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Cablegate: New Zealand Country Clearance for David Cohen, Thomas

VZCZCXRO9576
RR RUEHAP RUEHNZ
DE RUEHWL #0775/01 2982035
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 252035Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4827
INFO RUEHNZ/AMCONSUL AUCKLAND 1511
RUEHAP/AMEMBASSY APIA 0407
RUEHSV/AMEMBASSY SUVA 0666

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 WELLINGTON 000775

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR EAP/ANP

E.O. 12985: N/A
TAGS: OTRA NZ
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND COUNTRY CLEARANCE FOR DAVID COHEN, THOMAS
VAJDA AND ALISA WONG

REF: STATE 146716

1. (SBU) Embassy welcomes and grants country clearance to David
Cohen, Thomas Vajda and Alisa Wong to travel to Auckland and
Wellington, New Zealand from o/a November 7 - 17, 2007. The purpose
of this visit is to transit on the way to Apia and consultations
with Consulate and Embassy staff and host government contacts.

2. (U) Embassy understands David Cohen is only transiting Auckland
and no assistance is requested. Per your request Embassy and
Consulate have made hotel reservations for Thomas Vajda and Alisa
Wong (details below). Meeting schedules for Mr. Vajda and Ms. Wong
will be sent via email at a later date.

Thomas Vajda
Auckland:
Jet Park Airport Hotel, 63 Westney Road, Mangere
Ph. +64 9 275 4100, Fax. + 64 9 275 3291
Confirmation No. 44427
1 x Deluxe Room NZ$165
IN: 14 November 2007
OUT: 15 November 2007

Wellington:
Bolton Hotel, Corner of Bolton and Mowbray Streets
Ph. +64 4 472 9966, Fax: +64 4 472 9955
Confirmation No. 16821
1 Classic Studio NZ$202.50
IN: 15 November 2007
OUT: 16 November 2007

Alisa Wong
Auckland:
Stamford Plaza, Albert Street, Auckland
Ph. + 64 9 309 8888, Fax + 64 9 379 6445
Booking No. 2335858
1 x Deluxe Room NZ$208.13 per night
IN: 15 November 2007
OUT: 17 November 2007
Credit card details are required to confirm this reservation

3. (SBU) Embassy points of contact are listed below.

Auckland, John Desrocher, Consul General
Office: 649-377-1671
Fax: 649-303-1069
Cell: 027-434-3140
E-mail: desrocherjp@state.gov

Wellington, Tom Walsh, Economic Officer
Office: 644-462-6182
Fax: 644-472-3537
Cell: 027-446-4467
E-mail: walshtj@state.gov

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 NZD30.00. A commercial shuttle
service is also offered at the airport. Taxi fare from the airport
to downtown Auckland hotels is approximately NZD65-NZD75. 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
accepted. Please note that the Consulate General in Auckland cannot
provide accommodation exchange to TDY visitors.

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

WELLINGTON 00000775 002 OF 003


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
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 http://travel.state.gov

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

WELLINGTON 00000775 003 OF 003


be reported to RSO Wellington (Telephone (64)(4)462-6000, 24
hours/day).

McCormick

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