The law and the public behavior in New Zealand may be different from those in your own country. We feel it is important for you to know the following. New Zealand is considered to be a safe country, but you need to be aware of the following: 

  1. If you go out at night, tell someone where you are going. If it is after 12 midnight and you want to go home, call a taxi. Go in groups – taking a taxi together is relatively cheap.
  2. When walking alone at night, avoid walking through a park or dark areas.  In central Auckland, there is an alcohol ban in open places at all times. This means you can’t drink alcohol outside a bar, pub, restaurant or a club. You cannot be seen carrying alcohol in the city. Do not get drunk and do not encourage others to get drunk.
  3. Prevent having your drink ‘spiked’’. This means: watch your glass when you are in a bar, so that someone doesn’t add something unsafe to your drink. If you are drunk, or people see you drinking alcohol, you may be an easy target for someone to steal your valuables or to attack you.
  4. From 10th December 2004, hospitality venues (bars, clubs, restaurants, cafes and casinos) are required to be 100 percent smoke free indoors. You have to smoke outside.
  5. You can trust the police to assist you and to help you if you are in trouble. The main police station (open 24 hours) is on the corner of Cook and Vincent Streets.  There is a police kiosk on 9 Fort Street Downtown. It closes at around 4 pm.

If you want to report an incident you can call (09) 302 6400. For emergencies only – call 111   (Police, Ambulance, Fire Service).

CYCLING

A helmet must be worn at all times. Do not cycle on the footpath. If you ride at night your bike needs lights.

CROSSING THE ROAD

Only cross the street at the pedestrian crossing or at the traffic lights. Never cross busy roads.  Always cross where it is safe (at the traffic lights or the crossing). Vehicles will only stop for you at traffic lights or at pedestrians crossings, they are not required to stop for pedestrians who choose to cross anywhere else on the road.

DRIVING IN NEW ZEALAND

You need to meet a number of requirements to drive on New Zealand roads. Just like other drivers, you must have a current driver licence; but you may also need an international driving permit or translation if your licence is not in English. New Zealand road rules and driving behaviors may be different to those in your home country. For example:

  • We drive on the left side of the road
  • We have many hilly, narrow or windy roads that mean your journey make take longer than you expect.
  • You must carry your driver licence on you at all times. If your licence is not in English, you must carry a translation from an approved translator.

You will need to consider more permanent arrangements if you’re in New Zealand for more than 12 months. For more information regarding road safety in New Zealand please consult the NZ Transport Agency website where you can find all the information needed in order to driving regulations anywhere in New Zealand:  http://www.nzta.govt.nz/

WATER SAFETY

New Zealand has lots of beautiful beaches and swimming is one the best activities in warm season.Understanding the ocean is very important – the more you know about how waves, wind and tides affect conditions in the water, the better able you are to keep yourself safe, or others, from danger.

  1. Swim between the flags

Swim between the red and yellow patrol flags, as they identify the safest area to swim when an active lifesaving patrol is on the beach.

      2. Rip current

A rip is a strong current of water running out to sea. They can be very dangerous to swimmers as they can sweep you out to sea quickly and easily. Rip currents can be hard to identify, look for these features:

  • Discolored or murky brown water caused by sand stirred up off the bottom
  • A smoother surface with much smaller waves, with waves breaking on either side
  • Debris floating out to sea
  • A rippled look, when the water around is generally calm.

If you get caught in a rip:

  • Don’t panic
  • Don’t try to swim against the rip back to shore
  • Let the rip carry you out until the current subsides
  • Then swim parallel to the beach for 30-40 meters before swimming back to shore
  • If you get tired or become frightened, stay calm, raise your arm, call for help and wait for assistance.