Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Helping New Zealanders offshore

Helping New Zealanders offshore

New Zealand’s Embassies and High Commissions offshore received more than 50,000 queries during the year to 30 June 2014, up 33 percent on the previous year.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade consular divisional manager Lyndal Walker says the five busiest posts for consular work are Bangkok, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Rome and Dubai.

Ms Walker says that while many of these queries are simple and dealt with immediately, in the last year the Ministry managed just under 2000 new cases.”

“The most common reasons that people seek our help involve lost property (including lost passports), being the victim of crime, local immigration difficulties and medical problems. Law infringement cases are on the rise, and we are increasingly being asked for advice and support when a New Zealander dies overseas.

“Also growing is the number of Kiwis being caught up in internet romance scams, which has led us to post a specific warning on www.safetravel.govt.nz.

“Offshore-based scammers go to great lengths to gain the trust of their victim. Once a bond has been established they will typically ask for money or for a task to be undertaken. Often the task is illegal, even if this is not immediately obvious.

“For example, an elderly New Zealander was arrested and detained in prison for some months after entering a European country with a parcel containing cocaine. The scammer had been grooming the victim online for almost a year. They had arranged to meet in Europe, with the scammer asking the victim to collect a package en route.”

Ms Walker says there were some offbeat requests in amongst the 52,085 consular queries received during the past year.

“Our post in Dubai was asked ‘can you pick up my suitcase from prison and deliver it to Egypt?’.

“We’ve also been asked for advice on how to repatriate the ashes of a pet dog to New Zealand.”

Ms Walker says many consular cases could be avoided or made less complex if travellers obeyed the local laws of the country they visited.

“It’s also really important to both take out travel insurance and ensure it covers all activities you’ll be undertaking. Things like skiing, riding on scooters or adventure activities can often be excluded unless you specifically ask for them to be covered. Pre-existing medical conditions should be declared when arranging cover.”

Ms Walker encourages all New Zealanders travelling offshore to register with the Ministry, at www.safetravel.govt.nz. “In an offshore crisis affecting New Zealanders, it’s often those registered with us who are contacted first to confirm they are ok and if they require our assistance.

“For example, at the moment we have 57 Kiwis registered with us in Ebola-affected countries in West Africa, who are receiving regular updates from us on the evolving situation.

“Log-on before you take-off.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Scaring Voters Back Into Line

Fear has always been a useful mobilising tool in politics… yet in 2017, bogeymen of all shapes and sizes seem to have fallen on hard times. For years, the National party had painted itself as being the only reliable defensive bastion against the terrifying prospect of a centre-left government…

In fact, the polls suggest that the public seems to quite like the new government, its Prime Minister, and its proposed plan of action. Somehow, even though a Labour/Greens/NZ First government is in power, the sun is still rising and setting, on time. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Drinking Water As A Failure Of Political Leadership

It is almost possible to feel sorry for the Health Ministry in their terrible, no good, very bad week... More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Saying ‘Work For The Dole,’ Nicely

As New Zealand First learned the hard way from its two previous periods in government, small parties in MMP coalitions get blamed for the unpopular stuff done by their senior partner in power, but no one remembers the good stuff the junior player brought to the table... More>>

ALSO:

Seismic Blasting: Greenpeace Launches Legal Challenge Against Amazon Warrior

A legal challenge against the world’s largest seismic oil exploration ship was launched at a public rally on Parliament Lawn. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: 80,000 People Eligible For Fees Free

The Government has today made good on its 100-day promise of delivering the first year of fees-free post school training and education and industry training from 1 January next year, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Presser: Rebuilding Cathedrals, Felling Trees

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attended the press conference today with Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Dr Megan Woods to announce urgent legislation this week for the rebuilding of the Christ Church Cathedral. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages