Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain has announced the validity period for passports will be extended so New Zealanders are able to get a full five year period of use. “Some New Zealanders need to renew their passports early because some countries require visitors to have six months validity remaining on their passport at the time of arrival,” says Mr Tremain. This effectively means they do not get full use of their passport’s five-year validity period. The validity period will be increased so that time lost on renewing a passport can be credited to the new passport, up to an additional nine months.
This change directly benefits anyone who needs to renew their passport early at no additional cost. It is my intent to introduce the Passport Amendment Bill to Parliament to allow this change to take place before the end of the year. I have ruled out moving back to ten year passports. Security issues are one of the key reasons for this decision. Older passport books are easier to counterfeit or use fraudulently. With the ever increasing advances of technology New Zealanders should not have to rely on ten year old security features. “We are the first country to introduce an end to end online passport application system which significantly reduces both the cost and inconvenience of renewing a passport. Over 100,000 New Zealanders have now renewed their passports online saving a total of seven million dollars.”