Cablegate: New Zealand Country Clearance for Tony Olsen, April 11-27,

DE RUEHWL #0225/01 0730359
R 140359Z MAR 07






E.O. 12985: N/A

REF: STATE 31443

1. (SBU) Embassy welcomes and grants country clearance to EPA
Official Tony Olsen to travel to Hanmer Springs, Auckland, and
Christchurch, New Zealand from April 11-27, 2007. The purpose of
this visit is to attend a meeting of the New Zealand Institute of
Mathematical Analysis (NZIMA) Programme on modeling invasive species
and weed impact.

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
Auckland hotels is approximately NZD $60.00, and approximately NZD
$30.00 in Christchurch. A commercial shuttle service is also
offered at the airport.

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

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,

WELLINGTON 00000225 002 OF 002

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 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


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