NZ Ten Year Passports Campaign Spokesman, Kyle Lockwood, traveled to New Zealand to present his petition and written report to the Government Administration Select Committee in Wellington yesterday.
Lockwood represented the views of over 15900 signatories of a petition to reinstate 10-year passports to New Zealand citizens.
The petition hearing had extensive media coverage, most of New Zealand's media, including One News, 3 News, Radio New Zealand, Stuff (Fairfax media) and Newstalk ZB.
"There are hundreds of personal petitions presented to parliament each year, and it is unusual for the media to take such an interest in one of these petitions, I believe this is reflective of a general sentiment amongst the New Zealand public that our Passport Validity is too short" said Lockwood today from his home in Melbourne.
Mr Lockwood says frequent travellers and New Zealanders living overseas would benefit from not having to renew their passport as often. Mr Lockwood told the select committee yesterday New Zealand is out-of-step with most other OECD nations and switching back to 10-year passports would lessen the economic burden on Kiwi families and businesses, he said.
"It's far more convenient for everybody, especially those living abroad, such as myself, to have a 10-year passport," Mr Lockwood told reporters.
He said it's expensive for New Zealanders to transfer visas between passports and a 10-year validity period would eliminate the need for some people to travel with two passports stapled together.
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One News also reported that New Zealanders pay more than most other countries for passports and have them for half as long, a new report shows.
The Taxpayers' Union has released a briefing paper yesterday which compares passport prices of 17 countries and shows New Zealanders pay NZ$28 per year for the ability to travel overseas.
New Zealand and Sweden are the only countries in the list which have 5-year passports, while the rest including Canada, Australia, Samoa and the UK have passports that expire after 10 years.
The Government changed passports to include biometric technology, increased the price and in 2005 decreased the validity from 10 to five years.
The paper's author Jordan McCluskey says the report shows New Zealand is out of step with the rest of the world.
"Even if we had ten year passports, at current prices, New Zealanders would still be paying more than citizens in most countries with whom we traditionally compare ourselves," he says.
Union executive director Jordan Williams wants Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne to reinstate ten year passports, saying the current system is about raising money rather than security.