Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 31 October 2013, 11:41 NZDT
  • Still current at: 11 December 2018

Security

There is an increased global risk of terrorism. No country is immune from a terrorist attack, and no person is immune from becoming a victim of an attack. Terrorists have little regard for civilian casualties and, in many cases, attacks are designed to maximise casualties.

Although New Zealand travellers may not be targeted deliberately, they are usually indistinguishable from any “Western” tourist, and frequent places where other Western tourists are found. This puts New Zealanders at the same risk as others.

Wherever you are, you should keep yourself informed about the latest alerts and stay aware of your surroundings in areas where large numbers of people congregate, such as shopping malls, markets, monuments, demonstrations and on any public transport.

In Afghanistan the high threat of terrorism continues with bombings, kidnappings and attacks by suicide bombers. Groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan have been implicated in terrorist incidents in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Risk Level Extreme

Destinations in Central Asia where we advise against all travel.

Afghanistan

Do not travel to Afghanistan. The hostile and unpredictable security situation, high and ongoing threat from terrorism and kidnapping of foreigners present a significant risk to New Zealanders in Afghanistan. New Zealanders currently in Afghanistan are advised to depart as soon as it is safe to do so.

New Zealanders who decide to travel to Afghanistan against our advice should ensure that appropriate personal security protection measures are in place at all times. We strongly recommend you consult a reputable security company with experience in Afghanistan for advice on security arrangements. Security arrangements should be reviewed on a regular basis. Such measures may mitigate the risks to your safety but cannot eliminate them entirely.

Azerbaijan

Do not travel to the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the surrounding military-occupied area due to political tension and the potential for armed conflict.

Georgia

Do not travel to the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and the areas near the administrative boundary lines. The threat of terrorism, crime and unexploded mines and ordnance makes travel to these areas extremely dangerous. 

Previous incidents of terrorism have included improvised explosive devices and other acts of violence in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. There is also a danger from unexploded landmines in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and mined areas may be unmarked. New Zealanders are advised not to stray off well-used roads and paths in those areas.

As these regions are not under the control of Georgian authorities, the New Zealand Government has a severely limited ability to provide assistance to New Zealand citizens.

Risk Level High

Destinations in Central Asia where we advise against tourist and other non-essential travel.

Kyrgyzstan

Avoid non-essential travel to the Ferghana Valley and areas bordering Uzbekistan and Tajikistan due to the uncertain security situation and the presence of landmines. This includes the regions of Osh, Jalalabad and Batken.

Tajikistan

Avoid all non-essential travel to areas bordering Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan due to criminal activity and the presence of landmines.

Avoid all non-essential travel to the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast due to the uncertain security situation.

Uzbekistan

Avoid non-essential travel to the areas bordering Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan (including the city of Andijan) due to the uncertain security situation and landmines.

Risk Level Some

Destinations in Central Asia where we advise caution.

Azerbaijan

Exercise increased caution elsewhere in Azerbaijan due to the potential for civil unrest. 

Kazakhstan

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

Kyrgyzstan

Exercise increased caution elsewhere in Kyrgyzstan due to violent crime, terrorism and the potential for civil unrest.

Tajikistan

Exercise increased caution elsewhere in Tajikistan due to the threat from terrorism.

Uzbekistan

Exercise increased caution elsewhere in Uzbekistan due to the threat from terrorism and violent crime.

Exercise Normal

Destinations in Central Asia where we advise normal.

Georgia

Elsewhere in Georgia we advise exercising normal safety and security precautions due to the potential for civil unrest and underlying threat of terrorism.

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