10 year passports

Claire Trevett at NZ Herald reports:

A return to 10-year appears to be on the horizon after the Prime Minister said the Government was considering the issue and advice was that modern biometrics technology was strong enough to address passport fraud security issues.

Mr Key said yesterday he would not rule it out after a select committee report recommended 10-year passports almost a decade after New Zealand moved to 5 year passports. That was in response to security concerns after the New York Twin Tower attacks on September 11 2001.

He expected the cost of a 10-year passport would be more than a 5-year passport, but for many people it was an issue of convenience rather than cost.

Mr Key said New Zealand had expected most other countries would also move to shorter term passports. However, that had not happened – countries including Australia and the United States were still at 10-year lengths. “I think the general view of officials has started to be that if you really wanted to move to 10 years, you wouldn’t be out of step with other countries.”

He was waiting for Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne to report to the Government on the matter, which he expected to happen soon.

That sounds encouraging. As many countries won’t let you travel within six months of your passport expiring, a five year term is really too short.

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