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SAFETY

Concerning work safety, New Zealand and Northland District Health Board hospitals are all safe environments by any overseas standards. There is good exterior lighting around the hospital campuses night, and security assistance is readily available on request.

The biggest risks in the Northland environment stem from sunshine and water. The sun is exceptionally strong and easily leads to sunburn - in summer UV levels rise higher than in comparable world regions. Water safety is very important for all activities in the ocean, rip currents and tides can be deadly for inexperienced swimmers. The remainders or tail ends of tropical cyclones from the Pacific are possible between November and April. Flood damage can occur in very low lying areas.

The numerous volcanic fields have not been active for 250,000 years since the Pacific Ring of Fire has moved eastwards by hundreds of kilometres. Northland is also the country's region with the lowest earthquake risk and the highest tectonic stability.

Basic domestic security precautions are recommended - unlike 30 years ago when it was unusual to lock a house or a car. The risk to encounter violence is not higher than other places, most rather takes place in a domestic context or in connection with alcohol late at night.

Whangarei District is a Safe Community acccording to the World Health Organisation. New Zealand as a whole enjoys top positions in the overall Global Peace Index, a ranking taking into account many indicators from homicides to life expectancy. The country also ranked number 1 in the Corruption Perceptions Index from Transparency International. Risks related to terrorism are practically nonexistent and there are also no deadly poisonous creatures who could bite our newcomers (no snakes, no scorpions, no crocodiles etc.).

Political environment

New Zealand is a modern parliamentary democracy based on proportional representation. The Prime Minister and the Cabinet are the executive political powers, while the House of Representatives holds legislative power. Official Head of State is the British monarch, the Governor-General being the local representative.

Elections occur every three years at local and central government levels. Permanent residents can enrol for elections if they are 18 years or older and have lived in New Zealand for at least one year without leaving the country.



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