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NZ To Join International Passport Security Op

NZ To Join International Passport Security Initiative

An important development to improve passport security is being unveiled by the Department of Internal Affairs today. New Zealand is joining an international initiative to share information about lost and stolen passports.

The Department of Internal Affairs says all reports of lost and stolen passports will be electronically provided to Interpol on a daily basis. Interpol makes this information available to border control authorities internationally.

David Philp, Passports Manager for the Department of Internal Affairs, says this will have some impacts for the travelling public. “It means that once a passport is reported as lost or stolen it cannot be used again under any circumstances.

“Customers will need to apply for a new passport, even if they subsequently recover their passport after reporting it lost. If they attempt to use their passport again they are liable to face significant problems including being apprehended by overseas border authorities,” says David Philp.

He says this will ultimately provide a significant boost to passport security by helping to protect New Zealanders from the consequences of having their passport stolen. “It will contribute significantly to enhanced border security internationally.

“It will also encourage New Zealanders to look after their travel documents and promptly notify the loss or theft of their passport. This will contribute to strengthening New Zealand’s border control by weeding out potential criminals using lost or stolen travel documents,” says David Philp.

This initiative follows on the heels of other measures introduced by the New Zealand Government to improve passport security. Last year the Minister of Internal Affairs also launched the “Making Sure Your Passport is Travel Fit” brochure, which reminds people to look after and value their passport.

If customers have questions about the new reporting system for lost and stolen passports they should contact Freephone number 0800 22 50 50 or visit the website http://www.passports.govt.nz

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