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Cablegate: New Zealand Country Clearance for Transportation

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS WELLINGTON 000693

SIPDIS

SYDNEY FOR S. LAIRD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OTRA ECON NZ
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND COUNTRY CLEARANCE FOR TRANSPORTATION
SECURITY ADMINISTRATION REPRESENTATIVE SCOTTIE LAIRD, AUGUST
23-27, 2004

REF: SYDNEY 00801

1. Embassy welcomes and grants country clearance to Mr.
Scottie Laird, Transportation Security Administration
Representative (TSAR), to travel to Auckland and
Christchurch, New Zealand from September 23 - 27, 2004. The
purpose of this visit is to assess airport security
measures.

2. Embassy understands that no further assistance is
required.

3. 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
E-mail: yamamotojo@state.gov

4. Visitors should use local taxi service, which is
generally safe, reliable and frequent. In Auckland, taxi
fare is approximately NZD60 from the airport to downtown.
In Christchurch, the fare is approximately NZ35.

5. Travelers can exchange currency at the airport upon
arrival and ATM machines are readily available throughout
New Zealand.

6. 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 NZ$200 (US $150). Biosecurity is a
serious issue in New Zealand and fines will be administered
immediately and without warnings.

7. Security Assessment:

a. There are no local 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 office.

b. 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 were of a small scale and were
peacefully conducted. During these demonstrations, the host
country police and protective services provided adequate
protection to the embassy and consulate.

c. While New Zealand is considered a low threat crime
environment, Wellington and Auckland have experienced an
increase in violent and petty crimes. Home invasion
robberies and assaults, once very rare, are becoming more
frequent. Burglaries and thefts occur countrywide.
Visitors should be aware that street crime is a daily
occurrence in the larger cities, including Wellington and
Auckland. Common sense precautions should be taken,
especially at night, to avoid becoming a target of
opportunity.

d. All forms of public transportation are generally safe at
all times of the day.

Burnett

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