Kiwi passports will go back to having a ten-year validity, Minister of Internal Affairs Peter Dunne announced today.
Dunne says the government has ‘listened to new Zealanders’ and adult passports will again be valid for 10-years, once required law changes are made.
“In the current climate of international uncertainty, it is essential the Government continues to invest in technology and security, as New Zealanders expect their travel document to retain its exceptional levels of trust and integrity,” Dunne says.
“Investing in services that make it more convenient for the travelling public to access their passports is also essential, and unlike our main counterpart countries, we already provide a service for renewing adult passports entirely online,” he continues.
“We want 70% of the most common transactions with government to be able to be done online by 2017,” Dunne states “Online passport renewals are one of those transactions, with more than 40% of adults already renewing their passport online.”
Dunne says the child passport will remain valid for five years due to the fact that a child’s appearance can change significantly over that time period.
“We are looking to extend the online service to child renewals and first-time adult applicants in the future,” he says.
The ten-year passport will come at a cost of $180; a price the Tax Payers’ Union says is still above average.
“Currently New Zealanders have the most expensive passport in the world, with Australians a close second,” says Jordan Williams, the Union's executive director.
“While this change is a positive step, it's still not clear why it costs so much more for the New Zealand Government to make a passport. Most countries can provide the service for a fraction of the cost."
The new passports approved by Cabinet today will come into effect from 31 December 2015.