New Zealand Safety

The emergency telephone number in New Zealand is 111. Ambulance, Fire, Police, Coastguard and Marine and Mountain Rescue can all be rapidly contacted via this one, FREE, emergencies only number. 112 or 911 also works from mobiles - even when there is no credit available and even if no SIM card is present at all. 555 can also be called for non-emergency traffic incidents from mobiles.

Severe weather is by far the most common natural hazard encountered in New Zealand. Weather forecasts are generally reliable for overall trends and severe weather warnings should be heeded when broadcast. New Zealand has a very high level of ultraviolet radiation and skin cancer, around 40% more intense than you will find in the Mediterranean during the summer. Sunglasses and sunscreen are highly recommended.

The New Zealand Police, a national force, are generally polite and helpful. Police regularly conduct drink-drive blitzes, often setting up screening checkpoints all around an area, including all lanes of motorways. Dishonesty offences, such as theft, are by far the most frequent type of crime. Violent crime in public places is generally associated with alcohol or illicit drug consumption. Rowdy bars or drunken crowds in city centres, or groups of youths in the suburbs, are best avoided, especially late at night and in the early morning.