Injured Yourself While Gallivanting Around New Zealand? ACC’s Got You Covered

Few things can ruin a vacation faster than an injury, especially if your primary reason for visiting New Zealand was to get your fill of adrenaline-pumping activities.

I mean, you can’t exactly go bungy-jumping with a broken leg now, can you?

But as if you needed another reason to love New Zealand, they have this most extraordinary scheme called the Accident Compensation Corporation or ACC.

It’s basically a Crown entity that’s charged with administering the country’s universal no-fault accidental injury scheme, which, get this, applies to ANYONE in New Zealand, whether they are a resident or a temporary visitor (i.e., a tourist).

And if that doesn’t make you feel a lot more confident about taking the Zorb out on a spin, you should also know that this sort of “no-fault” coverage means that the ACC will help you out regardless of who or what actually caused your injury. (Yep, you’ll still get assistance with injury-related costs even if you happened to, say, break your ankle while strolling down a hill after chugging half a six-pack. Crazy, I know.)

So, how do you get help from the ACC if you do get injured?

For starters, you need to go visit a healthcare professional or a doctor at a medical centre or a hospital. (Don’t just put Vicks Vaporub on your injury, for the love of God.)

The attending physician will then treat your injury, help you fill out an ACC form, and even send off the said form for you. You’ll need to pay a partial amount for this first medical visit, but you can avail of a refund for much of the cost afterward if your ACC claim is accepted. Should you be in New Zealand for work purposes, the healthcare professional can also produce a medical certificate for you in case you need to take a few days off to recover.

ACC Form

Image Credit: Shutterstock

The ACC will contact you via phone or through a letter if your claim is successful, so remember to keep the receipt for your treatment costs. The following are examples of the sort of medical assistance that the ACC can provide:

  • Treatment costs;
  • Prescription medication costs;
  • Compensation for lost earnings;
  • Transport to and from treatment;
  • Recovery aids and equipment;
  • Childcare;
  • Assistance with chores around the house;
  • Assistance with getting back to work.

To be clear, the ACC covers personal injuries (i.e., physical injuries, mental injuries brought about by physical injuries, criminal activity, or any traumatic work-related event, and damage done to prostheses that are meant to replace parts of the body, such as a prosthetic leg, etc.) that are caused by any of the following:

  • Accidents;
  • Occupational hazards;
  • Medical treatments;
  • Sexual abuse.

Lastly, it should be noted that there are certain injuries that the ACC does not cover, such as:

  • Pre-existing conditions or illnesses;
  • Stress, hurt feelings, or heartbreak (i.e., if you get friendzoned or busted by a hot Maori or Kiwi, sorry, mate, you’re on your own);
  • Aging-related symptoms;
  • Non-traumatic hernias, such as the sort you could get from coughing or sneezing;
  • Gradual process injuries that aren’t caused by occupational hazards, such as skin rashes born of a stubborn insistence on using Vicks Vaporub as a cure-all;
  • Damage to items that aren’t meant to replace body parts, such as hearing aids, glasses, or pacemakers.

Stay safe, everyone!

5 Jobs That Can Give You Free Accommodation in New Zealand

Remember that scene in Titanic where Rose’s uptight snob of a mother grills Jack at the dinner table? After he talks about how he’s been to so many places, she makes a subtle dig at his poverty by asking, “And how is it you have the means to travel?”

He then replies, “I work my way from place to place, you know, tramp steamers and such.”

Despite the fact that the movie was set more than a hundred years ago (1912, to be exact), 21st century travelers can still do a Jack Dawson if they’ve got limited funds. Accommodations, for instance, arguably eat up the biggest chunk of your travel budget. Especially in a place like New Zealand, where you’ll be lucky if you find decent rooms for under USD 173 per night.

Fortunately, you can find a place to stay for free on this island nation if you’re willing to put in a bit of work. Here are five different gigs that can save you from having to sleep on a park bench if you’re running low on cash:

1. Au Pair.

Image Credit: BananasBunch

It’s basically a fancy term for a live-in babysitter.

This sort of arrangement typically suits single women who plan to stay in New Zealand for quite a while and don’t mind looking after young children in exchange for a place to stay. It’s also a great way to supplement a degree in Early Childhood Education and Development with actual childcare experience.

As a bonus, it’s also got potential as an excellent cross-cultural exchange for both the host family and the au pair.

2. Waged Jobs in the Hospitality Industry.

Image Credit: iStock

If you aim to hang around New Zealand for a few months, you could try to get a job at the local hostel, hotel, or motel. Working the reception desk or a handful of housekeeping shifts a week could mean a free bed to sleep in and some extra pocket money to boot!

3. WWOOF.

WWOOF
Image Credit: The Green Compass

No, this has nothing to do with pretending to be a dog (although you may find yourself making a few new furry friends in the process).

