Latest News

Using New Zealand
Trade Manual

New Zealand Trade Manual has been designed with travel industry professionals in mind.
  • Selling New Zealand provides you with handy sales tools, quick facts and latest news from the New Zealand travel industry.
  • Travel Planner makes planning New Zealand travel easy. Find itineraries, information on accommodation/transport and more.
  • About New Zealand has everything on New Zealand culture, nature, lifestyle, activities and events that make New Zealand a unique destination.

Feedback – Send us your comments about New Zealand Trade Manual.

Essential Information

New Zealand offers all standards, from hotels to backpacker hostels. Book in advance whenever possible and always confirm bookings for accommodation if your clients are travelling during public or school holidays, particularly during the high season between December and February.

Key international airports are located in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Limited Australian flights land at Hamilton, Rotorua, Queenstown and Dunedin.

The legal age limit for consuming alcohol in New Zealand is 18. Anyone who looks under 25 years of age will be required to produce proof of age before buying alcohol.

Banks are generally open during working hours from Monday to Friday, except on public holidays. Many banks have branches in shopping malls that are open at weekends. All major international credit cards are accepted and automatic teller machines (ATMs) are widely available in all but the smallest towns.

Infrastructure is of a high standard, with excellent telecommunications and transport. Business services are easy to find in all main centres. Hotels may offer an in-house secretarial service.

More than one quarter (approximately 1.3 million) of New Zealand’s population lives in Auckland in the North Island. The capital is Wellington, located in the south of the North Island. Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island.

The climate is temperate, except in subtropical Northland. Average maximum summer temperatures are 20 – 30°C and in winter, 10 – 15°C. Seasons occur in reverse of the Northern Hemisphere’s. Outside of alpine areas, temperatures rarely fall below freezing.

Conditions can change rapidly – visitors should dress in layers of clothing. Rain can occur at any time, so they should pack a waterproof jacket, plus warm clothing for winter visits.

New Zealand’s currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZ$), comprising coins of 10, 20 and 50 cents, $1 and $2; and notes of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Major credit cards can be used and travellers’ cheques are accepted at hotels, banks and some retail stores. Most banks are part of the Cirrus or Plus networks.

Departure tax
The departure tax is not included in airfares. A tax of NZ$22 – $25 is collected from all adult (12 years and over) international passengers departing New Zealand (except at Auckland and Christchurch Airports). This can be paid by cash or credit card at the airport. Regional airports may charge a small domestic departure fee.

Disabled access
New Zealand law requires new buildings to provide access for people with disabilities. Visitors may obtain a parking concession with a mobility card or medical certificate. Contact NZCCS on NZ freephone 0800 171 981 or visit

To drive in New Zealand, visitors will need to provide their home country licence or obtain an International Driver’s Permit.

Duty free shopping
Duty free goods may be purchased at airport stores on arrival and departure, and downtown duty free stores will deliver purchases to airports.

Electricity is supplied at 230/240 volts (50 hertz). Most hotels also provide 110 volt a/c sockets (rated at 20 watts) for electric razors. For most other equipment an adaptor is necessary. Power outlets accept only flat 2- or 3-pin plugs. Use an RJ 45-type plug to connect laptops to computer sockets and an adaptor with a flat 2- or 3-point plug.

New Zealand is known as ‘clean and green’ for good reason! A growing number of tourism operators are benchmarking with the globally recognised sustainable travel and tourism brand Green Globe New Zealand.

New Zealanders are known for being friendly, obliging and polite. They are egalitarian by nature and New Zealand has no formal class structure.

Abundant fresh, locally grown produce, including wonderful seafood and wines, is always available. Visitors should sample some of the local delicacies on offer around the country.

Gay & lesbian travellers
New Zealanders are generally very accepting of homosexuality. The Human Rights Act 1993 makes it unlawful to discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation.

New Zealand consists of three major islands and many small islands, and lies in the South Pacific Ocean between latitudes 34°S and 47°S. It is 6,500 km south-southwest of Hawaii and 1,900 km east of Australia – three hours by air from Australia, 12.5 hours from the United States and about ten hours from Hong Kong or Singapore. The land area covers about 270,000 km². You can purchase detailed regional maps of New Zealand online.

Goods & Services Tax
All goods and services purchased in New Zealand are subject to 15% Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is included in the display price. Goods bought from duty free shops before departure are exempt from GST.

New Zealand is a sovereign state with a democratically elected parliamentary government. Constitutional history dates back to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, when Maori ceded sovereignty to the British Queen. Politically stable, it is a founding member of the Commonwealth and the United Nations.

