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The FAQ (part 4 of 6)
Section - B3.5 Technical Stuff

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See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
If it isn't here, ask in s.c.n-z.  If no-one can tell you, your problem is
either dazzlingly obscure, or embarrassingly mundane!  Whatever it is, if
you still can't find out, wait till you get to wherever you're going; they
are likely to have all the fixes for foreigners with their strange voltage
gear, and they will even have the right plug to put on it.

B3.5.1  Electricity

The normal electricity supply is 230 volts 50 hertz alternating current

3 pin appliance socket from a viewpoint looking at the wall or a plug seen
from the inside as one would while wiring it up.

  phase ----->   /     \   <---- neutral
  (or live)
                    | <--------- earth

If the wires you have are brown, blue, and green [yellow or white striped],
then; brown = phase, blue = neutral, green = earth.  The old code is red,
black, green respectively.

If you have ANY doubts, PLEASE consult a qualified electrician.

Most hotels will have shaver plugs suitable for all international appliance
of low power rating, and which will supply 110 and 230 volts.  These plugs
may be for shavers only.  If in doubt, ask.


B3.5.2  TV Info

NZ runs on PAL G on UHF.  This gives the same picture and sound spacing
(5.5MHz), but the channel spacing is slightly wider - the same as that used
for 6MHz intercarrier spacing.  Standard 50 hertz field rate, 25 hertz
frame rate.

We also use NICAM for stereo tv, rather than one of the various analogue

In the Southern Hemisphere, the locally-vertical component of the field is
in the opposite direction to where it would be an equivalent distance north
of the equator.

This affects the colour convergence of video monitors.  It's not a *huge*
difference, and it took computer companies until the late 1980's to wake up
to the difference and ship different monitor versions to New Zealand, South
America, and Australia.  Northern hemisphere monitors *work* but the
colours won't be as crisp as you'd expect.

Mike Tuppen wrote:
"     lines  ch bw  Vision bw  Sound spacing Vision Mod  Sound Mod
U.K.   625    8MHz    5.5MHz      +6MHz         -ve         f.m.
N.Z.   625    7MHz    5MHz        5.5MHz        -ve         f.m.

UK NICAM Standard I Second sound carrier is at 6.552MHz Main carrier
modulated with mono sound or A The 2nd carrier digitally modulated with L &
R or A and B or Mono plus data or full data.

NZ NICAM Standard B/G Second sound carrier is at 5.85MHz Main carrier
modulated with mono sound or A.  The 2nd carrier digitally modulated as in

So without tweaking you coils your audio output is likey to be somewhat
poor!  Also if channel spacing is different (as the channel band width
hints) and if you set is digitally tuned you may possibly not be able to
tune into the NZ stations.

If your set is modern it might be worth contacting the manufacturer to see
if it can be modified.

Alan Brown wrote:
"Our video/audio intercarrier separation is 5.5MHz compared to the UK 6MHz
and the cost of getting the traps adjusted and IF retuned makes it
uneconomic - especially on modern TVs where to achieve the change an entire
module usually has to be swapped out.

"Additionally few UK PAL sets have VHF modules and our free-to-air channels
work almost exclusively in VHF 1 and 3 bands."


B3.5.3  Video Conversion

NTSC/PAL tv's are available but expensive.  Commercial conversion
facilities are available.


B3.5.4  Bringing Computers In

Only problems are power supply suitability.  Large monitors may experience
problems changing hemisphere (or Sun would have us believe!).  See notes on
tv info and video conversion above as applicable.


B3.5.5  Telephone

Telecommunications companies
Telecom NZ ( )
  Sole supplier of residential phone lines.
  Cellular network is an analogue/digital hybrid system.
  The Telecom white and yellow pages are available online at:
Clear Communications ( )
   Competes with Telecom on toll call market, business lines and
   Internet ( )
Bell South NZ ( )
   Mainly Cellular phone service. 
   Only supplier of GSM Digital cellphone within NZ

Similar to British Telecom style.  Uses BT 600 plug (not RJ-11) Phone line
is pins 2 and 5 of the BT 600 plug (RJ-11 is pins 3 & 4).  Hotels will have
difficulty in converting plugs styles but conversion cables are available
from retailers.

Most NZ telephone systems can handle DTMF tone dialling.

BEWARE:  NZ pulse dialing is the reverse of most countries.  The digit are
reversed and so produce different numbers of pulses.  The conversion is:
 digit  | # of Pulses
   0    |    10
   1    |     9
   2    |     8
   8    |     2
   9    |     1
The best solution is to use tone dialing.

Lin Nah contributes:
"Here's something that may be handy for travellers with a digital Mobile
phones. Those without GSM Mobile phones may rent or buy one.

"There are SIM cards available on short term rental.  This allows them to
use their GSM digital mobiles.  They will be allocated a NZ mobile number.
They can drop the card off at the Budget rental car desk at the airport on
their way out of the country."

"There is no need to reserve a card.  Arrangements can be made when they
arrive in NZ.  All they need to do is call 0800 800 021.  Ask the help desk
person where is your nearest Bellsouth office.  (I think this presumes you
are going to arrive in one of our cities with international airports like
Auckland, Wgtn or Chch.  I have this feeling that trying to get it when you
are in Colville won't be too successful ;) )"

To find out more:

There is also another option where you buy a GSM SIM card that has been
loaded with a certain number of minutes.  Each card is only valid for
two months.  There is no option available online on this pre-pay scheme.
I suggest you ask Bell South about it if you are interested.


B3.5.6  Radio

Apparently NZ radio stations broadcast on different frequencies to the US
which may cause problems with some [imported] radio gear.  Conversion kits
are often required for radios in imported Japanese cars.


B3.5.7  Internet 

Guide to ISPs in NZ
Wired Kiwis
Consumer Online

User Contributions:

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM