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New Zealand

Official Name: New Zealand
Last Updated: November 15, 2013
 

Party to Hague Service Convention?Yes

Party to Hague Evidence Convention?No

Party to Hague Apostille Convention?No

Party to Inter-American Convention?No

Service of Process by Mail?Yes

DISCLAIMER

THE INFORMATION RELATING TO THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS OF SPECIFIC FOREIGN COUNTRIES IS PROVIDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY AND MAY NOT BE TOTALLY ACCURATE IN A PARTICULAR CASE. QUESTIONS INVOLVING INTERPRETATION OF SPECIFIC FOREIGN LAWS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO FOREIGN ATTORNEYS. THIS CIRCULAR SEEKS ONLY TO PROVIDE INFORMATION; IT IS NOT AN OPINION ON ANY ASPECT OF U.S., FOREIGN, OR INTERNATIONAL LAW. THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DOES NOT INTEND BY THE CONTENTS OF THIS CIRCULAR TO TAKE A POSITION ON ANY ASPECT OF ANY PENDING LITIGATION.

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Auckland

Citigroup Centre, 3rd Floor,
23 Customs Street East
Auckland, New Zealand

Telephone: +(64)(9) 303-2724

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (64)(4) 462-6000

Fax: +(64)(9) 303-1069

U.S. Embassy Wellington

29 Fitzherbert Terrace, Thorndon
Wellington, New Zealand

Telephone: +(64)(4) 462-6000

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(64)(4) 462-6000

Fax: +(64)(4) 499-0490

*** Consular Services to U.S. Citizens are only available at the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland. Consular Services are not available at the U.S. Embassy in Wellington even in case of emergency. Please contact the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland for consular assistance. ***

List of Attorneys
Helpful Links
Service of Process

New Zealand is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra Judicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters.  See New Zealand’s response to the 2008 Hague Conference questionnaire on the practical operation of the Service Convention.  Service of process can be accomplished in New Zealand by international registered mail, return receipt requested, via personal service by a process server or attorney in New Zealand and pursuant to letters rogatory.  Consult local legal counsel in New Zealand for specific guidance on New Zealand requirements.

Service on a Foreign State:  See also our Service Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) feature and FSIA Checklist for questions about service on a foreign state, agency or instrumentality.

Service of Documents from New Zealand in the United States:  See information about service in the United States on the U.S. Central Authority for the Service Convention page of the Hague Conference on Private International Law Service Convention site.  That Office also receives requests for service of process from countries not parties to the Hague Service Convention.

Criminal Matters

U.S. federal or state prosecutors should also contact the Office of International Affairs, Criminal Division, Department of Justice for guidance.

Defense Requests in Criminal Matters:  Criminal defendants or their defense counsel seeking judicial assistance in obtaining evidence or in effecting service of documents abroad in connection with criminal matters may do so via the letters rogatory process.

Obtaining Evidence in Civil and Commercial Matters

New Zealand is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil and Commercial Matters.  See also New Zealand’s response to the 2008 Hague Conference questionnaire on the practical operation of the Hague Evidence Convention.  

Requests from New Zealand to Obtain Evidence in the United States:  Requests from New Zealand may submitted to the Office of Foreign Litigation, Civil Division, Department of Justice, 1100 L St., N.W., Room 11006, Washington, D.C. 20530.  Requests may also be submitted via diplomatic channels to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Overseas Citizens Services, Office of American Citizens Services, East Asia and Pacific Division, CA/OCS/ACS/EAP. Mailing address: SA-17, 10th Floor, 2201 C Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20522.

Taking Voluntary Depositions of Willing Witnesses

Voluntary depositions may be conducted in New Zealand regardless of the nationality of the witness, provided no compulsion is used. Oral depositions or depositions on written questions may be taken by U.S. consular officers or by private attorneys from the U.S. or New Zealand at the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland or at another location such as a hotel or office, either on notice or pursuant to a commission. If the services of a U.S. consular officer are required to administer an oath to the witness, interpreter and stenographer, such arrangements must be made in advance with the U.S. embassy directly.

Authentication of Documents

New Zealand is a party to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization of Foreign Public Documents.  New Zealand’s competent authority for the Hague Apostille Conventionwill authenticate New Zealand public documents with Apostilles.  For information about authenticating U.S. public documents for use in New Zealand, see the list of U.S. Competent Authorities.  To obtain an Apostille for a U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America, contact the U.S. Department of State, Passport Services, Vital Records Office.

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