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Internal Affairs Misleading Public

MEDIA RELEASE

Internal Affairs Misleading Public With Five Year Passport Justification

25 FEBRUARY 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Material released today by the Taxpayers’ Union casts doubt on Internal Affairs' claim that five year passports are necessary for New Zealanders to retain visa-free status to many parts of the world. Officials could not provide a single document that supported the Department's claim that ten year passports would jeopardise New Zealand's visa-free arrangements with other countries. The Department's response to the Taxpayers' Union enquiries is available attaxpayers.org.nz.

“Despite what the Government is telling the public, not a single country expressed concern with New Zealand’s old passport regime,” says union Executive Director, Jordan Williams. 

“The DIA’s website continues to state that ten year passports would jeopardise our visa-free arrangements with other countries. But when we asked for evidence, officials couldn’t produce a single document. It appears that passport bureaucrats are inflating justifications for the existing regime rather than reflecting genuine concerns about passport security.”

The documents also show that officials were wrong in advice given to the Government in 2003 that Australia, the UK and the US intended introduce five year passports. All three countries have remained at ten years, with others moving from five to ten.

“The advice that prompted the last government to cut the term of passports has proved to be wrong. The trend of these countries towards five year passports never eventuated."

Earlier in the month the Taxpayers’ Union released a briefing paper “Sky High” which showed New Zealanders pay more for a passport than any other country examined and that New Zealand is out of step with its five year passport. Click here to view the paper.

ENDS

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