaution until an all clear is given. Volcanic eruptions - New Zealand has a number of volcanoes that are classified as active or dormant. Active volcanoes include Mount Ruapehu, Tongariro, White Island and the remote Kermadec Islands. Volcanic activity is also monitored by GeoNet. There are almost no poisonous or dangerous animals. The katipo and Australian redback are the only two venomous spiders and bites from both species are extremely rare. Serious reactions are uncommon and unlikely to develop in less than three hours, though you should always seek help at your nearest hospital, medical centre, or doctor. The bite of the white-tailed spider is painful but not in fact, despite folklore, especially dangerous to humans. Certain ferocious-looking species of wētā (a giant flightless cricket) can deliver a painful but harmless bite. New Zealand has no wolves, bears, big cats, crocodiles or other predators, and no snakes at all: it's safe to walk alone in the bush, or even lie down and have a nap.Volunteer fire brigade sirens

    Outside the major cities, New Zealanders rely on volunteer fire brigades to protect their community. As mobiles and pagers have a tendency to fail, sirens are still regularly used day and night to call out firefighters. These sirens sound similar to British World War II air-raid sirens, and make a wailing (up and down) sound. Don't be alarmed if the siren goes off: tourists in the past have been caught unaware and have panicked thinking New Zealand was under nuclear attack!

    Firearms

    New Zealand does not have constitutional rights with regards to firearm ownership, and possession of any type of firearm requires a licence from the police. The standard firearms licence only allow the person to possess sporting type shotguns and rifles, and for pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) air rifles; semi-automatic weapons and military-grade assault rifles are illegal for civilians to possess, and all other types of firearms require an additional endorsement. Air weapons, and PCP airsoft and paintball rifles, are an exception to this rule, and may be purchased by anybody over the age of 18 without a licence. It is extremely rare for civilians to carry firearms in urban areas, and doing so would likely draw suspicion from the public and police.

    Visitors who wish to bring firearms into New Zealand are required to obtain a permit from the police at least one month before arrival. In practice receiving one is difficult, and is only possible if you are entered in an official shooting competition or are travelling for hunting.

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