MIL-OSI New Zealand: Kazakhstan

Source: New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Safe Travel

  • Reviewed: 22 January 2019, 14:45 NZDT
  • Still current at: 22 January 2019

Exercise increased caution in Kazakhstan due to terrorism and violent crime.

There is an underlying threat of terrorism in Kazakhstan. On 18 July 2016, a gunman in Almaty killed three policemen and a member of the public. On 5 June 2016, a number of people were killed and injured in an attack in Aktobe in northwestern Kazakhstan. New Zealanders are advised to be security conscious in public places, monitor the media for information about threats to safety and security, and follow any advice and instructions issued by the local authorities.

Violent crime
Violent crime targeting foreigners has been reported in Atyrau and Aktau in western Kazakhstan, and in Astana and Almaty. New Zealanders in Kazakhstan should avoid walking alone and be especially cautious after dark in urban centres.

Robbery, pickpocketing and assaults can occur in shopping areas, markets, public transport, and restaurants. There have also been reports of travellers being robbed by individuals posing as police officers, or unsolicited ‘meet-and-greet’ drivers at airports. Never voluntarily give your wallet to someone, and always check for identification. Do not use unmarked taxis and avoid entering a cab that already has another passenger in the car. It is advisable to avoid wearing or displaying items that appear valuable such as mobile devices and jewellery.

General travel advice
Local police often ask to see proof of identity. Foreign nationals are required by Kazakhstan law to carry their passport and visa with them at all times.

New Zealanders travelling or living in Kazakhstan should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air. There are shortages of even the most basic medical supplies in Kazakhstan.

Travel tips

The New Zealand Embassy Moscow, Russian Federation is accredited to Kazakhstan

Street Address 3 Prechistenskaya Naberezhnaya, Moscow 119034, Russian Federation Telephone +7 495 956 3579 Alternate Telephone +7 495 956 3580 Fax +7 495 956 3583 Email Web Site Hours Mon – Fri 0900 – 1230, 1330 – 1730 hrs

See our regional advice for Central Asia

MIL OSI New Zealand

MIL-OSI New Zealand: Jamaica

Source: New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Safe Travel

  • Reviewed: 18 January 2019, 14:40 NZDT
  • Still current at: 18 January 2019

Exercise increased caution in Jamaica due to violent crime.

Violent crime
Jamaica has a high rate of violent crime, particularly in around Kingston and Montego Bay. Much of this crime, which includes armed robbery, kidnapping and murder, is related to the presence of street gangs and organised criminal groups.

There is a particularly high incidence of crime in Kingston neighbourhoods such as West Kingston, Whiteford Town, Olympic Gardens, Payneland, Portmore, Whitfield Town, Grant’s Pen, Tivoli Gardens, Trench Town, Arnett Gardens, August Town, Harbour View, Denham Town, Hannah Town, Cassava Piece and Mountain View. Crime is also high in Spanish Town and certain parts of Montego Bay such as Flankers, Norwood, Canterbury, Mount Salem, Barett Town, Norwood, Glendevon, Rose Heights, Clavers Street and Hart Street. Police may impose curfews with short notice in areas where gang activity is a concern.

New Zealanders are advised to assure themselves their accommodation has appropriate security measures in place. Most hotels and resorts are well guarded and gated communities are considered the safest accommodation. You should maintain a high level of security awareness, even when staying with family or friends.

New Zealanders should be aware that attacks against tourists are often financially motivated. Exercise particular vigilance while withdrawing money from ATMs. Avoid using ATMs that look temporary in structure or location, and only use ATMs in well-lit public areas or inside banks. It is advisable to avoid wearing or displaying items that appear valuable, such jewellery and mobile devices. No resistance should be given if you are the victim of crime as this could lead to an escalation in violence. 

New Zealanders are advised to avoid walking alone or in isolated areas, including on beaches. Do not take buses at night and only use taxis approved by the Jamaica Union of Travellers’ Association (commonly known as ‘JUTA’). These taxis are authorised by the government and can be identified by their red license plates.

There have been outbreaks of violence on the Mountain View Avenue route from Kingston International Airport to the city. We advise New Zealanders travelling between the airport and the city use the alternative Humming Bird route along South Camp Road.

Petty crime such as bag snatching, passport theft and pickpocketing occurs in Jamaica and is common in tourist areas and in Kingston. We advise New Zealanders to be alert to their surroundings at all times and take steps to safeguard and secure their personal belongings. Extra care should be taken to ensure food and drink is never left unattended. Victims of spiked drinks have been robbed and sometimes assaulted.

State of emergency
The Government of Jamaica has declared a state of emergency in St James Parish (including Montego Bay), due to a significant increase in violent crime. There is an increased police and military presence in the area to stabilise the situation. If you are staying in the affected area, be extremely vigilant particularly at night, monitor local media and follow all instructions from local authorities.

Civil unrest
Demonstrations and protests occasionally occur in Jamaica. New Zealanders should avoid demonstrations as they have the potential to lead to violence and opportunistic crime. Be alert, take precautions to ensure your safety and comply with instructions from the relevant security authorities.

General travel advice
New Zealanders travelling or living in Jamaica should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders travelling or resident in Jamaica are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips

The New Zealand High Commission Ottawa, Canada is accredited to Jamaica

Street Address 150 Elgin Street, Suite 1401 Ottawa Ontario K2P 1L4 Telephone +1 613 238 5991 Alternate Telephone +1 613 238 6097 Email Web Site Hours Mon – Fri 0830 – 1630 hrs

See our regional advice for the Caribbean

MIL OSI New Zealand

MIL-OSI Australia: Head of the Office of the Pacific

Source: Australian Government – Minister of Foreign Affairs

Today I announce the appointment of Mr Ewen McDonald as the Head of the Office of the Pacific in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The establishment of the Office and Mr McDonald’s appointment reflect the Australian Government’s commitment to take our engagement with the Pacific to a new level. This will build on our already deep relationship with the region and support the delivery of the Australian Government’s package of innovative new initiatives in the Pacific, including labour mobility and infrastructure financing.

Mr McDonald will coordinate and support the Australian Government effort to build stronger relationships with Pacific leaders, governments and people, as well as with regional organisations and institutions. He will engage actively with our Pacific Island partners to ensure Australia’s development assistance is delivering on our shared priorities.

Our focus is on durable investments in the region’s long-term prosperity and security. These will build on the goals we outlined in the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper.

Australia’s extensive business engagement with the Pacific is a driver of prosperity for Australia and our neighbours. Building on our existing strong collaboration with business, Mr McDonald will seek out new opportunities and avenues for commercial cooperation, as well as improved leveraging of commercial funds.

Mr McDonald is a senior officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. As our current High Commissioner to New Zealand, with accreditation to the Cook Islands and Niue, Mr McDonald brings to the role his direct experience working on the current issues of our region.

He has extensive experience working with Pacific colleagues on foreign policy, development and humanitarian issues. He has worked hard to advocate for Pacific voices in international bodies including the UN.

Prior to his most recent role, he was Deputy Secretary in the Department with oversight of the Australian aid program, and UN work, with a particular focus on the Pacific. He has also held the position of Deputy Director General, AusAID and other senior positions across Government.

Media enquiries

  • Minister’s office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555

MIL OSI Australia