Travel Tips for New Zealand, Updated Intl. Guide – Travel Medicine, Inc.
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New Zealand

Capital: Wellington

Time Zone: +12 hours. No daylight savings time at this time.
Tel. Country Code: 64
USADirect Tel.: 0
Electrical Standards: Electrical current is 220/50 (volts/hz). South Pacific Style Adaptor Plug. Grounding Adaptor Plug E.

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Resource Links

World Health Organization
Travel Health Services
Country Insights
Travel Warnings
Consular Information
Foreign Commonweatlh Office


• U.S. Embassy
29 Fitzherbert Terrace
Thornton, Wellington
Tel: [64] (4) 462-6000

• Canadian Embassy
3rd Floor, 61 Molesworth Street
Thorndon, Wellington
Tel: [64] 473-9577

• Routine consular matters are covered by The British High Commission in Wellington.

• British High Commission
44 Hill Street
Wellington 1
Tel: [64] (4) 924 2888

There is no British consular representation on the Cook Islands, or the islands of Niue and Tokelau.

In case of emergency in Niue contact:

• New Zealand High Commissioner
Tel: [683] 4022
Fax: [683] 4173
Office Hours: Monday to Friday 0730 to1200hrs, 1300 to1600hrs

In case of emergency in Tokelau contact:

The Honorary British Consul in Samoa
C/- Kruse, Enari & Barlow, Barristers & Solicitors
2nd floor NPF Building, Beach Road
Central Apia
Tel: [685] 21895
Fax: [685] 21407

Entry Requirements

HIV Test: Not required.

Required Vaccinations: None required.

Passport Information

Passport/Visa: New Zealand is a highly developed, stable parliamentary democracy, which recognizes the British monarch as sovereign. It has a modern economy, and tourist facilities are widely available. The New Zealand Tourist Board, which has a wide range of information of interest to travelers, can be contacted via the Internet at . Read the Department of State Background Note on New Zealand for additional information.

ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: U.S. citizens eligible for a visa waiver do not need a visa for tourist stays of three months or less. For more information about visa waivers and entry requirements, contact the Embassy of New Zealand, 37 Observatory Circle, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 328-4800, or the Consulate General of New Zealand in Los Angeles, 2425 Olympic Blvd Suite 600E, Santa Monica, CA 90404, telephone (310) 566 6555, 

Vaccinations: Recommended and Routine

Hepatitis A: Recommended for all travelers >1 year of age not previously immunized against hepatitis A.

Hepatitis B: Recommended for all non-immune travelers at potential risk for acquiring this infection. Hepatitis B is transmitted via infected blood or bodily fluids. Travelers may be exposed by needle sharing and unprotected sex; when receiving medical or dental injections, or unscreened transfusions; by direct contact between open skin lesions. Recommended for any traveler requesting protection against hepatitis B infection.

Influenza: Vaccination recommended for all travelers >6 months of age who have not received a flu shot in the previous 12 months.

Routine Immunizations: Immunizations against tetanus-diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella (MMR vaccine) and varicella (chickenpox) should be updated, if necessary, before departure. MMR protection is especially important for any female of childbearing age who may become pregnant.
• The new Tdap vaccine, ADACEL, which also boosts immunity against pertussis (whooping cough) should be considered when a tetanus-diphtheria booster is indicated.

Hospitals / Doctors

All travelers should be up-to-date on their immunizations and are advised to carry a medical kit as well as antibiotics to treat travelers’ diarrhea or other infections. Travelers who are taking regular medications should carry them properly labeled and in sufficient quantity to last for the duration of their trip; they should not expect to obtain prescription or over-the-counter drugs in local stores or pharmacies in this country—the equivalent drugs may not be available.
• Travelers are advised to obtain comprehensive travel insurance that provides for medical evacuation to more advanced medical facility in the event of serious illness or injury. In the event of a medical emergency, evacuation to mainland New Zealand is likely to be the only option for treatment, and insurance policies should cover this eventuality.
• Medical facilities, both public and private, are of a high standard. Telephone numbers for doctors and hospitals are listed at the front of the white pages of local telephone directories. Should visitors need drugs or pharmaceutical supplies outside normal shopping hours, they should refer to the “Urgent Pharmacies” section in the local telephone directory for the location of the nearest pharmacy or check with their hotel. Many hotels have doctors on call.

Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease specialists:

• Briar Campbell, MD
The Travel Doctor
The Grand Arcade, Willis Street
Telephone: [64] (04) 4730991
Pre-Travel Vaccination, Official Yellow Fever Vaccine Center, Post-Travel Medical Consultation.

• Marc Shaw, MD
Worldwise Travellers Health and Vaccination Centre
72 Remuera Road
Telephone: [64] (9) 520-5830; Fax: [+64] (9) 520-5832
Pre-Travel Vaccination, Official Yellow Fever Vaccine Center, Post-Travel Medical Consultation, On-Site Diagnostic Laboratory.

Destination Health Info for Travelers

AIDS/HIV: New Zealand, like Australia, adopted a very progressive response to the arrival of HIV infection and introduced routine control measures early in the epidemic. As a consequence, the prevalence of HIV infection has remained relatively low, particularly among injecting drug users. Most cases of HIV/AIDS are in men who have sex with men. The response to other sexually transmitted infections has been far less adequate; consequently, rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia infection appear to be rising.
Source: CDC Emerging Infectious Diseases:
• Transmission of HIV can be prevented by avoiding: sexual contact with a high-risk partner; injecting drug use with shared needles; non-sterile medical injections; unscreened blood transfusions.
• The threat of HIV/AIDS should not be a primary concern for the traveler. However, there may be a concern for a subset of travelers who may be exposed to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, through contact with another person’s body fluids or blood. Although travel has contributed in a general way to the global spread of AIDS, fear of traveling because of this disease is not warranted.

