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New Zealand Natural Disaster Resilience

New Zealand’s geography is shaped by its location known as the Ring of Fire surrounding the Pacific Ocean.  

Its geographical location means New Zealand is highly susceptible to seismic and volcanic activity. Earthquakes take place daily and although most are not felt, from time-to-time intense earthquakes do cause mild-to-severe damage. New Zealand is also affected by tsunamis and weather conditions ranging from thunderstorms and floods to droughts and wildfires. The 2010/2011 Christchurch earthquake sequence was the largest insured event in New Zealand history and the fourth most expensive insured global natural disaster to occur. 

This country’s high-risk natural disaster status has led to a well-developed civil defense network overseen by the National Emergency Management Agency.

Mitigation (awareness/education) and Preparedness which are core to protecting and supporting New Zealanders in an emergency are funded through a combination of central, local and individual sources.  (Knowing who funds what is complex.)  Individual responsibility is high as disaster Response and Recovery operations are expected to take 3-7 days.  Family and communities are encouraged to invest and store key necessities for emergencies such as food items, clean drinking water, and systems for waste management.  Both Mitigation and Preparedness responses offer opportunities to U.S. organizations.  Key purchasing factors include brand recognition, price, durability, design and innovation, and increasingly a product’s sustainability. (Government procurement rules apply to all procurements over NZ$100,000.) 

Market Entry

  • Goods must comply under the Consumer Guarantees Act and Fair Trading Act
  • Most imports can enter the market tariff-free. Information on tariff rates is available on the New Zealand Customs website.
  • All goods imported into New Zealand are subject to a 15% Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • There are no import licensing requirements.
  • New Zealand’s system of measurement is metric.
  • Standards New Zealand provides information on local standards (agreed specifications for products, processes, services, or performance)
  • In 2021, the average currency exchange rate was NZ$1.00 : US$0.70

For more information please contact:  Janet Coulthart, U.S. Commercial Service, New Zealand Email: Janet.Coulthart@trade.gov

02/01/2022