WWOOF stands for “Working Weekends on Organic Farms,” and it involves volunteering to work on a variety of organic properties for about 4-6 hours a day. Manual work is clearly involved, but you’d be doing so in a safe and perhaps even scenic environment, and the hosts typically provide shelter AND food.

Aspiring socio-preneurs and food sustainability advocates ought to find the experience extremely educational and rewarding as well. Learn more about WWOOF here.

4. DOC Volunteer Work.

DOC Volunteer Work
Image Credit: AA Traveller

Speaking of volunteering and the environment, another option involves signing up with New Zealand’s Department of Conservation (DoC) and helping out with their efforts to preserve and restore the country’s historic buildings and wildlife sanctuaries.

Some projects include free accommodation for volunteers, and you can visit the DoC website to find which of the ongoing ones would suit you.

5. Sailing Crews.

Sailing Crews
Image Credit: Crew 4 U 2 Sail

Fancy going all Pirates of the Caribbean on New Zealand’s most pristine waters AND scoring complimentary board and lodging?

Log on to Find A Crew, and look for a captain who’ll take you on as part of the crew on their floating vessel! Trips brokered on this website typically last for an entire week and usually come with a free bed aboard, or at the very least, a small fee in exchange for the same.

Okay, so you might argue that a working vacation is no vacation at all. Still, if you look at the jobs listed above, most of them actually offer great opportunities to get to know the country and its people better, potentially resulting in a more immersive experience. And how many travelers can claim that they’ve managed to do that while savi quite a bundle in the process?

How to Open a New Zealand Bank Account From Australia

While it’s true that New Zealand is just “a hop across the pond” from Australia, going there on vacation or for business still comes with a few complications, one of which involves how you plan to store or keep your travel allowance.

Personally, I’ve never been abroad for longer than two weeks, so I have never felt the need to open a bank account outside the Philippines. However, I would imagine that a hotel room safe or a plain old wallet won’t do if you’ll be staying in a different country for months at a time.

If you’ll be traveling to New Zealand and lingering there for quite a while, one option is to open a temporary NZ bank account. This is much safer and more convenient as it eliminates the need to carry around a large amount of cash as you travel, plus your money can earn a bit of interest on the side too.

So, how do you go about it? Read on and find out:

1. Check if your local bank has branches in New Zealand.

Check if your local bank has branches in New Zealand

Because of the proximity between the two countries, a handful of the financial institutions operating in Australia tend to have outposts in New Zealand. ANZ, which stands for Australia and New Zealand, is one example (duh), as is Westpac.

ANZ has two kinds of accounts for travelers who need to set up funds in New Zealand, namely the Go Account and the Online Account. There are no fees required for opening either of them and the online account accrues 1.9% interest in addition. Depositing money from your Australian branch to your NZ bank account incurs about NZ$15 per transaction, but once you get to New Zealand, transferring funds within the country is free of charge.

Westpac, on the other hand, has about three options:

a.) Electronic Account.

This paperless account exists purely online, but it also doesn’t incur fees unless you’ll also use it to deposit and credit cheques (save for accounts with NZ$20,000 or more). You can also avail of a Mastercard debit card linked to this account for a one-time fee of NZ$10.

b.) Online Saver.

Apart from a 2.2% interest per annum, this account also allows for unlimited withdrawals and deposits.

c.) Online Bonus Saver.

This is like the Online Saver, except that it has a 3.3% interest rate.

2. Set up your bank account in New Zealand before leaving Australia.

Set up your bank account in New Zealand before leaving Australia

Once you’ve ascertained that your local bank has operations in New Zealand, you can actually set up your NZ account before you leave the country.

Simply fill out an online application form on your bank’s official website, and then allot about ten (10) working days for the processing time. It’s best that you accomplish this as soon as possible so that you have enough time to transfer money to this account. (Bear in mind that since a currency exchange is likely to occur, there will be additional fees for such a procedure.)

You won’t have access to the money in your NZ account until you get to New Zealand, so plan your finances around that too.

3. Activate your bank account upon arriving in New Zealand.

Activate your bank account upon arriving in New Zealand
Image Credit: Shutterstock

After your application has been approved and your account has been funded, you can book an appointment with the NZ bank upon arriving. To open and access your account, you need to bring the following to the appointment:

a.) Proof of address – only a New Zealand address can be used, but hostel or hotel addresses are acceptable. Do check with your hotel or hostel first before you put theirs forward.

b.) Proof of identification – also known as a valid, government-issued ID. Your passport ought to do for this one.

c.) Copy of your visa – Some banks may require this, so have a photocopy ready just in case.

Lastly, don’t forget to close your NZ bank account before you go back to Australia. It will still be charged with bank fees even if you’re no longer using it, and closing it from abroad can take a painfully long time.

Anyhow, it’s quite easy to do this. Simply set an appointment with the bank to close your account, and then bring your passport and bank cards along. The entire process takes all of 20 minutes, tops.

Much luck!

