The Government

The Government of New Zealand consists of a democratically elected House of Representatives, usually of strength of 120 members. It is a single chamber of Parliament in that there is no upper or lower House. The Cabinet is the decision making body, led by the Prime Minister who is appointed by the Governor General. New Zealand has an unwritten Constitution and is a Monarchy. The Queen of England is the Constitutional Head. The Governor General is the Queen’s representative in her absence and has all her powers Elections are free and fair and all citizens over the age of 18 have the right to vote.

 The Judiciary

The Judicial system consists of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Courts and District Courts. Besides these, for conducting the day to day affairs of the public, there are 67 territorial authorities made up of city councils, district councils and regional councils. For More Details Please Click On The Following Link: http://www.elections.org.nz/elections
The Law in New Zealand allows for religious freedom hence, one is free to practice any religion one wishes to. Though a large percentage of the population of New Zealand follows Christianity, other religions too are well represented and respected. Because of this secular outlook, one will find that many of the major cities have churches, temples, synagogues, mosques and Buddhist prayer halls where the one can go and pray. The Maori, original inhabitants of the area, follow a polytheistic religion whose central code or theme is the ‘tapu’. Tapu teaches the Maori the way of life and is code of conduct by which this race lives from birth to death. It is both law and religion for the Maori.
Distances between cities or towns are fairly large and so even though New Zealand has a good surface transport system, air travel within this two- island nation can often be more economical in both time and money. Booking is mostly done on-line and the use of electronic tickets is extensive. At the time of travel, along with the e-ticket, identification is required. The three main airlines offering domestic routes are Air New Zealand, Jetstar and Pacific Blue (which has now shut down their domestic business). Air New Zealand has the largest network serving both larger cities as well as regional areas. The larger cities such as Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Wellington have regular buses plying to the airports while the regional airport towns operate on-demand shuttles from town centres. With distances being large, even domestic holidays are quite often air-travel based. Luxury and customized holiday packages are fast gaining popularity with travelers being ready to spend money in return for good services. Insurance today is a must and travel insurance for domestic travel is also available for travel within the country. Domestic pets such as cats, dogs and birds can travel as checked-in baggage provided all precautions are taken.
New Zealand is divided into ‘regions’ for the purpose of both political and environmental management. There are 20-odd regions each having a capital city and a regional council. Each region is unique in its own way, be it landscape or culture or tourist attractions. Some of the main (and popular) cities are Auckland (the largest), Hamilton in the Waikato region, New Plymouth in the Taranaki area, Wellington (Wellinglton / Kapiti region) and Christchurch (Canterbury region). Others such as Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty area and Nelson in the Nelson/Tasman area are known for their recreation parks and marine reserves. Queenstown is in Otago, a nature-lover’s delight, known for its inland lakes, wildlife and plants
New Zealand’s multi-cultural society of today is a result of migration from all parts of the world, beginning with the Maori from the Pacific and, later, the Britishers in the 18th century.

 Hospitable Hosts

New Zealanders are famous for their warm hospitality to overseas visitors. We call ourselves “Kiwis”. We’re friendly, welcoming, enjoy meeting people from other cultures and love sharing food and conversation. In daily life, we’re quite informal. First names are used, even in business.

 Two Founding Languages and Cultures

Kiwi culture has also absorbed some of the rich elements contributed by people from the Pacific Islands and Asia who settled here, so that weekend markets with Asian and Polynesian food are common. English and Maori are the official languages, but New Zealanders come from many ethnic backgrounds, including European and African. Multi-cultural influences are evident in “Kiwi” fashion, art and music.

 Harmonious Co-existence

The various communities live in relative social harmony, with equal rights for all. Discrimination based on gender, race or disability is prohibited by law. The Human Rights Commission and the Office of the Race Relations Conciliator investigate complaints under the Human Rights Act. If anybody makes you feel uncomfortable, talk immediately to the staff at your institution. They are committed to providing a safe environment for you and trained to deal with any problems.

 Freedom to be Yourself

Sexual harassment and gender discrimination are unlawful and unacceptable in New Zealand either at workplaces or education institutes. Even job advertisements must be neutrally worded since there is equality of the sexes.

 Outdoors

A feature of the New Zealand way of life is indoor/outdoor living. Individual houses usually have a backyard and sometimes a barbecue area. Picnics with your host family at the weekend are likely to involve walks in the bush or on a beach, berry-picking, cycling, or visiting gardens; you’ll need outdoor footwear and a sunhat. See Climate The Ministry also funds the Performing Arts Society, the Broadcasting Standards Authority, the Film Archive and Film Commission, the Historic Places Trust, the Symphony Orchestra, the Royal New Zealand Ballet and the national museum.
Holidays are your time to relax and enjoy New Zealand splendour. New Zealand’s spacious landscapes, lush forests and amazing wildlife make it a haven for many outdoor activities, and a great place to de-stress. New Zealand society is diverse, sophisticated, and multicultural, and the honesty, friendliness, and openness of Kiwis will impress you. And the great advantage of New Zealand is that there is unity in diversity. A temperate climate with slight seasonal variation makes it an ideal year-round holiday resort.

 People

The population of New Zealand is only 4 million and New Zealanders are born travelers. Because of that they understand the importance of travel, welcome visitors from abroad and pride ourselves on our warm and friendly reputation.

 Landscape

New Zealand is approximately as big as Japan, Great Britain or Colorado with a fraction of the population, making it one of the world’s least crowded countries. It is a young nation with a diversity of landscape second to none. From sparkling island-studded bays in the Far North to the Southern Hemisphere’s top skiing region in the South Island, New Zealand a wide array of travel and leisure choices.

