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Flying Kiwis keep Consuls busy

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has released its Consular Snapshot for 2018-19 revealing a 20 per cent rise in the number of Kiwis seeking consular assistance overseas.

Manager of the Ministry’s Consular Division, Carl Reaich said it had received more than 23,000 general inquiries and dealt with 2,716 consular cases in the year to 30 June.

He said the Ministry spent most time dealing with law infringement cases, which included helping New Zealanders who were arrested or detained overseas.

“This was ahead of the category of cases in which the Ministry provided assistance following the death of a New Zealander overseas,” Mr Reaich said.

“The increase in consular cases this year reflects the rise in the number of New Zealanders going overseas, and the increase in older New Zealanders travelling.”

He said the Ministry’s five busiest diplomatic posts, in terms of numbers of new consular cases, were in Australia, the United States, China, the United Kingdom and the Cook Islands.

“As well as providing consular advice and assistance to travelling New Zealanders, the Ministry issued 103 travel advisories about overseas destinations, and responded to 37 emergencies overseas, which included natural disasters, accidents and terrorist incidents,” Mr Reaich said.

“Our advice to travelling New Zealanders is to check our travel advice for your destination, to register your travel details on the SafeTravel website so we can contact you in an emergency, and to get comprehensive travel insurance.”