5 September, 2012
Government considering reduction in passport fees
Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain says lower passport fees are being considered as the Government moves to enable online passport applications.
“Online applications have been trialled successfully and will be available to the public by the end of the year. This will streamline the process of applying for a passport and reduce costs, providing the opportunity to look at the level of fees,” says Mr Tremain.
“Passport fees are set at cost recovery level, currently $153.30 for a standard adult passport. Revenue from passports is only spent on passports. The change to a five-year passport has increased the volume of renewals, and a growing surplus has built up in the account, meaning that there is scope to reduce fees.
“Changing passport fees would require a change to regulations. I have asked officials to report back to me on different options for fee reductions, including a lower fee for online applications to incentivise applicants to move online.
“This will contribute significantly to the Government’s Better Public Services Result 10: That New Zealanders can complete their transactions easily with government in a digital environment. This aims to have 70% uptake of digital and online services for key transactions by 2017, including passport applications.
“Passports consistently rate among the very top public services in the Kiwis Count figures produced by the State Services Commission. This is an opportunity to return some savings to passport holders and provide even better public services at a lower cost.”