Online passport renewals confirmed
The cost of most adult passports will fall on Friday, when it will also become possible to renew adult passports online and get an extra $10 discount.
Adult passports now cost $153.30. On Friday that will drop to $140 for a new, first-time passport and $134.50 for renewals.
Passports that are renewed online will cost $124.50, a drop of more than $28.
The price cuts will not apply to passports renewed in Sydney or London.
Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain said the Passports Office had accumulated a $27 million surplus which would be "run down significantly" over the next five years as a result of the fee drop.
But he hoped future efficiencies at the Passport Office would mean lower pricing would be here to stay.
A ministry staffer demonstrated the online application to journalists in Wellington, applying and paying for a new passport in a matter of a few minutes.
Tremain acknowledged the "e-government" initiative had taken longer than expected to complete. The system was the culmination of a $42m technology overhaul at the Passports Office that was originally due to finish in June last year.
However, Tremain said "we are there now".
- © Fairfax NZ News