Viewing cable 05WELLINGTON868

05WELLINGTON8682005-11-07 03:04:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Wellington
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12985:  N/A 
REF:  STATE 202189 
¶1.  (SBU) Embassy welcomes and grants country clearance to 
Dawn Hope, assistant director, and Hugh Paquette, analyst, 
from GAO's Homeland Security and Justice Team to travel to 
Wellington and Auckland, New Zealand from December 1 to 6, 
¶2005.  The purpose of this visit is to review pre- 
screening of passengers on U.S.-bound international 
flights (GAO Job Code 440403). 
¶2.  (U) Embassy is pleased to work with GAO and to make 
the hotel arrangements and schedule meetings for Ms. Hope 
and Mr. Paquette. 
¶3.  (SBU) Embassy point of contact is Economic Officer Joy 
Yamamoto.  Contact details are as follows: 
Office:  644-462-6182 
Fax:     644-472-3537 
Cell:    027-446-4467 
¶4.  (SBU) All TDY visitors to Embassy Wellington are 
required to report to the Regional Security Office for a 
security briefing if they have not completed an approved 
overseas personal security-training course. 
¶5.  (U) Visitors should use local taxi service, which is 
generally safe, reliable and frequent.  Taxi fare from the 
airport to downtown Wellington hotels is approximately NZD 
$30.00.  Taxi fare from the airport to downtown Auckland 
hotels is approximately NZD $55-65.  A commercial shuttle 
service is also offered at the airports. 
¶6.  (U) Travelers can exchange currency at the airport 
upon arrival and ATM machines are readily available 
throughout New Zealand.  Check cashing privileges at the 
Embassy are restricted to traveler's checks only up to USD 
$300.00.  Personal checks will not be accepted. 
¶7.  (SBU) Biosecurity Fines: 
The Government of New Zealand instituted fines for non- 
declared biosecurity hazards on travelers entering New 
Zealand with undeclared plant, animal or food material. 
Travelers found carrying these undeclared items will be 
immediately fined NZD $200.00 (USD $150.00).  Biosecurity 
is a serious issue in New Zealand and fines will be 
administered immediately and without warnings. 
¶8.  (SBU) Security Information: 
a.  (SBU) All U.S. citizen personnel serving under the 
Chief of Mission authority in a temporary status of 30 
days or more must complete appropriate overseas personal 
security training prior to travel (04 State 66580). 
Employees who have completed the Security Overseas Seminar 
course at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) after June 
1, 2000, meet this requirement.  All other TDY personnel 
must either (1) complete the approved seminar at FSI 
entitled "Serving Abroad for Families and Employees" 
(SAFE), or (2) have their agency certify to the Department 
of State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security that the employee 
has undergone equivalent security training.  The contact 
for this training is Assistant Director for Training at 
(703) 205-2617.  Country clearance will not be granted for 
any traveler with planned TDY in excess of 30 days if this 
information is not stated/certified.  POC for additional 
information is RSO Wellington. 
b.  (SBU) The U.S. Mission in New Zealand currently rates 
the threat from transnational and indigenous terrorism as 
low.  There are no terrorist groups or support groups 
believed to be operating in New Zealand at this time.  In 
light of the worldwide security alert all visitors should 
heighten their security awareness and report any unusual 
incidents to the Regional Security Officer. 
c.  (SBU) Anonymous telephonic threats and obscure threat 
mail have occasionally targeted U.S. diplomatic missions 
in New Zealand.  In response to U.S. policies and actions, 
various groups in New Zealand have demonstrated 
occasionally at the Embassy in Wellington and at the 
Consulate in Auckland.  These demonstrations are usually 
small and are peacefully conducted.  During these 
demonstrations, the host country police and protective 
services normally provide adequate protection to the 
Embassy and Consulate. 
d.  (SBU) New Zealand is considered a medium threat crime 
environment.  As such, Wellington and Auckland have 
experienced an increase in violent and petty crimes, but 
they are usually non-confrontational in nature.  However, 
home invasion robberies and assaults, once very rare, are 
becoming more frequent.  Burglaries and thefts occur 
countrywide but primarily in the large cities of Auckland, 
Christchurch and Wellington, and visitors should be 
especially aware that street crime, such as scams and 
pickpockets, is a daily occurrence in these cities. 
Common sense precautions should be taken, especially at 
night, to avoid becoming a target of opportunity. 
e.  (SBU) Generally, New Zealand does not play a 
significant role in the world drug situation; however, 
evidence indicates that New Zealand has been utilized as a 
transit point for shipments of Ecstasy, Heroin and Cocaine 
to Australia.  The most abused drugs in New Zealand are 
locally produced methamphetamine and cannabis.  There have 
been increased amounts of lab seizures and violent crime 
associated with groups attempting to control this market. 
f.  (U) All forms of public transportation are generally 
safe at all times of the day; however, at night visitors 
should use common sense precautions so as not to become a 
target of opportunity. 
g.  (U) The traffic situation in Auckland can be difficult 
with a moderate amount of congestion.  Wellington and 
Christchurch traffic is significantly better; however, 
during rush hour moderate delays can be expected. 
Visitors are advised that traffic drives on the left-hand 
side of the road.  Visitors are advised that traffic 
accidents are common and that it is safe to pull over so 
that police may take an accident report.  However, 
visitors who experience hostility or anti-American 
sentiment should depart the scene immediately and notify 
the RSO. 
h.  (SBU) Travelers intending to bring and use any USG 
provided electronic or photographic equipment must contact 
the RSO prior to introducing that equipment into the 
Chancery.  Personal electronic or photographic equipment 
is not permitted in the Chancery.  Only in severely 
limited cases will a notebook or laptop computer be 
permitted to be used in the Chancery. 
i.  (U) Precautions should also be taken to not discuss 
sensitive or classified information outside secure 
environments or over unsecured and/or cellular telephones, 
and to securely safeguard classified or sensitive 
information at the Chancery and not at hotels or 
j.  (U) Visitors should also be aware of the State 
Department's Consular Information sheet for New Zealand 
and the most recent Worldwide Caution Public 
Announcements, which are available via the Internet at 
k.  (U) In essence, visitors to New Zealand must exercise 
appropriate caution and be alert to their surroundings 
with regard to their personal security.  Suspicious 
incidents/activities should be reported to RSO Wellington 
(Telephone (64)(4)462-6000, 24 hours/day).