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New Zealand Phone Services
There are 6,500 payphones throughout New Zealand. The blue and yellow Telecom payphones will take phonecards, credit cards, Telecom TalkAway cards, Telecom Calling cards, and some will accept coins too. Telecom payphone cards come in $5, $10, $20 and $50 denominations.
Five hundred indoor payphones also offer modem access.
Toll calls are charged at current rates. To direct dial a national (toll) call in New Zealand, dial the national access code, 0, then the area code, then the number. For instance, to call Auckland 123 4567, dial 0, then 9 (the area code), then 123 4567. Area codes are in telephone directories, or dial directory assistance on 018. To place a national call through an operator, dial 010.
To direct dial an international call, dial the international code, 00, then the country code, then the area code, then the number. Eg, to call Sydney, Australia, 123 4567, dial 00, then 61 (the country code), then 2 (the area code) then 123 4567. Country and area codes are in the telephone directory, or dial 0172. To place an international call through an operator, dial 0170. mobile & cellular phone options New Zealand has a sophisticated cell phone network with both GSM (popular in Europe) and CDMA (popular in the US) based networks available. There is good cell phone coverage in towns and along the most major highways (eg State Highway 1 which runs the length of New Zealand) and popular holiday towns - but poorer coverage in New Zealand's mountain or remote country areas, such as Wanaka ski fields.
If you have a cell phone, you can check with your cell phone service provider (eg: Cingular or Sprint in the US, BT or Vodafone in the UK, Telstra or Optus in Australia) as to what roaming coverage they have in New Zealand. They can tell you whether your particular phone is compatible with the New Zealand networks (and any changes required to the settings on your phone) and what the calling costs are (both inbound and outbound from New Zealand and within New Zealand). Usually, the incoming calls diverted to your phone in New Zealand will be charged to you at international calling rates. Most cell phone companies also offer the option of just sending calls straight to your voice mail, which you can check at your leisure. Based on where you live, you are likely to need an adaptor plug for charging the phone in New Zealand.
You can also rent a cell phone on arrival either from Vodafone at www.vodafone.co.nz or Freephone 0800 300 021 on arrival in NZ(Vodafone have offices in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch), or from Telecom New Zealand at www.telecom.co.nz or phone 123 on your arrival (Telecom have more than 40 stores around New Zealand). Rates and plans vary but, for frequent use, it may be cheaper than bringing your own phone. Telecom accepts American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Diners credit card payments for national and international calls. To place a credit card or transfer charge call through an operator, dial 010 for national and 0170 for international. In emergencies, contact the police, fire department and/or ambulance on 111 from any phone. There is no charge. Also, to save money on SMS, use a free SMS service to New Zealand such as SMS4all.
New Zealand Post operates 316 Post Shops throughout the country, providing a full range of services from 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, with some also opening on Saturday mornings. There are also 703 post centres, which are scaled-down versions of a Post Shop and are part of an existing business, such as a dairy, chemist or bookshop.
Visitors can pick up mail at Poste Restante counters in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch Central Post Offices and Post Shops will also hold mail if it's clearly marked. Local mail can be sent fast-post for a slightly higher postal fee. International mail should be posted in the red and white mail boxes.