Foreign travel advice

New Zealand

Summary

Due to structural damage from the earthquakes, the British High Commission building in Wellington was closed on 21 November 2016 until further notice and staff are working from back-up locations. If you’re a British national in New Zealand and need assistance, please telephone 04 924 2888 (local number) to be connected to a consular duty officer.

Following the 7.8 earthquake on New Zealand’s South Island in the early hours of 14 November 2016, aftershocks are likely to continue for some time and may be felt across the country. For more information about forecasts and probabilities for further seismic activity, see the GeoNet website.

To learn more about what to do before, during and after an earthquake, see the New Zealand Ministry of Defence & Emergency Management, New Zealand Earthquake Commission and Get Ready Get Thru websites. If a major earthquake or landslide occurs close to shore, you should follow the instructions of local authorities, bearing in mind that a tsunami could arrive within minutes.

The 14 November earthquake caused significant damage to roads and rail in the Canterbury region between Christchurch and Picton, making some areas inaccessible. For the latest information on road closures, see the New Zealand Transport Agency website.

If you’re visiting remote areas of New Zealand, make sure your journey details are known to local authorities or friends/relatives before setting out. Weather conditions can quickly become treacherous, especially in winter. See Local travel

There is a low threat from terrorism. See Terrorism

Around 200,000 British nationals visit New Zealand every year. Most visits are trouble-free.

There’s no British representation on the Cook Islands, or the islands of Niue or Tokelau. You should contact the New Zealand High Commission if you need consular assistance on the Cook Islands or Niue. If you need consular assistance on Tokelau, contact the British High Commission in Wellington.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. Make sure this covers you for all activities you plan to do while in New Zealand, including manual labour if you’re backpacking; and adventure sports like bungee jumping, diving and paragliding.