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Getting Around in Hawke's Bay.

 

Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination?
Having your own vehicle makes it easy to get around. Parking is not normally an issue around the suburbs. Napier operates as the gateway to the Hawke's Bay region, serving the greater area with airport, port and rail access. The region's road network remains largely uncluttered and, even during peak times, there is no traffic congestion. A local bus service provides regular public transport. There is also a series of inter-city buses to and from Napier.

There are also four taxi providers in the region that can be ordered via the telephone or found at taxi stands located throughout Napier and Hastings.
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How can I legally drive a vehicle in this city?
If you have a current and valid overseas driver's license, you can drive with it for a maximum of 12 months from the date you arrive in New Zealand. If your overseas license or permit is not in English, then you must carry an acceptable translation. If you are staying for more than 12 months, you must obtain a New Zealand driver's license. Depending on the country you have come from, you may have to pass a theory and or practical test.

Please visit your local Automobile Association office to obtain an application for a New Zealand driver's license.
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What side of the road do people drive on?
Motorists drive on the left-hand side of the road.
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Describe typical public transportation an expat might use to get around the city.
The city has a bus service connecting central city and the suburbs.
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Could an expat also use public transportation to get out of the city—to surrounding towns, recreation areas or suburbs? If so, list options.
Napier operates as the gateway to the Hawke's Bay region, serving the greater area with airport, port and rail access. The region's road network remains largely uncluttered and, even during peak times, there is no traffic congestion. A local bus service provides regular public transport. There is also a series of inter-city buses to and from Napier.

There are also four taxi providers in the region that can be ordered via the telephone or found at taxi stands located throughout Napier and Hastings.
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In regards to transportation, are there any safety issues I should be aware of?
There are no additional safety issues apart from remembering that New Zealanders drive on the left side of the road. Pedestrians who are not used to this system should be cautious when crossing the road. Seatbelts are required for all passengers. Motorcyclists are required to wear crash helmets.
Maximum legal speed on highways and motorways is normally 100 kph (61 mph). In cities and towns, the limit is 50 kph (30 mph). Speed limits are posted on signs. Exceeding the speed limits is considered a serious offense and carries heavy penalties. At a "Give Way" sign, be ready to stop and give way to all traffic. At a "Stop" sign, stop completely and then give way to all traffic.

For a more detailed explanation of New Zealand's driving rules, copies of the New Zealand Road
Code can be purchased from most bookshops and stationery outlets.

New Zealand laws require that all children under the age of five are properly restrained in an approved child restraint appropriate for their age and weight. Approved child restraints include:

  • infant restraints for young babies (often called baby capsules)
  • restraints for older babies and toddlers (often called car seats)
  • harnesses and booster seats for preschool and school-aged children

Child restraints are sold by retailers such as department stores, larger toy shops and shops that sell baby supplies. You can rent child restraints from the Plunket organization and other community groups and some companies. Plunket Car Seat Rental Schemes have booster seats, infant and child restraints available for short- and long-term hire suitable for newborns and children up to seven years.
They are available for a minimal cost to ensure all families can afford to keep their children safe while traveling. You can visit Plunket's website for further details: www.plunket.org.nz
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Where do I buy tickets/tokens/etc. for the major public transportation?
Due to regulations on the sales of tickets, it is advisable to contact your local Public Transport office. It is common to purchase bus tickets upon boarding.
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Useful Links

Hawke's Bay Airport
http://www.hawkesbay-airport.co.nz/default.aspx 
Taxis and Shuttles
http://www.hawkesbay-airport.co.nz/Taxis__Shuttles_12.aspx
Rental Cars
http://www.hawkesbay-airport.co.nz/Rental_Cars_13.aspx
Hawke's Bay Transport, Travel
http://au.totaltravel.yahoo.com/directory/transport/new-zealand/north-island/east-coast/hawkes-bay/
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