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New 10-year Kiwi passports back in force

New Zealanders applying for a new passport from today will find they have double the length of time on the document after their lifespan was extended to 10 years.

The Government reduced the time each Kiwi passport was valid to just five years in the wake of security fears prompted by the September 11 attacks in the United States.

The move was unpopular with many travellers, so after reviewing security procedures and taking into consideration public sentiment, the 10-year expiry came back into force today.

"Our security is much better and tighter and certainly the New Zealand passport is one of the most secure and most valued in the world, and we're not compromising that security," Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says.

The passport looks the same, but will come at a higher price.

An adult passport will now cost $180, up from $135 for the five-year version, although it does work out cheaper per year of validity.

A child's passport will cost $105, and remains valid for five years.

The government agreed to double the lifespan of passports after reviewing security procedures and some public pressure. Source: 1 NEWS


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