General Info about Auckland, New Zealand

New Zealand currency is New Zealand dollars ($) and Cents, based on the decimal system with 100 cents to the NZ Dollar.
Coins: 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2
Notes: $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100

New Zealand has two official languages, English and Maori. English is the predominant language spoken, and everyone will understand it. Maori is used predominately for rituals, and in Maori communities.

Similar to the rest of New Zealand, Auckland is under attack from gale force winds all year round, the reason behind the huge amount of sailing practised as a pastime. The average maximum/minimum temperatures for summer are 24º/16º, while during the winter months, average maximum/minimum temperature drop to 15º/8º. Rain, falls all year round in Auckland, though rarely occurs for more than one or two days consecutively during the summer months, though is far more prevalent in winter.

Auckland is 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Daylight Saving commences at 2.00am on the 1st Sunday in October, when clocks are moved one hour forward, and ends at 2.00am on the 3rd Sunday in March, when the clocks are switched one hour back.

Opening Hours
Offices and Businesses: Monday - Friday 8am to 5pm (generally)

Shopping Hours
Monday - Wednesday 9am to 5pm
Thursday and Friday 9am to 9pm
Saturday 9am to 5pm - Auckland Central, Parnell, Newmarket, large suburban shops and shopping malls
Sunday 9am to 5pm- Shopping malls.
10am to 4pm - Auckland Central, Parnell, Newmarket.

Auckland operates on alternating current (AC) 230 volts, 50hertz mains supply. Hotels and Motels usually provide 110volt AC sockets (20 volts) for electric shavers only. Australian style three blade plugs are used in New Zealand.

Goods and Services Tax
Goods and services in New Zealand are subject to 12.5% goods and services tax, commonly known as GST. Overseas visitors cannot claim back GST, however some stores sell goods to overseas visitors exclusive of GST provided proof of onward or return tickets is shown.

Visa Requirements
Australian citizens and current residents don’t need entry visas or work permits, they may stay indefinitely, if they have no criminal convictions.
Citizens and residents of the UK don’t need a visa, and are issued a visitor permit on arrival, which is valid for three months.
Citizens of the following countries don’t need a visa, and are issued an extendable visitor permit on arrival, which is valid for three months.
Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Czech Rep, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea (South), Kiribati, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tuvalu, UAE, Uruguay, USA.
Citizens of all other countries are required to hold a visa to enter the country. These are available from any NZ embassy and are usually valid for three months. Visitors must be able to show the following in order to qualify for a visa.
A valid passport that will not expire for the duration of your stay.
Sufficient funds to support yourself for the duration of your stay. This is set at NZ$1000 per month of intended stay, or NZ$400 if your accommodation has been prepaid.
An onward ticket to a country where you have right of entry.
Work permits of up to three years will be issued if applied for in your home country. The permit will only be issued if no New Zealand jobseeker can do the job you have been offered. If the work permit is applied for while in New Zealand, the expiration date of the permit will be the expiration date of your visitor permit.
Citizens of Canada, Japan and the UK aged between 18 and 30, can apply for a Working Holiday Permit before they arrive in New Zealand. This permits them to work, in a temporary position, while travelling around the country. It is valid for 12 months.

Public telephones are commonplace, though some only take phone cards. Phone cards are available at Visitor Information Centres, newsagents, convenience stores, service stations, and other outlets.
New Zealand International Access Code is 64.
The area code for Auckland is 09.

Post Office
Auckland has many post offices, open 9am to 5pm (Monday to Friday). Some agents are open on the weekends, though postal service only operates during the week.

Many New Zealanders regard tipping as a foreign custom, although it is becoming more common. If you receive extraordinary service, a tip should be given, 5% to 10% of the bill is what is expected.

Public Holidays
It is worth noting what the public holidays are before you travel to a country as the majority of businesses, banks and shops usually shut for the day. In New Zealand they take place on January 1st, February 6th, Good Friday, Easter Monday, April 25th, June 4th, October 22nd and December 25th and 26th. It is a good idea to check the particular area too as certain towns and cities also shut down during special events.

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