Health & Safety

Accidents & Insurance:
With a little care and common sense, your visit to New Zealand should be accident-free. If you are injured here, you may need the help of the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) - New Zealand's accident compensation scheme.

In New Zealand, you cannot sue anyone for compensatory damages if you are injured. Instead ACC helps pay for your care - and that means paying towards the cost of your treatment and helping in your recovery while you remain in New Zealand.

You still need to purchase your own travel and medical insurance because ACC does not cover everything. ACC only covers treatment and rehabilitation in New Zealand, and usually you must pay part of the cost yourself. If you have a serious injury, with long-term effects, you may also be eligible to be assessed for lump-sum compensation once the injury is stable.
The ACC does not pay any additional costs resulting from an accident, for example delayed or curtailed travel costs, travel home, treatment at home and loss of income in your home country.

We strongly advise you to arrange your own health insurance. New Zealand's public and private medical/hospital facilities provide a high standard of treatment and service but it is important to note these services are not free to visitors, except as a result of an accident.

Visitors bringing in a quantity of medication are advised to carry a doctor's certificate to avoid possible problems with New Zealand Customs. Doctor's prescriptions are needed to obtain certain drugs in New Zealand.

Vaccinations:
No vaccinations are required to enter New Zealand.

General Safety & Security:
New Zealand is one of the safest holiday destinations in the world. However, you are advised to observe the same precautions with your personal safety and possessions as you would in any other country or at home. We recommend you invest in comprehensive travel insurance before departing.

Water Safety:
Tap (faucet) water is safe to drink. City water is chlorinated; most is fluoridated. Water sourced from rivers and lakes should be boiled or treated before drinking.

Precautions to take:
Although there are no snakes or dangerous wild animals in New Zealand, you should be aware of the following:

Variable Weather - Weather conditions in New Zealand alpine areas can change rapidly. Be prepared for cold wet weather if you plan to walk in our National Parks, whatever the time of year.

Sandflies - In wetter areas, particularly in Fiordland, sandflies can be pests, but are effectively controlled by use of an insect repellent.

Giardia - Giardia is a water-borne parasite that causes diarrhoea. To avoid contracting it, it is best not to drink water from lakes, ponds or rivers without first boiling, chemically treating or filtering it.

Sunburn - New Zealand's clear, unpolluted atmosphere and relatively low latitudes produce sunlight stronger than much of Europe or North America, so be prepared to wear hats and sun block if you plan to be out in the sun for more than 15 - 20 minutes.