Viewing cable 05WELLINGTON894

05WELLINGTON8942005-11-18 02:21:00 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.

180221Z Nov 05
E.O. 12958: N/A 
¶1.  (SBU) Embassy welcomes and grants country clearance to 
Phaedra Budy, U.S. Geological Survey biologist, to travel to 
Christchurch, New Zealand, from December 12, 2005 to January, 
5, 2006.  The purpose of this visit is to collaborate on 
research on ecological assemblage and discuss the potential 
for future collaboration. 
¶2.  (U) Embassy understands that country clearance is the 
only assistance required. 
¶3.  (SBU) Embassy point of contact is Political Officer Tod 
Duran.  Contact details are as follows: 
Office:  644-462-6043 
Fax:     644-472-3537 
Cell:    027-451-2538 
¶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 Christchurch hotels is approximately NZD 
¶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 
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 
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 
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 residences. 
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).