MFAT advises Kiwis to avoid Paris

  • 15/11/2015

No New Zealanders have been killed or injured in the terrorist attacks in Paris, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) says.

In a second update this morning, an MFAT spokesman says the New Zealand Embassy in Paris has received advice from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs crisis centre that there are no New Zealanders among the deceased or on the injured list.

There are 307 New Zealanders registered on MFAT's SafeTravel website as being in France.

MFAT's France travel advice has been updated, advising against all tourist and other non-essential travel to Paris and the Ile de France area until the security situation stabilises.

New Zealanders in France are advised to keep themselves informed, follow instructions issued by local authorities, and limit movements.

Paris was struck on Friday by a series of near-simultaneous terrorist attacks that killed at least 127 people in the deadliest violence seen in France since World War II.

New Zealand has joined the world in expressing solidarity with France.

The Auckland Museum, Sky Tower in Auckland, New Brighton pier in Christchurch and Bridge Street bridge in Hamilton were lit up in French colours on Saturday night.

"Lighting up the bridge is Hamilton's way of showing our support for the French people," says Hamilton mayor Julie Hardaker.

Trade Minister Tim Groser went to a candlelight vigil in Auckland's Aotea Square where he was able to talk to French people living in New Zealand.

Prime Minister John Key is in Vietnam and he's expected to say more on Sunday about the impact of the attacks.

Air New Zealand is offering customers who have booked tickets to France several options, including deferring flights, travelling earlier or changing their destination without penalty.

Special refunds have not been offered.

Telco Spark, the former Telecom, will credit customers' calls to France until next Thursday.

NZN