The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday urged people overseas to be more mindful of their personal safety, after a young Taiwanese woman on a working holiday visa in New Zealand was reported killed in a car accident.
A report in the New Zealand Herald on Friday said that the victim was a 25-year-old Taiwanese woman surnamed Hsieh (謝) who had been living in Wanaka on the country’s South Island.
Hsieh was driving near a one-lane bridge in Wanaka at about 11:20am on Thursday when her car crashed, leaving her dead, but her passenger with only scratches and bruises, the newspaper reported, adding that local police were investigating the accident.
Upon learning of the fatal crash, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New Zealand immediately contacted Hsieh’s family in Taiwan and helped them arrange a flight the next day, Ministry spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said.
“The office will also send staff to accompany the family when they arrive and provide all assistance necessary,” Lee said.
He said Hsieh was on a working holiday visa and had been working at a local restaurant.
Urging Taiwanese traveling, studying or on a working holiday program overseas to be more cautious on the road and ensure their personal safety, Lee said they should contact the nation’s local representative offices in the event of an emergency to receive any help they might require.
Taiwanese nationals are eligible for working holiday visas for 15 countries, including New Zealand, Australia, the UK, Germany, France, Austria, Canada, South Korea and Japan.
The age limit for such visas ranges from 26 to 35 and the length of stay is usually one or two years, depending on the country.
More than 250,000 Taiwanese have gone on a working holiday since 2004, when Taiwan signed a working holiday agreement with Australia and New Zealand, ministry data showed.
Australia has been the most popular designation, issuing about 220,000 working holiday visas to Taiwanese over the years, Lee said, adding that popular designations include New Zealand, Japan, Canada and the UK.
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