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New Zealand

If you’re travelling to New Zealand, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Get travel and medical insurance

Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.

Accident Compensation Corporation

There is no reciprocal health agreement between Ireland and New Zealand. The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) scheme in New Zealand may cover some costs incurred for treatment needed as a result of an accident, but it may not cover all costs. Because of the support available through ACC, it’s not possible to sue for personal injury in New Zealand. ACC doesn’t cover any cost of treatment for non-accidental injuries.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Natural Disasters and Climate
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

Ireland is implementing the new EU ‘traffic lights’ approach to travel, which applies to countries in the EU / EEA (+ UK). Our current advice for travel to these countries is ‘exercise a high degree of caution’. Our general advice for any other overseas travel remains ‘avoid non-essential travel’ or in some cases, ‘do not travel’. Travel within the island of Ireland can continue as normal, subject to domestic public health restrictions as outlined on gov.ie.

Our TravelWise app has been suspended while we move to implement the new EU system. We apologise for this inconvenience. Updated information will continue to be provided on this website.

On 13 October, Member States adopted the EU Recommendation on a coordinated approach to travel restrictions in the context of COVID-19. This ‘traffic lights’ approach provides for regions across the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) to be categorised as green, orange, red or grey, on the basis of the risk levels associated with COVID-19. A combined indicator map will be published each week by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), based on agreed criteria, including the 14-day cumulative incidence rate, testing rate and testing positivity rates.

In line with the EU Recommendation, there will be no entry restrictions on passengers travelling from green regions. Each Member State will decide in due course what entry restrictions it will apply to passengers travelling from red, orange and grey regions. This website will gradually provide more information as it becomes available.

Information about what to do on entering Ireland from abroad:

All passengers arriving into Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form before entry. In line with the EU traffic lights approach, there are no entry restrictions on travellers from green regions. Currently, all passengers entering Ireland from red, orange and grey regions are requested to restrict their movements for 14 days. For further details please see the Irish Government Advice Page. Everyone is asked to comply with restrictions within Ireland, including those under the National Framework for Living with COVID-19. These are listed on the Official website of the Irish Government.

If you are considering travelling outside of Ireland:

In accordance with Government policy, which is based on official public health advice, the Department of Foreign Affairs continues to advise against non-essential travel overseas, other than to countries that are part of the EU ‘traffic lights’ approach, where the advice is to exercise a high degree of caution (this includes Great Britain but not Northern Ireland). The situation in relation to COVID-19 continues to evolve quickly around the world. Citizens who are considering any overseas travel are advised to carefully monitor the official advice and information from the public authorities in their destination.

Should you decide that you need to travel, you should inform yourself about any requirements in the destination to which you are travelling. Information about entry restrictions currently applied by other countries is available on the country-specific travel advice pages. Additional restrictions may be imposed, including during the duration of your visit. Flight restrictions and route cancellations continue to occur worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will operate as scheduled. It is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage at this time. Any Irish citizen considering any overseas travel should monitor news and information from the public authorities in their country or region of destination. Citizens are advised to follow the public health guidelines of the local health authorities and to continue to practice physical distancing measures, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette etc.

The purpose of the Department’s Travel Advice is to provide information to the general public so that individuals can make informed decisions for themselves. There are significant risks associated with international travel in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this is likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future. Citizens should be aware of the possible limitations to any consular assistance that could be provided. Any citizens who are considering travel abroad, or those already abroad, are advised to monitor our travel advice, and follow us on Twitter. They are also advised to register with their local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Where to go for further travel information:

Overview

Security status

Avoid non-essential travel.

Security Status Last Updated: 16 March 2020

New Zealand’s National Terrorism Threat is assessed as ‘medium’.

COVID-19 

Emergency responses to the Covid-19 crisis in many countries have included restrictions of flights to/from Europe; imposition of new mandatory quarantine arrangements and new restrictions affecting the admission of Irish people travelling to and within the Asia Pacific region.

The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly advises against any non–essential travel to the region until further notice.

For more information, please see the latest update on our webpage.

Alert Level 1

On Monday 8 June at 11:59 pm New Zealand moved to Alert Level 1. Movement around the country, and most other restrictions and legal requirements on businesses, services and individuals have been relaxed.

Controls at New Zealand’s borders remain, including health screening and testing for all arrivals, and mandatory 14-day managed quarantine or isolation. As COVID-19 is still uncontrolled overseas, there’s a focus on protecting New Zealanders with robust border controls. Boarders will remain closed to travellers, including Irish citizens.

People to whom this does not apply:

  • New Zealand citizens and residence class visa holders (including the Realm),
  • The partner, legal guardian or any dependent children travelling with a New Zealand citizen or residence class visa holder,
  • Australian citizens and permanent residence class visa holders ordinarily resident in New Zealand, and
  • People subject to regulation 25 of the Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010, which includes air and marine crew.
  • Diplomats accredited to New Zealand and currently resident in New Zealand.