Health & safety
New Zealand is one of the world’s safest destinations, but basic safety precautions should be taken. New Zealand’s medical facilities operate to a high standard but services are not free, so visitors should purchase comprehensive travel insurance. Care should be taken in the water ( and when hiking, especially in remote areas. Advise your clients to ensure they are appropriately equipped for the conditions. The sun is intense, so sunscreen should be worn year-round. New Zealand has a relatively low crime rate but sensible precautions, such as keeping valuables out of sight and locking doors and vehicles (even in remote locations), should be taken. In some areas it is inadvisable to walk alone late at night. In health and safety emergencies, dial 111 for ambulance, police or fire services. Doctors, dentists and 24-hour surgeries are listed in telephone directories.

Most visitors are not eligible for publicly funded health services. Those covered by reciprocal health agreements with Australia and the UK are entitled to publicly funded health care for immediately necessary treatment only. Travel insurance should always be recommended.

Internet access is widely available in internet cafés and public libraries for an hourly charge. Most hotels have internet access, including wireless access, for their guests’ use. Free Wi-Fi zones have started to appear in some urban areas.

English is the major official language. Maori is the second official language. New Zealanders are generally understanding if visitors do not speak English and will appreciate any effort made. Look online for English language courses.

Use an RJ 45-type plug to connect laptops to computer sockets and an adaptor with a flat 2- or 3-point plug to connect to the power supply.

Maori culture
Visitors can go walking with a Maori guide, visit a marae or watch carving, weaving and traditional performance art and join workshops.

You can purchase detailed regional maps from or, or visitors can pick them up from any of the visitor centres around the country and download them from

New Zealand has AM and FM radio stations. Radio New Zealand National broadcasts news and weather on AM and FM (around 101 MHz FM). There are four major analogue nationwide free-to-air TV networks and regional stations, and a wider choice of programmes with the new Freeview Digital TV. SKY TV is the main pay-television operator. There are several major daily newspapers and many towns also have local newspapers.

Mobile phones
New Zealand has analogue and GSM digital networks. International mobile roaming is available with some mobile phone providers. Travellers without a roaming-capable phone could rent or buy a cell phone for convenience and flexibility.

Passports & visas
Passports are required for all visitors and must be valid for at least three months after the date the visitor intends to leave New Zealand. Visas are not required for most visitors staying less than three months. For longer stays, a Visitor’s Visa may be required. To check requirements, visit the New Zealand Immigration Service website

New Zealand has a population of approximately 4.4 million people, mostly of British descent. New Zealand’s indigenous Maori make up around 14% of the population. Other European cultures and people of Asian and Pacific Island descent have become an increasingly large proportion of the population.

Postal service
Post shops (or smaller agencies run in conjunction with another business) are available in most centres. Most post shops open 9am to 5pm on weekdays and Saturdays. Some post shops are open on Sunday mornings.

New Zealand is a good value destination, particularly for visitors from Australia, Europe and the United States of America. Visitors can spend as little as NZ$65 per day by staying in backpacker accommodation, which starts at around $15 for dorm beds, and self-catering. A night’s accommodation in a private room will cost anywhere from NZ$50 to NZ$300 and beyond. As a general rule, a typical main meal in a restaurant may cost NZ$15 to NZ$45.

Public holidays
There are trading restrictions on some public holidays, including Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and before 1pm on Anzac Day. Banks generally close on public holidays, but many shops remain open. Confirmed bookings, especially for accommodation, vehicle rental and Cook Strait ferry sailings, are essential if your clients are travelling during public holidays. Some establishments, such as cafés, may impose a holiday surcharge of 10% to 20%.

Qualmark is New Zealand tourism’s official mark of quality. There are categories for accommodation, activities, transport and venues. Accommodation providers and venues are rated on a star grading system, and there is also a category for environmental sustainability.

Regional Tourism Organisations
New Zealand is home to a network of Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) that offer a wealth of visitor information about their region. Each maintains a region-specific website full of in-depth information for visitors. You’ll find the websites on the relevant regional pages in this guide.

The population is predominantly Christian, but followers of many religions will find places of worship in cities and larger towns. New Zealand is accepting of many different religious beliefs.

School holidays
Although businesses don’t usually close during school holidays, attractions and popular holiday destinations may be busier than usual so it is a good idea to book accommodation and transport ahead of time to ensure your clients’ bookings. The dates of holidays vary from year to year, so visit the Ministry of Education website for current information.

In resorts and cities, shops open 7 days, 9am to 6pm, with late nights on Thursdays and Fridays. Smaller centres may have more restricted hours.

Smoking indoors is prohibited in all hospitality venues and public buildings in New Zealand. If visitors want to smoke, they will have to take their cigarette outside. The legal age limit for purchasing cigarettes in
New Zealand is 18 and the law is strictly enforced.

