Labour promises 10-year passports

Last updated 09:29 05/12/2013

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Labour says it would extend the life of a passport to 10 years if it was in Government.

In November 2005, the Government introduced passports that were valid for five years instead of 10.

The move prompted online social media lobbying against the change, but that has so far failed to persuade Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain.

Labour leader David Cunliffe said today he had listened to "frustrated Kiwis".

But while he said there would be no initial extra cost to the taxpayer, passport fees would "need to be reviewed" in 2019.

"The five-year system was primarily introduced for security measures in the wake of September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States," Cunliffe said.

"But the introduction of biometric facial recognition technology means there is now a much lower risk of passport fraud."

He said there was no reason New Zealand couldn't join the United States, Canada and the European Union, in issuing 10-year passports again.

Cunliffe said he'd received a petition calling on the Government to revert to the 10-year passport system, signed by just under 13,000 people.

People aged 15 or younger would still have to renew their passports every five years.

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