Cablegate: New Zealand Country Clearance for Usgs Ruggiero,

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




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 198469

1. Embassy welcomes and grants country clearance to the
following U.S. Geological Survey Biologists:

-- Michael RUGGIERO to travel to Auckland and Wellington,
New Zealand from September 29 - October 9, 2004. The
purpose of this visit is to attend the Species 2000
Management Meeting and the Global Biodiversity Information
Facility (GBIF) and make a presentation.

-- Gladys COTTER and Thomas LAHR to travel to Wellington and
Christchurch, New Zealand from October 4 - 14, 2004. The
purpose of this visit is to attend the Global Biodiversity
Information Facility (GBIF) and to attend and make a
presentation at the Biodiversity Informatics Meeting.

-- Michael FRAME to travel to Wellington, New Zealand from
October 2 - 9, 2004. The purpose of this visit is to attend
the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).

-- Michael FORNWALL to travel to Wellington, New Zealand
from October 3 - 12, 2004. The purpose of this visit is to
attend the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).

-- Thomas HERMANN to travel to Christchurch, New Zealand
from October 9 - 15, 2004. The purpose of this visit is to
attend the NATO Information Management Committee Meeting.

-- Annie Simpson to travel to Auckland, New Zealand from
October 5 - 16, 2004. The purpose of this visit is to
attend the Invasive Species Steering Committee.

2. Embassy understands no assistance is required.

3. Embassy point of contact is Political Officer Dorothy
Rogers. Contact details are as follows:
Office: 644-462-6043
Fax: 644-472-3537
Cell: 027-451-2538

4. 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
35. In Wellington, it is approximately NZD 30, and in
Auckland it is approximately NZD 60.

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

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

© Scoop Media

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