Accidents & Medical Insurance: Accidents and injuries are the leading cause of death among travelers under the age of 55 and are most often caused by motor vehicle and motorcycle crashes; drownings, aircraft crashes, homicides, and burns are lesser causes.
• Heart attacks cause most fatalities in older travelers.
• Infections cause only 1% of fatalities in overseas travelers, but, overall, infections are the most common cause of travel-related illness.
• MEDICAL INSURANCE: Travelers are advised to obtain, prior to departure, supplemental travel health insurance with specific overseas coverage. The policy should provide for direct payment to the overseas hospital and/or physician at the time of service and include a medical evacuation benefit. The policy should also provide 24-hour hotline access to a multilingual assistance center that can help arrange and monitor delivery of medical care and determine if medevac or air ambulance services are required.

Dengue Fever: Health authority of New Zealand have reported 23 cases in 2008 and reminded the public of an ongoing outbreak in Tonga in the nearby South Pacific Ocean. Between October 2006 and 15 May 2007, >1300 cases of dengue fever were reported, a large number of which were on Raratonga. For more information on the disease, please consult the World Health Organization’s dengue fact sheet (under “health topics”) at the following website:
Dengue fever is a mosquito-transmitted, flu-like viral illness widespread in Oceania. Symptoms consist of sudden onset of fever, headache, muscle aches, and a rash. A syndrome of hemorrhagic shock can occur in severe cases.
Dengue is transmitted via the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. Aedes mosquitoes feed predominantly during daylight hours. All travelers are at risk and should take measures to prevent daytime mosquito bites. Insect-bite prevention measures include applying a DEET-containing repellent to exposed skin and applying permethrin spray or solution to clothing and gear.
• There is no vaccination or medication to prevent or treat dengue.

A dengue fever map is at:

Hepatitis: An outbreak of hepatitis A affecting 10 people was reported in Christchurch in 2006. Although the risk of hepatitis A is low in this country, all travelers not previously immunized against hepatitis A be vaccinated. Hepatitis A is transmitted through contaminated food and water. Travelers who will have access to safe food and water are at lower risk. Those at higher risk include travelers visiting friends and relatives, long-term travelers, and those visiting areas of poor sanitation.
Hepatitis E may be endemic but the prevalence is unclear. Sporadic cases might occur and be underdiagnosed or underreported. Transmission of the hepatitis E virus (HEV) occurs primarily through drinking water contaminated by sewage and also through raw or uncooked shellfish. Farm animals, such as swine, and also deer and wild boar, may serve as a viral reservoirs. (HEV is one of the few viruses which has been shown to be transmitted directly from animals through food.) In developing countries, prevention of hepatitis E relies primarily on the provision of clean water supplies and overall improved sanitation and hygiene. There is no vaccine.
• The overall hepatitis B (HBsAg) carrier rate in the general population is estimated at <2% but up to 10% amongst the Maori tribe and Asian/Polynesian residents. Hepatitis B is transmitted via infected blood or bodily fluids. Travelers may be exposed by needle sharing and unprotected sex; from non-sterile medical or dental injections, and acupuncture; from unscreened blood transfusions; by direct contact with open skin lesions of an infected person. The average traveler is at low risk for acquiring this infection. Vaccination against hepatitis B is recommended for: persons having casual/unprotected sex with new partners; sexual tourists; injecting drug users; long-term visitors; expatriates, and anybody wanting increased protection against the hepatitis B virus.
• Hepatitis C is endemic at low levels.

Influenza: Influenza is transmitted from April through September in the Southern Hemisphere. The flu vaccine is recommended for all travelers over age 6 months.

Other Diseases/Hazards: Leptospirosis is hyperendemic in New Zealand and is a frequent cause of disease in farmers and meat workers. It is not a significant threat to tourists.
• An outbreak of murine typhus was reported from the Waikato region of North Island in 2006. Travelers who visit rat-infested buildings may be at slight risk, especially in coastal areas.
• Legionnaires’ disease is reported from South Island and accounts for abut 10% of community-acquired pneumonia.

Travelers' Diarrhea: Low risk. Tap water is considered potable countrywide. A quinolone antibiotic, or azithromycin, combined with loperamide (Imodium), is recommended for the treatment of acute diarrhea. Campylobacter, salmonellosis, and Yersinia are reported. Diarrhea not responding to antibiotic treatment may be due to a parasitic disease, such as giardiasis—or an intestinal virus.
• Giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis rates are high but reasons are not entirely clear. Spring/summer outbreaks of cryptosporidium diarrhea have occurred since 1996. Close contact with calves and lambs may increase risk.

Typhoid Fever: Three cases of typhoid reported in 2007, most likely imported in food from Samoa. Current vaccines against Salmonella typhi are only 50-80% protective and do not protect against Salmonella paratyphi. Travelers should practice strict food, water and personal hygiene precautions even if vaccinated.
Vaccination against typhoid is not routinely recommended for travel to New Zealand.