Please find attached a copy of a letter I have sent regarding the 5 year life of passports in New Zealand. I would be delighted to know if others share my concerns.
The Hon Chris Tremain MP
Minister of Internal Affairs
Wellington 5th June 2012
The validity life of a New Zealand Passport
I write, on behalf of a group of New Zealand international frequent travellers to respectfully ask that you urgently encourage this National Government to reinstate the ten-year life, of a New Zealand Passport for the following reasons.
- Renewing a passport every four and a half years is time wasting, expensive and an unnecessary irritation.
- Revenues from five yearly passports doubles that collected under a ten-year passport, would not those funds be better spent in the “real” economy?
- New Zealanders are at a competitive disadvantage to their major trading partners in terms of valid passports for entry into foreign countries.
- The five-year New Zealand Passport can only assist in the battle of counterfeit or fraudulently altered passports if the targets are New Zealanders. That seems a ludicrous supposition.
- New Zealand’s borders are no more secure with a five-year biometric passport than they would be with a ten-year biometric passport.
- This Government states it is committed to eradicating frivolous bureaucracy. This would be an opportunity to practice what it preaches.
- Why have legislation in place that actively discourages New Zealanders from renewing their “country of birth” passport particularly those with dual citizenship and those who live abroad?
It just does not make sense that citizens of Argentina, Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, South Korea, South Africa, United Kingdom and USA, many of whom are amongst our most important trading partners, can come and go from New Zealand’s borders on ten year passports while we can not. Furthermore many of those countries have more sophisticated border protection technology than New Zealand.
The New Zealanders who wish to register their support for this initiative are listed below. All are receiving a copy of this email / letter.
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Minister, please consider this letter alongside our earlier request under the Official Information Act and may I urge you to start the process necessary to make these legislative changes, as quickly as possible.
We all look forward to your positive response to this compelling request for a ten-year New Zealand passport to be reinstated at your earliest convenience.
We appreciate it is of minimal significance in the wider scheme of things but it is an irritant with disproportionate consequences for many of us.
John L Stace
Speedy response from Minister received
Thanks for your advocacy on the issue of extended passports. This is the 5th or 6th email I have received from you on this issue so you can rest assured I am well aware of your position.
Extending the passport to a ten year period is not a policy of the National Government nor my Ministry at this point in time. We will however be providing on-line access to quickly renew passports and at a discount to traditional means of renewal. This new service is planned to be available within the next six months. This will allow New Zealand to keep our passport security at the leading edge of international developments.
Further correspondence with you on this particular issue will be through my Ministry.
Hon Chris Tremain | MP for Napier | Minister of Internal Affairs | Minster of Civil Defence | Associate Minister of Tourism