For further information please see: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-current-situation/covid-19-border-controls

New Entry Requirements

From the 1st October, 2019, the New Zealand Government will require a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) for all visiting and transit passengers from Ireland. Please see the requirements and ways to apply under the “Additional Information” section.

Emergency Assistance

If you require assistance please contact the Honorary Consulate in Auckland on 0064 9 919 7450 as a first step. If a call is made to us outside normal business hours then citizens should be advised to listen to the local telephone message. It will direct callers to a mobile number.

The Embassy in Wellington can assist in the event the Consulate in New Zealand is unavailable. Please contact the website or phone +64 4 4712252. We suggest you learn as much as you can about New Zealand before your trip from travel agents, tour operators and guide books. The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems when you’re in New Zealand, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

EU Directive on Consular Protection

Under the EU Consular Protection Directive, Irish nationals may seek assistance from the Embassy or Consulate of any other EU member state in a country where there is no Irish Embassy or permanent representation.

Our tips for safe travels

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency.
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
  • Read our Topical ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Crime

  • Take the same precautions with your belongings and personal items in New Zealand as at home. Look out for petty crime anywhere and always take sensible precautions: 
  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place
  • Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home
  • In large cities there are always areas which are better to avoid, particularly late at night. Use common sense and inform yourself locally of safe places to socialise
  • Be particularly careful with personal possessions and travel documents in popular tourist destinations such as Auckland, Rotorua and Queenstown. Thefts from accommodation and unattended vehicles, including campervans, can occur.
  • Tourism New Zealand has comprehensive safety advice on its website

Stolen/lost passports

If your passport is lost or stolen while you’re in New Zealand please report it to the police as soon as possible and to the Consulate on the next working day. The Consulate can issue Irish passports on completion of a new application, duly witnessed, with all supporting documents and fee. The process normally takes approximately six weeks.

You’ll need a birth certificate to replace a lost or stolen passport and we advise you to travel with a Garda-certified copy of your birth certificate or, at the very least, make sure someone at home has easy access to it in case you need to apply for a new passport in New Zealand.

Emergency arrangements are available for those who need to travel but the Consulate will not issue an emergency travel document for purposes other than urgent travel.

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in New Zealand, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Wellington Wellington if you need help.

Driving

If you’re planning to drive in New Zealand, take the same care as you would when driving at home. Road quality in New Zealand is generally very good, however, roads through more remote areas such as ski-fields or National Parks may not be in good condition. There are few motorways, and journey times can be deceptively long. Check before you drive.

If you want to drive:

  • Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
  • When you park on a road make sure the vehicle is facing in the direction of the traffic
  • If you plan to stay in New Zealand for 12 months or more, you are required to get a New Zealand driving licence.

Car documentation

It’s compulsory to carry your driver’s licence with you when driving, and there’s an instant fine for not doing so. Check the insurance policy of any car you’re driving, particularly if borrowing a car from a friend.

Driver fatigue

Driver fatigue is a major killer on New Zealand roads and we recommend that you take regular rest breaks when driving long distances. It’s also important to check the roadworthiness of your vehicle, particularly before setting out on long distance travel in remote areas.

Alcohol

As with driving in Ireland, you should respect the rules of the road including the law regarding drink driving. Use your common sense in avoiding dangerous situations such as travelling as a passenger with a driver who is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Hiring a vehicle

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Adventure activities

Many travellers go to New Zealand to take part in adventure activities. It’s important that you inform yourself fully of the risks involved and be sure that tour and activity operators are meeting safety standards. Never take part in these activities unless you’re covered by an adequate level of travel insurance.

Swimming

Make sure lifeguards are on patrol and always swim between the flags on New Zealand beaches. However tempting a remote and unsupervised beach may appear, don’t swim there. Many beaches have dangerous ‘rips’ (currents). Always check the signs before swimming. Never swim after drinking alcohol or taking drugs and avoid swimming alone.

Accident Compensation Corporation

There is no reciprocal health agreement between Ireland and New Zealand. The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) scheme in New Zealand may cover some costs incurred for treatment needed as a result of an accident, but it may not cover all costs. Because of the support available through ACC, it's not possible to sue for personal injury in New Zealand. ACC doesn't cover any cost of treatment for non-accidental injuries.

 

 

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.

Personal identification

We recommend anyone in New Zealand on the one year working holiday scheme to apply for a Kiwi Access card – website www.kiwiaccess.co.nz.  This is an approved photographic ‘evidence of age’ document under the Sale of Liquor Act. The Kiwi Access card is easier to carry than a passport and can be replaced more easily and with less expense if lost or stolen.

