Push to get 10-year NZ passports

A group lobbying for a return to a 10-year passport claims New Zealand passports are more expensive per year than most other comparable countries and the fee has become a simple revenue-gathering exercise.

Kyle Lockwood has presented a petition signed by about 12,000 people to Parliament to return from a 5-year to a 10-year passport and will speak to the select committee on his petition today, despite the Government ruling out extending the term last year.

A Taxpayers' Union briefing report by Jordan McCluskey on international comparisons put the cost of a New Zealand passport at $28 a year - about double the cost of other countries such as France, Germany, Sweden, Britain, Canada and Sweden.

Only Australia's cost came close, costing $26.40 a year for a 10-year passport. Most of those countries also had 10-year passports. Mr McCluskey, who is also in the Young Nats, said the Government's claim that five-year passports were necessary for security did not ring true given other countries such as Canada,

China and the Netherlands had returned to 10 years recently.

Labour leader David Cunliffe said Labour would return to 10-year passport terms, but Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain ruled it out last year saying five-year terms made it easier to keep pace with developments in security technology.

"The research suggests that the current regime isn't about security - it's about raising money for the Government," said Taxpayers' Union head Jordan Williams.

- Claire Trevett of the NZ Herald

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