Advice to rugby fans in New Zealand
September 1st, 2011 by elisa

As the Rugby World Cup draws closer, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued some tips and a warning to fans flying to New Zealand on how to take care on the country’s roads.

It says twice as many people die on New Zealand’s roads per head of population as in the UK; and as thousands of supporters set off for the start of the tournament on 9th September, the FCO (in collaboration with the Rugby Football Union and Scottish and Welsh Rugby Union) has set out some advice to prepare for their trip.

Minister for consular affairs Jeremy Browne said: “Whether fans are planning on taking part in adrenalin sports or hiring a vehicle for a road trip, I strongly recommend that they check the small print of their travel insurance to ensure they are covered for everything they want to do. And people driving long distances should plan their journey carefully, including regular breaks, to avoid accidents.”

Welsh rugby coach Warren Gatland, who is from New Zealand, said: “As always, Wales will have strong support in the stands, particularly in Wellington for our first match. Let’s hope that the fans enjoy their time here and go home with great memories of rugby rather than huge medical bills.

“New Zealand is a beautiful but vast country – it’s really easy to underestimate how long journeys can take so I’d encourage people to allow plenty of time to get to matches so you don’t miss a minute of the rugby or take risks on the roads!”

The Foreign Office has a dedicated Rugby World Cup advice page which details match dates, locations and travel tips, including driving tips such as:

  • Prepare for long distances between service stations in rural areas.
  • Take care when driving at night: there is little street lighting outside of towns. Also look out for livestock wandering onto roads
  • Do not drink alcohol before driving in New Zealand, drinking and driving laws are strictly enforced.
  • Amber traffic lights mean STOP in New Zealand and the right of way rules are different from other countries. Read a copy of the Road Code before driving.
  • Check with your insurance company that you’re fully covered to drive abroad including breakdown recovery and any medical expenses resulting from an accident.
  • You can send updates about your location and travel movements via your mobile in NZ by texting 7233 (SAFE). These details are kept on a central database which can be accessed by NZ Police if necessary.
  • Listen to the games on the move! Radio Sport will be the official broadcaster of the Rugby World Cup – for local frequency check the website.



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