On the 9th of January they contacted us to say "...the Government is considering issuing 4.5 year passports..." However by the morning of the 10th they amended their website to say "...the Government is considering is a credit for unused time - i.e. allowing applicants who apply in advance of the current passport's expiry to be issued with a passport that is valid for five years PLUS the remaining period portion of the validity period. So it means that a new passport applied for early will have the extra time transferred to the new passport"
Using this logic, our question to the Department is, if this "credit" is introduced, could a NZ citizen be able to apply for a passport on say April 1 2013, then on say April 10th 2013 apply for another passport, and have the almost 5 years "unused time" credited to the new passport? This would of course be fantastic, as it would technically give our Kiwi citizen 10 year passport validity.
Don't get too excited though, as this is quite possibly not our governments intention, as they go on to explain that they are not considering introducing a 10 year passport, however their present wording implies that it is theoretically possible to obtain almost 10 years of passport validity.
We look forward the Governments re-worded response.
Remember if you would like NZ to return to 10 year passport validity, as is enjoyed by the forward thinking nations of the UK, the USA, China, South Africa, Australia, and soon Canada, remember to share us with all your Kiwi friends and family.
*Maybe, depending on final wording.