Unfortunate timing as NZ's online passport service down

Internal Affairs says it is working to get its passport service back online.
DAVE MACKAY/FAIRFAX NZ

Internal Affairs says it is working to get its passport service back online.

A flagship government service that lets people renew and apply for passports online has crashed just as officials prepare to celebrate progress delivering e-government. 

Internal Affairs apologised on its website that its online passport service was unavailable and said it was working to restore it "as quickly as possible".

The fault with the popular service is unfortunate timing. 

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne will host an event for about 150 guests at Parliament on Tuesday evening to mark the "milestones and achievements in the Government's digital transformation". 

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New Zealand became the first country in the world to allow passport applications to be completed entirely online in 2012 and about half of Kiwis now use the option to renew passports.

One of the more sophisticated features of the service is that it lets people take and upload their own passport photos, and provides immediate feedback on whether photos pass muster.

The service was extended last year to support applications for new adult passports, urgent applications for renewals, and renewal applications for children's passports. 

Dunne said last year that public praise for the service had been overwhelming.

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 - Stuff

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