The New Zealand capital is in-keeping with most of the rest of the country, in that it is safe and has little in the way of violent crime. Petty theft will always be a worry no matter where you go and bear in mind that New Zealand's summers and winters are switched with those of the northern hemisphere.
Customs and etiquette
New Zealanders are perhaps the easiest going folk there are. They are casual and easy to meet and you can dress casual for all but the swankiest restaurants and formal occasions. Referring to kiwis (New Zealanders) as Australians, even in jest, is a big faux pas. New Zealand is not a tip-happy society; you wouldn't tip the barman for serving you a beer, for example.
The New Zealand dollar (NZ$) is worth less than the US dollar and Australian dollar respectively and is obtainable anywhere in the world. Notes start at NZ$5 and go up to NZ$100, while coins go from 10 cents to NZ$2. It is worth obtaining some New Zealand dollars prior to arrival, although airports in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch have exchange services and ATMs.
ATMs are all over town and all major banks accept major foreign credit cards and debit cards with the Cirrus stamp marked on. Most places take credit cards as well as traveler's checks. New Zealand is one of the cheapest Western nations to travel to and Wellington is better priced than Auckland, yet more expensive than Christchurch.
Often referred to as the Windy City on account of its blustery winds owing to its southerly, exposed locale, Wellington can get really windy, although temperatures seldom drop below freeing. November through March has the best weather but bear in mind these are also the busiest months.