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Category: New Zealand ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ

Canada and Scandinavian countries top the 2019 Quality of Life Rankings

The BAV Group, a unit of communications company VMLY&R, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, surveyed 20,300 citizens from 36 countries in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa were asked to score 80 countriesย on 75 different attributes.

The attributes were grouped under different categories: adventure, citizenship, cultural influence, entrepreneurship, heritage, movers, open for business, power and quality of life.

The Quality of Life ranking is based on an equally weighted average of scores from nine attributes: affordable, a good job market, economically stable, family friendly, income equality, politically stable, safe, well-developed public education system and well-developed public health system.

2019 Quality of Life Rankings

  1. Canada (no change from 2018)
  2. Sweden (#3 in 2018)
  3. Denmark (#2 in 2018)
  4. Norway (no change from 2018)
  5. Switzerland (#6 in 2018)
  6. Finland (#7 in 2018)
  7. Australia (#5 in 2018)
  8. Netherlands (no change from 2018)
  9. New Zealand (no change in 2018)
  10. Germany (no change in 2018)

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The Worlds Most Powerful Passports, as of January 2019

  1. Japan (190 countries can be visited without a visa)
  2. Singapore, South Korea (189)
  3. Germany, France (188)
  4. Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden (187)
  5. Luxembourg, Spain (186)
  6. Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, U.K., U.S. (185)
  7. Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland (184)
  8. Czech Republic (183)
  9. Malta (182)
  10. Australia, Iceland, New Zealand (181)

London-based consulting firm Henley & Partners, using data from the International Air Transport Association, compiles thisย index of passports that allow visa-free travel.

In the past, this was an annual list, released every January. The list is now being updated every few months.

Since January 2018, Germany has been knocked out of top spot, while both the U,K. and U.S. passports have dropped one place in the rankings.

More at Lonely Planet,ย Traveller, ย CNN

These passports offer the most travel freedom

The Henley Passport Indexย is a ranking of the worldโ€™s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without first obtaining a visa.

Henley & Partnersย released this press release today:

Japan has overtaken Singapore to claim the top spot on the 2018 Henley Passport Index, having gained visa-free access to Myanmar this month. Japan now enjoys visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations, compared to Singaporeโ€™s total of 189. The countries have been neck and neck since they both climbed to 1st place in February, pushing Germany down to 2nd place for the first time since 2014.

Germany has now fallen further to 3rd place, which it shares with South Korea and France. Their nationals enjoy visa-free access to 188 countries. France moved up a place last Friday when it gained visa-free access to Uzbekistan. Iraq and Afghanistan continues to sit at the bottom (106th) of the Henley Passport Index โ€” based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association(IATA).

The US and the UK, both with 186 destinations, have slid down yet another spot โ€” from 4th to 5th place โ€” with neither having gained access to any new jurisdictions since the start of 2018. With stagnant outbound visa activity compared to Asian high-performers, it seems unlikely they will regain the number 1 spot they jointly held in 2015 any time soon.

In general, the UAE has made the most remarkable ascent on the Henley Passport Index, from 62nd place in 2006 to 21st place worldwide currently, and looking ahead, the most dramatic climb might come from Kosovo, which officially met all the criteria for visa-liberalization with the EU in July and is now in discussions with the European Council.

Russia received a boost in September when Taiwan announced a visa-waiver, but the country has nonetheless fallen from 46th to 47th place due to movements higher up the ranking. The same is true of China: Chinese nationals obtained access to two new jurisdictions (St.ย Lucia and Myanmar), but the Chinese passport fell two places, to 71st overall.

Dr. Christian H. Kรคlin, Group Chairman of Henley & Partners, says countries with citizenship-by-investment (CBI) programs all fall within the top 50 of the Henley Passport Index. Newcomer Moldova, which is due to launch its CBI program in November, has climbed 20 places since 2008. โ€œThe travel freedom that comes with a second passport is significant, while the economic and societal value that CBI programs generate for host countries can be transformative,โ€ says Dr. Kรคlin.

The top countries are:

1. Japan (190 countries)

2. Singapore (189 countries)

3. Germany (188 countries)

4. (Tied) France,ย South Korea,ย Denmark,ย Finland,ย Italy, Sweden, Spain (187 countries)

5. (Tied) Norway, United Kingdom, Austria, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, USA (186 countries)

6. (Tied) Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, Ireland (185 countries)

7. (Tied) Australia, Greece, Malta (183 countries)

8. (Tied) New Zealand, Czech Republic (182 countries)

9. Iceland (181 countries)

10. (Tied) Hungary, Slovenia, Malaysia (180 countries)

Travellers to New Zealand can be compelled at customs to hand over mobile devices and passwords

Travellers who refuse to hand over their phone or laptop passwords to Customs officials can now be slapped with a NZ$5000 fine.

The updated law makes clear that travellers must provide access – whether that be a password, pin-code or fingerprint – but officials would need to have a reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing.

“It is a file-by-file [search] on your phone. We’re not going into ‘the cloud’. We’ll examine your phone while it’s on flight mode,” Customs spokesperson Terry Brown said.

If people refused to comply, they could be fined up to $5000 and their device would be seized and forensically searched.

More at RadioNZ, ZDNet, The Register

The 13 most peaceful countries in the world โ€“ in honor of International Peace Day

According to the 2018 Global Peace Index:

  1. Iceland
  2. New Zealand
  3. Austria
  4. Portugal
  5. Denmark
  6. Canada
  7. Czech Republic
  8. Singapore
  9. Japan
  10. Ireland
  11. Slovenia
  12. Switzerland
  13. Australia

The Global Peace Index is developed by the Institute for Economics & Peace, an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank dedicated to shifting the worldโ€™s focusย to peace as a positive, achievable and tangible measure of human wellbeing and progress.

IEP is headquartered in Sydney, Australia, with offices in New York, The Hague, Mexico City, and Brussels. It works with a wide range of partners internationally and collaborates with intergovernmental organisations on measuring and communicating the economic value of peace.

The chart is also available here.

The Economist ranks the worldโ€™s most livable cities

Each year, the Economist Intelligence Unitย release its annual Global Livability Index which measuring the most livable large cities in the world. In this yearโ€™s report, Vienna, Austria has succeeded in displacing Melbourne, Australia from the stop spot, which it previously held for a record seven consecutive years.

The Economist says:

The concept of liveability is simple: it assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions.

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s liveability rating quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual’s lifestyle in 140 cities worldwide. Each city is assigned a score for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories of Stability, Healthcare, Culture and environment, Education and Infrastructure.

The 20 top rankings are populated with cities in Europe (9), Australia (4), Japan (2), New Zealand (1), and Canada (4).

Honolulu was the highest U.S. city at number 23. The next highest American city was Pittsburgh in 32nd position.ย Manchester was the highest ranked in the UK at number 35.

Here are the top 50:

1. Vienna, Austria

2. Melbourne, Australia

3. Osaka, Japan

4. Calgary, Canada

5. Sydney, Australia

6. ย Vancouver, Canada

7. (Tied) Tokyo, Japan

7. (Tied) Toronto, Canada

9. Copenhagen, Denmark

10. Adelaide, Australia

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New Zealand Ascending

Fromย Martin Heck at Timestorm Films:

Explore southern New Zealand in a journey from the dry highlands of canterbury to the lush rainforests of the westcoast and the rugged coastlines of the south to the highest peaks of the southern Alps. Captured in incredibly detailed 8K resolution and mastered at 60fps this video is aimed to bring you as close to the scenery as being just on location.

More:ย Timestorm Films

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