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Population approx. 4.3+ million, with 1.3+ million in Auckland. New Zealand is 12hrs ahead of GMT but 13 hrs ahead in summer (Daylight Saving Time starts September 25 2011).
Police, Fire, Ambulance (free call) 111 (24 hrs) all areas
AA Emergency Road Service (free call) 0800 500 222 (24 hrs) all areas
New Zealand is a relatively informal society. Smoking is banned in offices, shops, bars, hotels, planes, all public transport.
Tipping in taxis, restaurants & hotels is NOT obligatory, but it is not inappropriate to reward particularly good service.
The islands of New Zealand are in the path of the 'roaring forties' (winds that circle the lower part of the globe and are 1,600km (990 miles) from Australia.
Capt James Cook circumnavigated the main islands in 1769 and sealing & whaling soon followed. The Treaty with the British was signed in 1840 at Waitangi. Many English & Scottish settled in NZ after the Treaty was signed.
New Zealand has been a land apart for around 80 million years, and is the home to many plants and animals found nowhere else on the planet.
The flightless bird the kiwi, found more in the warm Northland forests is a NZ icon and New Zealanders overseas are often referred to as 'kiwis'.
Embassies & Consulates
Australia High Commission - Hobson St, Thorndon, Wgtn.. PH(04)473 6411
Canada - 125 The Terrace, Wgtn (04)473 9577
Indonesia - Glen Rd, Kelburn, Wgtn. Ph (04)475 8697
United Kingdom - Hill St, Wgtn (04)924 2888
United States - Fitzherbert Tce, Thorndon, Wgtn. Ph (04)462 6000
|Climate Ranges from temperate to sub-tropical
Disabled Access All new and greatly renovated buildings are legally required to have adequate access for disabled people. Most restaurants, theatres, airports, shopping centres, hotels, carparks etc have wheelchair facilities and guide dogs are welcome.
Electrical Supply 230/240 volts 50 hertz. Most hotels & motels provide 110 volt AC sockets for razors, otherwise an adapter is necessary.
Television The main free-to-air channels are TV1 & TV2, TV3, Prime, Maori Television & C4.
Pay-channel Sky offers many US & UK programs and news.
Online TV Guide (free) for all channels
Weights & Measure NZ is metric
1 centimetre = 0.4 inches 1 metre = 3 feet 3 inches 1 kilometre = 0.6 miles
1 inch = 2.54 cm 1 foot = 30 cm 1 mile = 1.6 kilometres
Currency 100 cents in $1 NZ
(very approx equal to .823 Canadian dollar, .387 British Pound, .676 US dollar). NZ converted to decimal currency in 1966
Banking Banks are normally open 9.30 - 4.30 Mon to Fri. Banks at international airports normally open to coincide with incoming & departing flights.
Credit Cards All major cards are accepted in the main cities and major tourist facilities. In small shops they may not be accepted. The logos of cards accepted are usually very clearly displayed.