Illegal drugs

Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.

Alcohol

Attitudes to alcohol can vary from one society to another and New Zealand is generally more conservative in this regard than often imagined. A number of Irish visitors have spent a night in the police cells in New Zealand having been arrested while under the influence.

While minor indiscretions are dealt with quickly by the courts and will usually be dealt with by a fine, it’s surprisingly easy to get a criminal conviction, and this will have a negative effect on your ability to remain in New Zealand, to re-enter in the future, or to get a visa for other countries.

Be aware of the risk of having drinks spiked and take normal precautions.

Finally, remember that New Zealand Police are strict and will not tolerate disrespectful language, much less physical contact, from inebriated revellers.

Outstanding Fines

It is advisable that Irish citizens pay any outstanding fines, in particular parking fines prior to leaving the country. New Zealand has a policy of stopping travellers from leaving the country until such fines are paid. For your information, there is a threshold amount (which changes from time to time) where travellers will be stopped if their fines exceed that amount.

Natural Disasters and Climate

Natural disasters and climate

Earthquake

New Zealand lies along a seismically active area and as such is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity. For advice on what to do in an earthquake, please check the Get Thru website for more information.

Extreme weather

When travelling to or through remote areas, we advise you to check on weather conditions before departing and pack equipment and clothing suitable for extremes of weather.
When travelling through remote areas, make sure you tell the park operators (or someone else) where you’re going and how long you expect to be away. Check New Zealand Department of Conservation for more information about enjoying National Parks and MetService for up-to-date weather forecasts and warnings.

Additional Information

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

Irish passport holders don’t need a visa to enter New Zealand and, on arrival, may be granted a visitors permit for up to 90 days. You’ll still be required to provide:

  • travel tickets or evidence of onward travel arrangements, and
  • evidence of funds for maintenance
The New Zealand Government has recently introduced the NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) for visitors and transit passengers from visa waiver countries, including Ireland. 
 
The NZeTA will be required for travel to New Zealand from 1 October 2019, and can be requested via the official mobile app or website at https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa/about-visa/nzeta. The NZeTA will cost NZD $9 on the mobile app, or NZD $12 online. Visitors will also be required to pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL). The IVL costs NZD $35 and is paid at the same time as the NZeTA.
 
Visitors are advised to apply for the NZeTA at least 72 hours prior to travel in order for it to be processed in good time. The criteria for a successful application can be found here https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa/criteria/nzeta?nationality=nationality-IRL&country=residence-IRL
 
Visitors who already hold a valid visa, such as Permanent Residents, do not require a NZeTA (or IVL).

Passports

New Zealand law doesn’t require that you carry your passport with you and, to avoid loss or theft, we advise against doing so unless it is absolutely necessary. It is a good idea to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you during your visit.

Biosecurity

New Zealand has very strict biosecurity procedures at airports and ports to prevent the introduction of pests and diseases of animals and plants. On arrival, you’ll be given a ‘Passenger Arrival Card’ that you will need to fill in before entering New Zealand. This is a legal document. If you break the law by giving false or incorrect declarations it may result in fines or imprisonment.

People failing to declare biosecurity risk goods can receive an instant fine of $400, be fined up to $100,000 and/or face up to five years in prison.

Risk items include food, plants and plant products, live animals, animal products, salt and freshwater products and items associated with water, sporting and camping equipment. A full list of risk goods that must be declared is on the Passenger Arrival Card or from the MAF Biosecurity website. If you have any risk goods you no longer want to keep, put them in the amnesty bins provided at the airport's arrivals area or declare them on your Passenger Arrival Card. The bins are usually your last opportunity to throw away risk goods before entering MAF's Biosecurity area.

On arrival you may see MAF Biosecurity Detector Dogs that are specially trained to sniff out risk goods. Your bags may also go through an x-ray machine. If any items are found, Biosecurity staff may open your bags for inspection. Make sure that you declare or dispose of any prohibited items before the biosecurity process.

For further advice and information, please contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of New Zealand.

Health

People intending to travel to New Zealand should be fully immunised for measles. If you need an additional vaccination, it should be administered at least two weeks before arriving in New Zealand. Remember, people who aren't immune and have early symptoms of measles (fever, cough, runny nose, sore eyes and/or a rash) shouldn't travel.

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for New Zealand.

 

 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

Contact our Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand or the Honorary Consulate in Auckland for assistance.

Embassy of Ireland, Wellington
Level 14, Solnet House
70 The Terrace
Wellington 6011
New Zealand

Tel: + 64 4 4712252

Contact us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Physical address

Honorary Consulate General of Ireland
Level One
5 High Street
Auckland
New Zealand

Postal address

Honorary Consulate General of Ireland
PO Box 279
Auckland 1140
New Zealand

Tel: +64 9 9197450

Contact us