INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: New Zealand Country Clearance for Epa Officials

Published: Thu 12 Aug 2004 12:12 AM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS WELLINGTON 000692
SIPDIS
EPA/OIA CHRISTICH
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OTRA SENV KSCA TPHY AS NZ
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND COUNTRY CLEARANCE FOR EPA OFFICIALS
OSHIDA AND BISSONETTE, AUGUST 31-SEPTEMBER 2, 2004
REF: STATE 173225
1. Please see action request para 3.
2. Embassy welcomes and grants country clearance to EPA
Officials Phil Oshida and Eric Bissonette to Christchurch,
New Zealand from August 31 to September 2, 2004. The
purpose of this trip is to visit utilities and regulators in
Christchurch as part of a Hazard Analysis and Critical
Control Points (HACCP) in drinking water systems tour.
3. Action Request: Embassy understands that no further
assistance is required. Please advise Embassy of contact
information for Christchurch. Reftel provided contact
number at the Duxton Hotel in Wellington, although
Wellington was not on the itinerary provided.
4. 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
5. Visitors should use local taxi service, which is
generally safe, reliable and frequent. Taxi fare from the
airport to downtown Christchurch hotels is approximately
NZD35.
6. Travelers can exchange currency at the airport upon
arrival and ATM machines are readily available throughout
New Zealand.
7. 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.
8. 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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