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I am coming to
New Zealand

Initial days information

Important points to keep in mind

With a new start to your shining future in New Zealand, there are many things that have to be known before you arrive to New Zealand.

1. Immigrants information

All the information regarding the arrival at international airport is provided – city maps, accommodation brochures, tourist attractions, shopping choices, entertainment, food, and transport options. Moreover, the same information is available for the bus and train commuters.

In New Zealand most of the towns have visitor information centers where you can accommodate and go on different tourist spots.

Tip -- Street signs, road paths, large i logos will direct you on your way through the streets of New Zealand.

2. Driving rules and regulations

To drive is the best part, but driving in an alien country can be very precarious. If you‘re planning to drive while you’re in New Zealand, it’s important to know some safety points:

  • In New Zealand, all the vehicles are driven on the LEFT side of the road.
  • While taking a left turn always give way to the traffic approaching from right.
  • Traffic lights -- Red says stop, Orange says wait, Green says go.
  • The speed limit on the open road should be taken care of.
  • One must wear seat belt when driving.

3. Near to your place - Bank

Once you reach to a new place, after accommodation facility, the bank and monetary facility is the one thing that attains your attention. To have a bank near to the place you live is a benefit.

So in New Zealand, you need to know some of the rules and regulations that can help you in catering through the bank deals. Banks open from 9.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Generally they’re closed at weekends and on public holidays.

Automated Teller Machines (ATM) are widely available at banks, along main shopping streets and in shopping malls. International credit cards and ATM cards will work as long as they have a four-digit PIN encoded. For further information you should re-check with your bank.

You can easily open a bank account in New Zealand. You don’t have to be a resident but all you need to have is a permanent address.

4. New Zealand and public holidays

All the banks in New Zealand are closed on a public holiday. Moreover, on Christmas Day, Good Friday, New Year’s Day and on the morning of Anzac Day, almost all shops and businesses are closed.

5. Emergency contact numbers

111 is the emergency dial number. Always there to help! This connects you straight to the police, ambulance and fire service stations.

Note- Several number of civil defense, rescue services and other emergency helplines are enlisted in the telephone books, for calamities like: flooding, earthquakes, or storm damage.

However, all the public places are displayed with emergency and evacuation procedures and helpline digits.

6. Goods and Services Tax

In New Zealand, the TAX as per the charge is 15% on all goods and services.

7. Post Office

The Post offices are in the suburbs and small towns. Post offices work as to maintain the postal trades and retail business.

For more information, check the New Zealand Post's website.

8. Facilities for disabled people

In New Zealand every building and major reconstruction obligatorily provides 'reasonable and adequate' access to people with disabilities. Moreover the facilities provide wheelchair access as well.

The car parking concessions are available for people with disabilities. Bring your mobility card or medical certificate from home so that you can apply for a concession card to use here. In New Zealand, most car parking areas have parks set aside for disabled people.

9. Food and wine

The culture of a country is more enhanced by its cuisine. New Zealand's 'Pacific Rim' cuisine style is inspired by Europe, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Polynesia, Japan, China and Vietnam. This unique blend of civilization has created a mouthwatering range of flavors that are available all over New Zealand.

For more details just scroll through the travel and food log of New Zealand.

10. Internet cafes and WiFi

Internet cafés are widely available throughout New Zealand, especially in tourist centers.

11. Guidelines for the outdoors

The freedom to explore New Zealand is quite easily assessable but there are some restrictions too. For example, dogs are not allowed to enter national parks because of the risk to natural flora and fauna.

Carelessness or ignoring can create major problems and damage. The usual sign boards around the residential area would be:

  • Please close the gate
  • Danger – take care
  • No entry – private property
  • No dogs permitted
  • Bridge (or track) closed due to damage
  • Total fire ban – light no fires, including BBQs

For your safety and for the safety of others, please read notices like these and follow the instructions.

12. Be Safe

We care, we protect! The safety of immigrants and new residents is most important. New Zealand is an exciting, varied country to live in, but you have to aware of risks as well, especially when you wish to spend a lot of time outdoors.

  • The weather of New Zealand is fickle. It’s often different from one day to the next. So when you go out bush walking, boating or to do other outdoor activities, always carry warm clothing, a waterproof jacket, food and water.
  • Conditions can change very fast, just like the weather. Always wear a life jacket, take plenty of fuel if you’re in a motor boat.
  • New Zealand has a very long coastline with several beaches. Often there are dangerous rips and tides on beaches – which you can’t see from the shore. So to be on the safer side, swim in the safe areas.

13. Natural hazards

New Zealand is a rustling country – that often experiences earthquakes, volcanoes, and critical condition on thermal areas. You need to be very careful in these situations if you are living in these hazard prone areas. Always wear good footwear, move out of home if emerged with earthquake.

Note- Rescue operation at New Zealand is done very safely and in a very short span of time.

14. Night life in New Zealand

The night life of New Zealand is quite active. You will find a variety of night-clubs, cabarets, pubs, concerts and live performance centers. There are many casinos, located in Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown, which are 24 hours open.

15. Safety and security

The reputation of being a safe society is still preserved by New Zealand. But one should always have precautions enlisted in case any crime or mis-happening occurs.

  • Stay on the areas and the streets where people or commotion occurs, If you are a woman don't travel late alone during night.
  • Always lock your car and carry your belongings safely.

However, New Zealand police is always there to help. The emergency dial 111 will connect you to the nearest police station ASAP.

16. Discrimination and Equality

We believe in equality. So, racism or racial discrimination is not acceptable in New Zealand. Generally with respect to all backgrounds and differences between people this discrimination is not tolerable. It's against the legal notions of the country.

  • On basis of Gender - whether you’re male or female
  • On marital status – married, single, divorced or separated
  • On religious belief
  • On race
  • On ethnicity or nationality – where you come from
  • The disability
  • The sexual orientation – whether you are homosexual or heterosexual
  • On age – from over the age of 16
  • Through political opinion
  • The employment status, or
  • On family status

In case of any violence whether verbal, physical, mental or emotional, you have the complete right to seek help and dial 111 the emergency helpline number. Whereas in case of racial discrimination you can contact the Ethnic Relations Office, which is part of the Human Rights Commission in New Zealand. They will investigate your complaint and you will be provided justice.

Note -- No money required to file a complaint.

17. Shopping and Fun

Shops and businesses are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. In the cities and larger towns, shops stay open until 5.30pm. Whereas, the tourist resorts shops open for longer hours- particularly in the high season.

18. What to buy?

New Zealand offers a huge variety of shopping in all kinds of arts and craft markets, galleries and museum shops to exclusionary designer stores.

1. The traditional New Zealand souvenirs are also easily available.
2. You can also find handmade jewelry and ornaments.
3. Pottery is famous in New Zealand and today many artisans work in stone, wood, glass and metals, as an advanced version of art.
4. New Zealand has an established wool industry that provides you with can hand-knitted wool sweaters, wall hangings, homespun yarns and top-quality sheepskins.

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