By international standards, New Zealand is a safe country to live in. All the same, it is wise to know what to do if there is trouble and what you can do to avoid it.
Protecting yourself and your family
The New Zealand Police website has a number of tips for keeping yourself and your family safe. Some of the situations covered include:
- being safe at home and when out on the street or driving
- dealing with an intruder, prowler or burglar and securing your home
- setting limits on driving, alcohol and parties for your teenagers
- rules and advice about caring for children
- advice for new arrivals.
How to contact the New Zealand Police
In an emergency, call 111 to reach the New Zealand Police. To reach the New Zealand Police during non-emergencies, call 105.Contacting the Police: New Zealand Police
Protecting your property
The New Zealand Police website has a range of practical tips and checklists to help you protect your home and vehicle from crime.
It is always a good idea to get insurance in case anything goes wrong.
New Zealand has a range of contents insurance for both homeowners and renters. There are two specific kinds of contents insurance:
- replacement policy - Insured items will be replaced or repaired to new condition
- indemnity policy (present value) - The insured items will be put back in the same position they were in before the loss of damage occurred.
Home insurance is only needed if you own your own property. Home insurance is calculated by a 'sum insured' basis which means that if your home needs to be rebuilt, the insurer will only play the maximum sum that you specify when you take out your policy.
Many local communities have Neighbourhood Support groups where neighbours work together to help make communities safer and more caring.
These groups can help to encourage neighbours to look out for anything unusual in the area and work together to deal with any natural disasters.
See if there is a group in your area. If not, you could think about starting one yourself.
in New Zealand, people drive on the left!
Before you start driving in New Zealand, it is important to understand how to keep safe on our roads.
The NZTA has produced a must-read booklet about driving in New Zealand. It explains everything you need to know about staying safe and obeying New Zealand’s driving laws. The booklet is available in 14 languages.
Everyone in a vehicle must wear a seat belt in New Zealand. Child restraint seats must be used for all children until 7 years of age. New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has more information about child restraints.
Living in a country with such spectacular scenery and so many recreational opportunities, you may well find yourself spending a lot of time outdoors. If and when you do, you need to be aware of the basic safety rules.
New Zealand’s weather can be very changeable, so be prepared for every eventuality.
If you are planning an outdoor trip or adventure, check the online outdoor safety codes. Along with information on how to stay safe on land, snow and water or in the air, there are simple safety codes you should always follow and links to related safety organisations in New Zealand.
In New Zealand, the sun delivers some of the highest levels of UV radiation in the world.
It is very easy to get sunburnt here - and getting burned increases the risk of skin cancer.
Go online for tips on how to keep yourself and your family safe in the sun.
In New Zealand, the sea is cold and it can be dangerous. Sea and weather conditions can change quickly. Most drownings in New Zealand happen at beaches and when people are in boats on the sea or lakes.
If you plan to swim or fish in the sea or go out in a boat, make sure you always check the weather forecast first. Wear a life jacket and take safety equipment in your boat. For more information, visit our Stay water safe page.
If you are interested in owning or using a rifle, handgun or any type of firearm for hunting or other sports, there are a number of laws and regulations that you must be aware of.
New Zealand offers opportunities for recreational hunting. If you plan to take advantage of them, go online for information and tips for safe hunting.
Online safety is more important than ever as people spend more and more time online. Anyone can be targeted by online bullying and scams. Young people and the elderly can be especially vulnerable to online exploitation.
Netsafe.org.nz has advice and tips for parents, young people, the elderly and business owners on their website, and a form for reporting online safety and security incidents.