Staff at New Zealand embassies can help you in several ways if you get into difficulties overseas but there are some limitations.
Who can we help?
Consular services are available to New Zealand citizens outside New Zealand (whether or not they normally live in New Zealand). New Zealand citizens who also hold citizenship of another country ("dual nationals") may not be entitled to assistance, for example if they have entered a country on their non-New Zealand passport, or if they are in the country of their other nationality.
Staff at Embassies can:
- give advice, with the aim of helping you to help yourself
- help with a lost or stolen passport
- help you contact relatives or friends to request emergency funds
- provide a list of English-speaking lawyers, and help you contact family and friends, if you are detained or arrested
- help you contact family and friends if you are ill or injured
- help with arrangements following a death overseas
- in certain circumstances, provide notarial services such as witnessing affidavits, statutory declarations and other documents for use under New Zealand law
- help during crises, such as civil unrest and natural disasters.
Staff at Embassies cannot:
- pay your hotel, travel or other bills, legal or medical expenses, or costs of returning a body to New Zealand
- give you legal advice, including on family law matters such as child custody, international surrogacy and adoption issues
- investigate a crime or get you out of prison
- get you better conditions in prison or hospital than a local citizen would receive
- arrange visas or work/residency permits for you
- provide you with financial assistance, except in a real emergency and subject to very strict conditions
- operate a personal mail service for you including through the diplomatic bag or store your belongings
- compel another country to overturn your travel ban
- become involved in commercial disputes or civil litigation.
For more detail, see the section When things go wrong.
Authentication of Documents
Before certain New Zealand documents can be used overseas, Document Authentication may be necessary.
For more detail on this service, see our Authentication of Documents on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.