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Agricultural Restrictions

As New Zealand relies heavily on agricultural and horticultural trade with the rest of the world, it has stringent regulations governing the import of animals, animal products, fruits and vegetables. Any of these items that could contain plant or animal pests and diseases may not be brought into the country. Heavy fines will be imposed on people caught carrying these prohibited items.


The NZ Dollar (NZ$), divided into 100 cents, is the unit of currency. Currency conversion facilities are available at Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch international airports, as well as most banks and bureaux de change in the larger cities.

Visitors are not restricted in the amount of domestic or foreign currency (or traveler's checks in NZ dollars) that are brought into and out of the country. Most major credit cards, including Visa, American Express, Diners Clubs and MasterCard, are widely accepted at hotels, banks and some stores. However, credit cards are not accepted at supermarkets.

Goods & Services Tax / Tipping

The cost of all goods and services include a Goods and Services Tax (GST). The tax is charged at 12.5 % on most goods and services. Salaries and wages, financial services, home rents, hobby activities and private sales of personal or domestic items are not subject to GST.

As GST is imposed, tipping is not a practiced custom here. It is not obligatory or necessary to give tips, but it is acceptable to tip moderately for courteous and efficient service in restaurants and hotels.

Departure Fee

Upon departure from New Zealand's international airports, a departure fee of NZ$20 (applied to the Auckland International Airport) is applicable to passengers aged 12 and above. Christchurch and Wellington international airports charge a departure fee of NZ$25.

Business Hours

Shops hours are from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays to Fridays and usually stay open one night of the week until 9 p.m. For example, late night shopping in Auckland is on Thursdays. On Saturdays, business hours are usually from 10 a.m. until the early afternoon. Larger cities and tourist areas often extend their hours and are open seven days a week.

Trading banks operate from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays to Fridays. Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) are open 24 hours.

Bar, pubs and taverns are open 11 a.m. till late at night Mondays to Saturdays. Nightclubs usually start at 7:30 p.m. and close around 4 a.m.


There are a few telephone companies in New Zealand, a popular one being Telecoms. Public telephones are widely available throughout the country. Some operate using telephone cards and credit cards, but there are some that still accept coins. Most convenience stores, petrol stations and bookshops sell telephone cards in denominations of NZ$5, 10, and 20. Phone calls made from public telephones to local area cost only NZ$0.50. When dialing outside the local area, but within New Zealand, dial 0 before the city code.

Postal Services

Post offices are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays to Fridays. Some bookshops and stores provide postal services that are open even on Saturdays and Sundays (half-day). Automatic stamp machines are available outside post offices and some supermarkets.

Rates for international posts differ according to location and weight of mail. Check with the post office for current rates. Special envelopes and boxes are sold in post shops at reasonable prices.

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