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Extending New Zealand’s borders off-shore

Extending New Zealand’s borders off-shore

Scrutiny of airline travellers to New Zealand will be enhanced through the new Advance Passenger Screening (APS) system launched by Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel in Auckland today.

As an initiative announced last year as part of the government’s counter-terrorism package, APS is designed to improve New Zealand’s border security off-shore.

“APS will allow the New Zealand Immigration Service (NZIS) to screen passengers prior to boarding a flight to New Zealand. Travellers who are likely to be denied entry on arriving in New Zealand, can be identified and, if necessary, prevented from boarding the aircraft,” Lianne Dalziel said.

APS will be introduced progressively but is already running through Air New Zealand international flights. Eventually it will be extended to cover any airline flying to New Zealand.

The system, developed and operated by CPS Systems Pty Ltd, allows airline check-in staff at overseas airports to immediately confirm with the NZIS whether or not a passenger has permission to board their flight.

“Most travellers who have checked they have the right documentation and valid visas, will not even notice APS in operation. Kiwis returning to New Zealand will also be screened, but as long as they ensure their passports are current, APS should not cause any unnecessary delays. It is important for those who hold more than one passport, to present the same passport when they board a flight, and when they arrive in New Zealand.

“NZ residents not born in New Zealand, and visitors to New Zealand, must ensure their passports and visas are current before attempting to travel in or out of New Zealand, to ensure they have the right of entry, or re-entry.”

The system has been in place in Australia for five years and similar systems have been trialled in the United States and Canada.

“I believe most countries will have a form of Advance Passenger Screening by the end of the decade to match the higher scrutiny required given the global security climate,” Lianne Dalziel said.

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