Public phones can be operated with phonecards purchased from convenience stores and information centres. Some public phones accept credit cards but few accept coins. The international dialling code for New Zealand is +64. National area codes are listed in the front of phone directories. 0800 and 0508 numbers are free within New Zealand. 0900 numbers will incur an additional charge.

Time differences
New Zealand standard time is Greenwich Mean Time +12 hours; ahead of all other OECD countries. From the last Sunday in September to the first Sunday in April, New Zealand is on daylight saving time of GMT +13 hours. Find out the correct time and date at

Employees in New Zealand do not depend on tips. Tipping in appreciation of good service is at your clients’ discretion.

New Zealand is well served by air transport, rail and ferry networks. Coaches are comfortable and cost effective. For independence, visitors may hire a campervan or rental car.

No vaccination certificates are required to enter New Zealand.

Visitor information
New Zealand has an extensive visitor information network providing visitors with free and comprehensive local knowledge.

Hiking opportunities range from ten-minute urban walks to multi-day alpine tramps.

Tap (faucet) water is fresh and safe to drink throughout the country. Water taken from rivers or lakes should be boiled or treated before use.

Weather information
See for weather information, tailored reports on New Zealand ski areas and official mountain forecasts. Alternatively, phone one of the MetPhone Mountain & Ski Info numbers listed: Central North Island 0900 999 15; Nelson Lakes 0900 999 02; Canterbury 0900 999 26; Southern Lakes 0900 999 81. Note that 0900 numbers incur a fee.

Weights & measures
New Zealand is metric, although imperial measurements are still sometimes used for height and weight.

For further information and advice, refer to this manual’s excellent supporting websites. The New Zealand Trade Manual website ( offers the latest industry updates and resource material, while is aimed at both travellers and travel industry professionals and has a wealth of information about New Zealand as a travel destination. Hugely popular, it has even been singled out for special praise from Lonely Planet.

Back to top ^

Public Holidays 2013/14

New Zealand Trade ManualQueen’s Birthday 3 June 2013

New Zealand Trade ManualLabour Day 28 October 2013

New Zealand Trade ManualChristmas Day 25 December 2013

New Zealand Trade ManualBoxing Day 26 December 2013

New Zealand Trade ManualNew Year’s Day 1 January 2014

New Zealand Trade ManualNew Year’s Holiday 2 January 2014

New Zealand Trade ManualWaitangi Day 6 February 2014

New Zealand Trade ManualGood Friday 18 April 2014

New Zealand Trade ManualEaster Monday 21 April 2014

New Zealand Trade ManualAnzac Day 25 April 2014

Back to top ^

Terms & Specialist Organisations

New Zealand Trade Manual @home New Zealand (NZ Association of Farm & Home Hosts)
Assists the growth, quality and profitability of farm and home hosting.

New Zealand Trade Manual ATTTO Aviation Tourism and Travel Organisation
Training for aviation, tourism and travel industries.

New Zealand Trade Manual Budget Backpacker Hostels (BBH)
Online guide to New Zealand’s network of hostels.

New Zealand Trade Manual Bus and Coach Association
Advocacy and promotion for New Zealand bus and coach operators.

New Zealand Trade Manual Conventions and Incentives New Zealand
Markets New Zealand’s convention facilities offshore.

New Zealand Trade Manual Department of Conservation (DOC)
Government organisation for conserving New Zealand’s natural and historic heritage.

New Zealand Trade Manual District Tourism Organisation (DTO)
Promotes a sub-region of a Regional Tourism Organisation.

New Zealand Trade Manual Explore New Zealand Programme
Encourages international travel agents, wholesalers and media to experience New Zealand’s unique tourism products.

New Zealand Trade Manual Green Globe/Green Globe 21
Benchmarking and certification programme facilitating sustainable travel.

New Zealand Trade Manual Hospitality Association New Zealand (HANZ)
Advice on legal and trade issues, and purchasing deals with wholesalers.

New Zealand Trade Manual Holiday Accommodation Parks of New Zealand (HAPNZ)
Holiday Park industry association.

New Zealand Trade Manual i-SITE Visitor Information Network
Visitor centres providing products and services for travellers.

New Zealand Trade Manual Inbound Operator (IBO)
Assembles itineraries and processes reservations on behalf of overseas wholesalers.

New Zealand Trade Manual Inbound Tour Operator
New Zealand-based agents who assemble itineraries and process reservations on behalf of overseas wholesalers and retailers.

New Zealand Trade Manual Inbound Tour Operators Council (ITOC)
Represents Inbound Tour Operators (Full Members) and their suppliers (Allied Members).

New Zealand Trade Manual Land Transport NZ
Government agency dedicated to long-term integrated, safe and sustainable land transport.

New Zealand Trade Manual Motel Association of New Zealand (MANZ)
National network of self-contained motel apartments.

