Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 15 March 2024, 12:49 NZDT
  • Still current at: 15 June 2024

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If you are planning international travel at this time, please read our COVID-19 related travel advice here, alongside our destination specific travel advice below.

Do not travel

Do not travel to Haiti due to the high level of kidnapping, violent crime and civil unrest (level 4 of 4).

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On 3 March 2024, prisoners escaped after gangs overwhelmed security forces at the main prison in Port au Prince, Haiti’s capital. The government declared a state of emergency, with a nightly curfew in place.

If you are currently in Haiti, you should consider leaving via commercial options, if you can do so safely.

New Zealanders in Haiti should be aware that commercial options for departing the country could be severely disrupted or cancelled at short notice. Airports and airlines may pause or cancel operations without warning. Road transportation could also be severely disrupted. New Zealanders who wish to depart Haiti are responsible for their own departure. 

As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in Haiti, the ability of the government to provide consular assistance to New Zealand citizens is severely limited. We offer advice to New Zealanders about contingency planning that travellers to Haiti should consider.

Violent Crime
The security situation in Haiti is unpredictable and crime levels are high throughout the country. Murder, armed robbery, kidnapping and carjacking is prevalent and there is an increased risk at night and in isolated areas. Local law enforcement’s response to crime is often limited. 

New Zealanders are advised to exercise a high degree of vigilance at all times, particularly in Port-au-Prince and near Haiti’s border with the Dominican Republic.  We recommend avoiding travel after dark and the use of public transport, including shared taxis (tap-taps) and buses. We also recommend making adequate security arrangements to avoid travelling alone in Haiti. The presence of one or more travelling companions with reliable local knowledge may help mitigate the risks.

Criminals have been known to follow travellers from the airport in Port-au-Prince to carry out robberies or carjackings. We recommend travelling with doors locked and windows up at all times and arranging transport from the airport before arrival. No resistance should be given if you are the victim of an armed robbery or carjacking as this could lead to an escalation in violence.

There is a threat of kidnapping in Haiti, especially in Port-au-Prince. Most kidnappings are financially motivated and victims are often targeted due to their perceived wealth. It is therefore advisable to avoid wearing or displaying items that appear valuable, such as jewellery and mobile devices.

New Zealanders are advised to take particular care when withdrawing money from banks, as criminals have been known to target customers as they leave banks.

Civil Unrest
The political situation in Haiti is unpredictable. Demonstrations and roadblocks are commonplace in Port-au-Prince and other cities, which can cause water, food and fuel shortages. We recommend you avoid all demonstrations as they have the potential to turn violent. You should monitor local media and government announcements for information. Adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities, including curfews and other security regulations issued in response to protest activity.

General Travel Advice
Hurricane season is June to November, during which landslides, flooding and disruption to essential services is likely to be severe.

Foreigners taking photos have sometimes been regarded with suspicion and assaulted, particularly in remote areas. Avoid taking photos of individuals without permission.

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

New Zealanders in Haiti are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips

See our regional advice for the Caribbean

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