Thank you for your letter on behalf of New Zealanders who would like to have the option of a 10-year passport for New Zealand Passport Holders.
We agree that the current arrangement is expensive and inconvenient and that a 10-year option should be available.
I enclose a copy of my most recent press statement for your information.
Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First
.pdfs of Winston Peters letter and press release are at the foot of this article.
Winston Peters along with Tariana Turia also questioned parliament soon after receiving our letter, see transcript below;
Full transcript of 10 year passports Parliamentary Question Time
4. Hon TARIANA TURIA (Co-Leader—Māori Party) to the Minister of Internal Affairs: Will he agree to follow the lead of many of our major trading partners including Canada, Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom and China, and introduce a ten-year passport option, and if not, why not?
Hon Tariana Turia: Does he agree that given that Māori and Pasifika families are larger, on average, and that they travel either to Pacific nations or to Australia, where increasingly their families are living, they carry a heavier financial burden if passports need to be renewed twice as often, and what does he intend to do about this inequity?
Hon CHRIS TREMAIN: Yes, I do agree that Māori and Pasifika families are larger, on average, but moving to a 10-year passport would create an estimated $200 million shortfall in the passports account. This would need to be made up by higher fees, which would be carried by users, and Māori and Pasifika families would fall into that category. We have already reduced the cost of a passport by close to 20 percent. I think all customers, including Māori and Pasifika families, are currently getting good value for money. And, importantly, because children’s passports are subsidised by nearly 50 percent, large families actually benefit over other passport users.
Hon Tariana Turia: So is the Minister saying that the reason for the reduction from a 10-year passport to a 5-year one was to enable the Government to accrue revenue?
Hon CHRIS TREMAIN: No, I do not say that, but I have a quote from someone else who said that “A shorter validity period will help New Zealand keep ahead of fraudsters by retaining a leading edge in technology.” That was said by Rick Barker in 2005.
Rt Hon Winston Peters: I seek leave to table a list of the First World countries with 10-year passport times and the Third World countries, like New Zealand, with 5-year passport times.
Mr SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table that document. Is there any objection? There is no objection. It can be so tabled. Document, by leave, laid on the Table of the House.