I Live in New Zealand, Now Rated the the Safest Country in the World

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New Zealand is the “Safest Country of the World in 2013,”at least it is according to ClickTop10.com. (Note to my family and friends: here is another reason to come for a visit!)

As an American expat living in New Zealand it is nice to read that I am in the safest country in the world, even if I never heard of the rating agency before today. It certainly speaks to that occasional question in the back of my mind, “Did we do the right thing moving here?”

Generally, I don’t have to go far to see the answer. New Zealand is stunning!

Safest country in the world

Stunning Purakaunui Waterfall in the rainforest of the Catlins New Zealand

Photo ©Rhonda Albom 2007 (available on Amazon)

Beauty, however, doesn’t mean safety. What is the measurement criteria to determine the safest country in the world? I wondered that myself, especially after reading the article with no resources sited. The author did mention  New Zealand’s “great foreign policy and stable political scenario” as well as a “crime rate of less than one percent.”

Being a bit of a skeptic, I researched that number, checking out the latest New Zealand Crime Statistics for 2012/2013 (published in Oct 2013) and not only found total crimes in the time period to be 821 per 10,000 population, the total crime rate is down 7.4% from last year.

So far, today is another slow news day. The top five national headlines in today’s New Zealand Herald’s on-line version of the national newspaper have no criminal activity. Although, the second is rather annoying in its own right:

So, do serious crimes happen here? Of course they do, just less often than other places. Maybe it’s because we live in paradise, or, maybe it’s because the police get the criminals off the streets quickly. According to the report, police resolved 72 of last year’s 78 “Homicide and Related Offences” (a category that also includes “driving causing death”).

With theft accounting for 32% of all New Zealand crimes, the sign we saw back in January makes more sense. It suggests visitors pay $2 for the presence of parking lot attendant, as just his being there would deter criminals, even though all he does is sit in his truck.

On a recent visit to Auckland’s waterfront, I spotted this sign in a car window. Poor guy has probably had to replace a window or two before he created it. I did laugh at his friendliness and use of the words “please” and “cheers mate.”

stopping crime

What should the criteria be for the safest country in the world? What were your top headlines today? Would you leave your car unlocked with a sign in the window?

PS: My apologies for the embarrassing typo last week on: Photo: Moko Traditional Maori Face or Body Tattoo – New Zealand. Don’t worry, it’s fixed now.

About Rhonda Albom

When I met my hubby he was looking for a traveling companion. Together we have moved to New Zealand and visited over 42 countries, most with our now teenage girls. Things rarely go as planned, and generally we have an amusing tale to tell. That's what Laugh Quotes is about - the fun side of our adventures and our expat life.


  1. Where I live – no way I’d leave my car unlocked!
    One more reason I want to visit your country.
    Sadly, top headlines today were about Paul Walker of Fast and Furious fame’s death…

  2. I live in gang country. We have Mexican gangs by the thousands here. I wouldn’t leave anything unlocked. We are also the vehicle theft capital too. Our governor Moonbeam Brown is letting them out the the prisons and back into the county jails. It’s horrible here.

    Have a terrific day and congratulations on living in the safest country in the world. :)

  3. “Farmtown Reborn” and “Shoppers Feast on T’giving Bargains” covers the headlines of our paper today. I guess we’re so used to the crime, that it’s not newsworthy anymore.

  4. Hi Rhonda .. New Zealand is I’m sure pretty safe by most standards – just care needs to be taken in larger popular towns and tourists spots. Sadly we’re getting more and more theft as people become desperate to be survive, or stupid to feed their drug habits, or just plain opportunistic for ‘fun’ … it’s ok down here, but we still need to be careful.

    Interesting to read about – the cold and Christmas will lead to many more thefts etc .. very sad – Hilary

  5. Very interesting – makes me glad that I live in NZ!

  6. It was fun to look at that whole Top 10 list – all of the countries listed look so gorgeous! I’d love to visit NZ and all the rest too.

  7. At least you can feel good about where you live. We live in a small town in Eastern NC in the US, and if nothing else, it’s safer than a big city.

    The sign is funny.

  8. Those waterfalls take my breath away. You have much to be proud of. If I had a junky car, I might leave that sign with the doors unlocked.

    Be well, Rhonda.

  9. I want to go there SO BAD. It’s one of the few places on this earth I really want to see. I’m so jealous of you!

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