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Media release from the Taxpayers' Union

MEDIA RELEASE

SELECT COMMITTEE BACKS TAXPAYERS’ UNION CALL FOR 10 YEAR PASSPORT

29 MAY 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming today's report from the Government Administration Select Committee supporting a petition to return to a ten year passport regime. In February the Taxpayers’ Union addressed the Select Committee and released a report showing that New Zealand passport holders get a lousier deal than any other country we examined. In addition, the Taxpayers' Union criticised the Government for sitting on a $20.8 million surplus resulting from excessive passport charges.

Executive Director of the Taxpayers' Union, Jordan Williams, says “the recommendation from the Select Committee ramps up the pressure on the Government to do the sensible thing. Legislation to return to ten year passports and bring passport costs into line with the rest of the world should be a priority.”

"Since 2005 New Zealand has charged far more than the rest of the world, with the Government effectively levying a ‘passport tax’ for what is a basic right."

The Select Committee’s report is available here. It concludes:

"On the evidence received, we are not convinced that the reduction in detected fraudulent passports is a result of the shorter validity period. It seems more likely to us that the introduction of biometric passports has lessened fraud and counterfeiting. The international standard among countries such as Australia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, who use similar biometric passports, is ten years. The biometric security features have led countries such as China, Canada and the Netherlands to reintroduce ten-year passports. We support the intent of the petition."

Jordan McCluskey’s report for the Taxpayers’ Union on the cost and validity of New Zealand passports is available here.

ENDS


ENQUIRIES:

Jordan Williams
021 762 542

NOTES TO EDITORS:

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is a non-partisan activist group, dedicated to being the voice for Kiwi taxpayers in the corridors of power. It’s here to fight government waste and make sure New Zealanders get value for money from their tax dollar.

The Taxpayers’ Union operates a 24 hour media line for comment on taxpayer issues. Representatives are available on (04) 282 0302.

High resolution images and logos are available on request or online at http://www.taxpayers.org.nz/pages/resources