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NZ passports to contain security chip

Hon Rick Barker
Minister of Internal Affairs

3 November 2005 Media Statement

NZ passports to contain security chip

Internal Affairs Minister Rick Barker announced today the introduction of a new “e-passport”, which contains an electronic chip for holding information about the passport holder.

From tomorrow passports issued by the Department of Internal Affairs will contain the security chip. All existing passports remain valid until their expiry date and applicants will automatically receive a new e-passport when they reapply.

The security chip will contain the passport holder’s photograph and other personal data already included on the inside cover of the passport.

Rick Barker said the new measure was about enhancing the security of the New Zealand passport, and protecting its integrity.

“New Zealand is joining other countries in adopting measures to ensure that criminals and terrorists cannot imitate or misuse genuine documents.

“The public can be assured that the government will take all necessary steps to protect the reputation of the New Zealand passport. We attach a lot of value to our passport, and the enhanced security offered by the new, e-passport.

“The cost of micro-chipping passports carries greater costs, and to meet those costs the application fees are being increased. The new fees have been set on the basis of full cost-recovery.

“From Friday the application fee for adults will rise from $71 to $150, and for children the fee will increase from $36 to $80.

“The new fees are being gazetted today and take effect tomorrow.

“The fees represent the cost of producing one of the most secure and internationally accepted passports in the world.

“The initiatives being announced today provide for enhanced passport security and contribute to ensuring New Zealanders’ continued enjoyment of safe travel and access to favourable visa arrangements in many countries,” Rick Barker said.

ENDS

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