 Culture

Twenty-first century New Zealand is a melting pot of cultures and lifestyles. For those keen to learn more about our Maori culture there are a range of experiences on offer. If ‘culture’ to you means art, food, wine and lifestyle, there is also plenty to indulge in, from world class wines and fine cuisine to luxury lodges and spas.

 Adventure

New Zealand is a renowned destination for thrill seekers. The country led the way with bungy jumping, jet boating and white water rafting. But you don’t have to jump off a cliff to experience the exhilaration this country provides. Just a walk through native bush or watching a sunset on an untouched beach can provide a lifetime experience.
New Zealand is universally famous for its scenic beauty and exciting activities for thrill seekers and adventurers. People from all over the world visit New Zealand year-round. Tourism is a major industry for the country, which is great for students looking for recreation, opportunities to relax and experience new things. You can visit glaciers and go bungy jumping. For information on accommodation, activities, New Zealand regions, timetable planning and other key facts to help you plan a holiday in New Zealand.
New Zealand is well connected with other countries including India by flight. Many international airlines fly to various cities of New Zealand, Auckland and Christchurch being the largest. In all, NZ has seven international airports. The other international airports, such as Hamilton are connected by flight to Australia. Hence, if on e cannot find a direct flight to NZ, one can definitely reach via Australia. All airports have the standard amenities and security measures. The security measures taken are not only to protect human life and property but also to protect New Zealand environment from hitherto absent diseases and pests. Amenities such as Duty free shops, cafeterias, public utilities are available at all airports. You can shop duty free at the airport when you arrive in New Zealand.

 Duty- free and Cash Allowances:

Goods totaling a combined value of NZ $700 are free of duty and tax. A foreign traveler is not allowed to carry more than 10,000 NZ$ in cash, and if anyone is doing so, must declare the amount by filling in the requisite forms.

 Quarantine Regulations:

New Zealand Authorities are very serious about keeping their pristine environment unchanged, and hence, Quarantine requirements are strictly enforced. All food, plant material and animal products must be declared on arrival and will be allowed into the country only on inspection and if they pass regulations. Commercially prepared goods, dairy and egg products, meats, and even handicrafts made from animal skin, are some of the items that come in this list.

 At the Airport

Luggage trolleys are free. At Auckland, the volunteer hospitality ambassadors can be identified wearing blue jackets. They offer assistance and a welcoming hot drink when you arrive.

 Going Home

You can travel to New Zealand on a one-way ticket. However, to get a visa, you must have sufficient money for your flight home.
New Zealand’s legislation on privacy and official information regulates the collection, holding, use and disclosure of personal data. Information about you cannot be given out without your assent. This means that:
  • Your education institution cannot tell anybody else about you or your results; it is up to you to keep your family up to date with your progress.
  • Airlines are not allowed to tell anyone the names of passengers on a flight. This makes it difficult for the person meeting you at the airport in cases of flight change.
  • Without your specific authority in advance, friends cannot deal with your bank or the Inland Revenue Department on your behalf while you are out of New Zealand.
  • You have the right to see information about you that an institution holds.

 Support Services – Library, IT, Orientation

To get the best out of your education, schools and institutions work hard to make sure you are comfortable in your learning milieu. Tertiary institutions provide most or all of the following services:
  • Doctors, counsellors, and a chemist
  • Fitness centres and sports clubs
  • Child welfare
  • Career advice
  • Budgeting advice
  • A cafeteria
  • A Students’ Association, which supports a wide range of social, cultural, and sporting activities.
  • A student radio station and newspaper
  • A Student Learning Centre: for one-to-one and group tutorials on study skills, essay writing, statistics, word processing, planning a thesis, using the library, exam techniques, etc
  • An International Office to assist with the student’s native language, if required, for matters concerning illness, visa, accommodation, etc.
  • A text book and stationery shop
  • A Xerox shop that does black-and-white and colour copying, printing, transparencies, lamination and binding
  • Computer laboratories with Internet access and personal email accounts
  • A well-stocked library with specialised staff
  • Career guidance
  • ATM machines
  • Dispute mediators
  • A student travel office
  • Sexual harassment officers
  • Games
  • A chapel
  • Reader/writers and note takers for physically disabled students, sign language interpreters for deaf students

 Defining Your Tax Status

If you stay in New Zealand for more than 183 days (six months) in any 12-month period and have what the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) considers an “enduring relationship” with New Zealand, you are a “resident”, for tax purposes. This makes you liable for tax on cash jobs and self-employed income. Employers will deduct PAYE (pay as you earn) tax from any wages or salary you earn. You may be eligible for rebates.

 Getting an IRD Number

When you start employment, the employer will ask for your IRD number. This is an individual number, which you should apply for at the Inland Revenue Department. You can phone them from anywhere in New Zealand on 0800 227 774, between 08.00 am and 08.00 pm Monday to Friday, and 09.00 am to 01.00 pm on Saturdays.

 Resident Withholding Tax (RWT)

If you have money in a New Zealand bank, the bank will deduct RWT from any interest you earn, on behalf of the government. If you do not provide an IRD number, this will be deducted at the “non-declaration rate”, which is rather high, so it is beneficial to have your own IRD number even if you are not working.

 Less than Six Months Stay

If you stay for less than 6 months, you are a “non-resident” for tax purposes but still have to pay for tax on income earned in New Zealand. However, you may be entitled to an exemption. The Non-Resident Centre, Inland Revenue Department, P.O. Box Bag 1932, Dunedin, ph: 03 467 7020 (between 09.00 am and 04.30 pm – Monday to Friday) fax: 03 467 7083, will help you.

 The Financial Year

The financial year is from 1 April to 31 March. Tax is payable by 7 February, or 7 March if an accountant/tax agent helps with your tax return.

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