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There is an increase worldwide in the number of foreign nationals being taken hostage or kidnapped, whether for political or other reasons. "Commercial" kidnappings are on the increase.
Currently, hostage taking and kidnapping incidents are common or are known to have occurred in:
New Zealand has no representatives resident in most of these areas and the ability of the Government to assist in such situations is extremely limited.
See the listing under our travel advisories for the extreme risk areas, where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises against all travel.
If you decide to travel to these areas you should check the details of your travel insurance directly with your travel insurance provider.
It is New Zealand Government policy not to negotiate with hostage takers or kidnappers. This includes the payment of any ransom or conceding to other demands. In the event of a hostage-taking or kidnapping, the Government of the country in which the incident takes place is responsible for resolving the situation, with such support as is appropriate from other Governments.
Page last updated: Tuesday, 05 March 2013, 11:41 NZDT