Why Young Tourists Don’t Need a Passport to Go Drinking in New Zealand

One of the biggest hassles that come with being a traveler or a tourist is that you need to have your passport on you at all times. It would, of course, be much safer and more convenient for you to leave this document at your hostel or hotel, but bars and supermarkets often require proof of age for customers who wish to buy or consume liquor.

Interestingly, New Zealand came up with a solution to this problem and it’s called the Hospitality New Zealand 18+ card.

Officially called an “Evidence of Age Document,” this ID card essentially contains your photograph, name, and date of birth, thus proving that you are 18 years old or above. And yes, it counts as a valid ID in New Zealand!

How does one avail of this magical object? It’s quite simple, as you’ll see below:

1. Avail of and fill up a Hospitality NZ 18+ Card Application form.

These are available at any PostShop or you can access this link and print out the form from there.

2. Assemble the following requirements:

a.) A passport-sized (5 cm x 4 cm) photograph.

It should have been taken within the past 12 months and should feature a clear frontal view of your head and shoulders (i.e., no sunglasses, hat, or any other accessory obscuring any of your features).

If you don’t have one on you, you can pay to have a passport-sized photo taken at an NZ PostShop for a small fee.

b.) An original government-issued ID with a photo.

This can be a passport, a firearms license, a New Zealand driver’s license (if you managed to get one prior), a Certificate of Identity issued under the Passport Act of 1992, or a Refugee Travel Document issued by or on behalf of the New Zealand document.

Current ID’s are ideal, but those that have been expired for less than two (2) years are also considered valid for this application.

c.) Proof of Address.

You also need to present a document proving that you are living at the address you listed in the application form. A bank statement or a letter from an educational institute or employer addressed to the same is a good example, provided that it is less than 12 months old. Utility or credit card bills can also be considered so long as they are less than 6 months old.

3. Submit your complete application in person at a PostShop and settle the NZ$45 fee.

Remember to keep your receipt.

5. Wait for your spanking new Hospitality NZ 18+ card to arrive at the address on your application after about two weeks.

See how easy that was? Now, go on and apply so you can enjoy a hassle-free night-out on the town in Auckland or Queenstown!

Sail the Seas (Well, Sort of) at the New Zealand Maritime Museum

Quick, what do Moana and New Zealand have in common? Answer: They both have a history linked to the sea.

Okay, that was random, but there are only so many ways that you could use pop culture to sell an attraction like the New Zealand Maritime Museum.

Inaugurated in 1993, the New Zealand Maritime Museum Hui Te Anaui a Tangaroa (whew, what a mouthful) is Auckland’s premier destination for all navy and seafaring aficionados. Fittingly enough, it’s located on Hobson Wharf and is adjacent to Central Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour. In case you’re wondering, that Maori phrase its name translates to “Holder of the Treasures of Tangaroa,” with the latter being the Maori Sea God. (See? That Moana comparison wasn’t so left field, after all.)

Thomas Lance “Rodney” Wilson - 1993 America’s Cup

It was Thomas Lance “Rodney” Wilson who founded the museum with his fundraising efforts back in 1989. It would officially open its doors about four years later, just in time for the 1993 America’s Cup regatta, which, as luck would have it, was being held in Auckland that year.

Today, the sleek, futuristic structure houses exhibitions that pay tribute to New Zealand’s maritime history, from the first Polynesian explorers and settlers to present day yachting successes at the aforementioned America’s Cup.

The Hawaiki Exhibition, for instance, displays replicas of the intricate voyaging canoes that brought in the first settlers from Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia. If you loved the seafaring vessels in 2016’s “Moana” (and there’s that reference again), you’ll be able to get a look at these floating works of art up close.

Sir Peter Blake, New Zealand’s most celebrated mariner

There’s also an exhibit dedicated to Sir Peter Blake, New Zealand’s most celebrated mariner. As an exemplary ocean racer and a dedicated environmentalist, Blake brought great acclaim to his birth country through his remarkable achievements in the yachting world. The “Blue Water, Black Magic” exhibition also showcases the cutting-edge seacraft design and nautical prowess that has allowed the country to dominate just about all the significant blue-water sailing events in the world at one time or another.

You can also engage in some interactive activities in between meandering down the halls of the display corridors. There are various areas within the museum where you can try designing a yacht, reclining in a kiwi-style bach, hoisting the sails, hearing the cannon fire, and “battening down the hatches” in the rocking cabin.

Lastly, it wouldn’t be a proper maritime experience if you couldn’t get out on the water, and the New Zealand Maritime Museum obliges by taking its visitors on daily (save Sundays) hour-long voyages of the harbor on the Ted Ashby, a fully-restored scow.

hour-long voyages of the harbor on the Ted Ashby
Image Credit: eventfinda

The New Zealand Maritime Museum is located at Corner Quay & Hobson Streets, Viaduct Harbour, Auckland Central, Auckland 1010. Opening hours are from 10 am to 5 pm every day, with the last entries being admitted at 4 pm.