02 September 2008
New passport for New Zealanders
The Minister of Internal Affairs Rick Barker announced today in a press release the New Zealand passport will be changing as of the middle of next year.
The new passport book will have uniquely New Zealand designs and updated security measures, and will be the first passport changes for over sixteen years.
"New Zealanders have one of the best and most trusted passports in the world giving visa free access to over 50 countries. This Government is committed to ensuring the New Zealand passport continues to remain one of the best. The redevelopment of the passport book will ensure we can achieve this," Mr Barker said.
The current New Zealand passport has a microchip for security reasons, which was introduced in 2005. The new design has a very distinctive Kiwi design, with the silver fern embossed on the front and rear of the black cover.
The New Zealand visa pages will also have images and artwork that represent themes of travel and navigation. The images depict New Zealand locations running from the north to the south of both islands, in a similar route to the movements of early migrants to the country. The artwork also includes navigation tools used by the early travellers, which progress chronologically from the start of the book to modern day tools at the end of the book.
Passport fees will remain the same, and people holding existing passports will not be affected by the change. Mr Barker says New Zealanders will respond well to their new identity documents, as the changes "will ensure they have a modern, secure attractive document that they can be proud of."
The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people emigrate to New Zealand.
Article by Jessica Bird, New Zealand Visa Bureau.