New Zealand Trade Manual Ministry of Tourism
The Ministry provides policy advice to the Minister of Tourism and works with other government departments on tourism-related issues.

New Zealand Trade Manual Maori Regional Tourism Organisations (MRTO)
Build capacity and encourage networking through the New Zealand Maori Tourism Council.

New Zealand Trade Manual New Zealand Customs
Te Mana Arai o Aotearoa Government agency that protects the community by controlling who and what crosses New Zealand borders.

New Zealand Trade Manual New Zealand Gay Lesbian Tourism (NZGLTA)
Organisation established to assist gay, lesbian and bisexual travellers.

New Zealand Trade Manual New Zealand Lodge Association
Operators offering distinctive accommodation in exclusive retreats and lodges.

New Zealand Trade Manual Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
Provides marketing, research and educational opportunities to government tourist offices and tourism industry operators.

New Zealand Trade Manual Qualmark
Official tourism quality agency licensing professional and trustworthy New Zealand tourism businesses to use the Qualmark™.

New Zealand Trade Manual Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs)
Responsible for marketing their region to domestic and international visitors.

New Zealand Trade Manual Travel Agents’ Association of New Zealand (TAANZ)
Represents New Zealand travel agents, retail, wholesale, inbound and outbound.

New Zealand Trade Manual Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIANZ)
Main tourism industry association, responsible for TRENZ, NZ Tourism Conference and Tourism Awards.

New Zealand Trade Manual Toi Iho
‘Maori-made’ mark that was introduced to guarantee authenticity and quality of Maori arts and crafts.

New Zealand Trade Manual Tourism New Zealand
Responsible for international marketing of New Zealand as a destination, working closely with product suppliers, TIANZ and RTOs.

New Zealand Trade Manual Tourism Industry Rendezvous New Zealand (TRENZ)
Annual international tourism tradeshow for New Zealand tourism operators and international tourism buyers.

New Zealand Trade Manual YHA New Zealand
Information on New Zealand hostels and travel packages.

Back to top ^

Quick Reference

Essential websites
New Zealand Trade Manual Travel Information

New Zealand Trade Manual Tourism New Zealand

New Zealand Trade Manual Visitor Information

New Zealand Trade Manual Weather

New Zealand Trade Manual Maps

Regional websites

New Zealand Trade Manual Tourism Northland

New Zealand Trade Manual Tourism Auckland

New Zealand Trade Manual Tourism Coromandel

New Zealand Trade Manual Tourism Bay of Plenty

New Zealand Trade Manual Tourism Eastland

New Zealand Trade Manual Hawke’s Bay Wine Country

New Zealand Trade Manual Waikato Tourism

New Zealand Trade Manual Visit Hamilton

New Zealand Trade Manual Waitomo King Country

New Zealand Trade Manual Tourism Rotorua

New Zealand Trade Manual Venture Taranaki

New Zealand Trade Manual Great Lake Taupo

New Zealand Trade Manual Visit Ruapehu

New Zealand Trade Manual Discover Wanganui

New Zealand Trade Manual Palmerston North City & Manawatu

New Zealand Trade Manual Tourism Wellington

New Zealand Trade Manual Tourism Wairarapa

New Zealand Trade Manual Destination Marlborough

New Zealand Trade Manual Nelson Tasman Tourism

New Zealand Trade Manual Tourism West Coast

New Zealand Trade Manual Hurunui Tourism

New Zealand Trade Manual Kaikoura District Council

New Zealand Trade Manual Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism

New Zealand Trade Manual Aoraki Mount Cook Mackenzie

New Zealand Trade Manual Visit Oamaru & Waitaki District

New Zealand Trade Manual Tourism Dunedin

New Zealand Trade Manual Tourism Central Otago

New Zealand Trade Manual Tourism Southland

New Zealand Trade Manual South Canterbury

New Zealand Trade Manual Lake Wanaka Tourism

New Zealand Trade Manual Destination Queenstown

New Zealand Trade Manual Tourism Fiordland

NZ city codes
Auckland AKL
Bay of Islands KKE
Christchurch CHC
Dunedin DUD
Gisborne GIS
Hamilton HLZ
Hokitika HKK
Invercargill IVC
Kaitaia KAT
Milford Sound MFN
Motueka MZP
Mount Cook MON
Napier/Hastings NPE
Nelson NSN
New Plymouth NPL
Oamaru OAM
Palmerston North PMR
Queenstown ZQN
Rotorua ROT
Stewart Island SZS
Takaka KTF
Taupo TUO
Tauranga TRG
Te Anau TEU
Timaru TIU
Wanaka WKA
Wellington WLG
Westport WSZ
Whakatane WHK
Whanganui WAG
Whangarei WRE

Back to top ^


Updates to your Inbox! Get our free New Zealand Trade Manual Newsletter.