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Cablegate: New Zealand Country Clearance for U.S. Delegation

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 WELLINGTON 000548

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR EAP/ANP - TRAMSEY

E.O. 12985: N/A
TAGS: OTRA SENV NZ
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND COUNTRY CLEARANCE FOR U.S. DELEGATION
TO CLIMATE CHANGE PARTNERSHIP MEETING

REF: A) STATE 128977; B) STATE 127651

1. (SBU) Embassy welcomes and grants country clearance to
U.S. Government representatives Howard Diamond (NOAA), Bill
Hohenstein (USDA), Toral Patel-Weynand (USGS), Chuck Rice
(Kansas State University), Harlan Watson (OES), Robert
Wright (DOE) ,and Shira Yoffe (OES/EGC) to travel to
Wellington and Christchurch, New Zealand from on or about
July 19 - 24, 2005. The purpose of this visit is to attend
the U.S.-New Zealand Bilateral Climate Change Partnership
meetings.

2. (U) Embassy is making hotel reservations within per diem
and will communicate details to the delegation point of
contact via email.

3. (SBU) Embassy point of contact is Political Officer Tod
E. Duran. Contact details are as follows:

Office: 644-462-6043
Fax: 644-472-3537
Cell: 027-451-2538
E-mail: DuranTE@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 NZD
$30.00. 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.

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

Swindells

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