New Zealand - Safety and Security
New Zealand is a safe place in comparison to other countries. The crime rate is low and so are the cases of violent crime. Still it pays to take precautions.
International students may be particularly vulnerable because they may have more money in their pockets than the locals. They may also be unaware of the local customs as they don't speak the local language and so might be unable to report a crime if it so occurs.
Below are some safety precautions for international students and visitors to New Zealand;
- Do not carry large amount of cash at any one time
- Keep your money in a bank and not anywhere else
- If going out at night, let somebody know regarding when you will return
- Women should avoid walking alone at night and if need be catch a taxi
- In a bar or pub, do not leave your drink unattended
- Keep your belongings with you at all times
- Do not lend out large sums of money without any safeguards on your part
Although New Zealand is considered to be one of the safest destinations worldwide, it is still important to follow the same safety precautions as you would at home, or anywhere else.
- Keep copies of important documents, such as your passport and credit cards, separate from the originals.
- Keep valuable items in a safe place.
- In emergencies, dial 111.
Following a few simple guidelines will allow you to stay as safe as possible:
- Travel with a friend, and try to let a third party know where you are doing.
- At night, stay in well lit areas.
- If you need a ride, catch a taxicab. Do not accept rides with a stranger.
- Going to the bars can be fun, but remember to keep an eye on your drink, and try not to accept drinks from anyone you don’t know.
- Stay in regular contact with family, and friends, in your home country.
- Carry a mobile phone and, if there is an emergency, call 111 or go to your nearest police station.
A nice feature, available in New Zealand, is safety through text messaging. Texting the details of your location and travel information to 7233 (SAFE), will ensure that these details are readily accessible to police, if needed.Another important factor to keeping safe in New Zealand is ensuring that your health is, and remains, in good standing.It is always a good idea to purchase health insurance, when travelling outside your home country, incase of any medical emergencies. Although New Zealand has the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), you should still obtain your own health insurance. If, unfortunately, you are in an accident, the ACC will be of assistance, however, it will not cover everything.
It is more likely that your trip will be accident free, however, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Additionally, if you are bringing prescription medications with you, be sure to carry a doctor’s certificate. This may be needed when entering the country, and going through customs. If you have to visit a doctor during your stay in New Zealand, it also helps to have a doctor’s certificate, and information, from your doctor in your home country.
It is safe to drink the water in New Zealand, however, do not drink water from lakes or ponds. Additionally, if outdoors, remember to wear sun block. Smoking indoors, when in public places, is prohibited in New Zealand; thus, if you are a smoker, be sure to smoke outside.
When visiting New Zealand, stay safe and have fun!