The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Statement on Independent Assurance Review

17 May 2024

An independent assurance review of the management of an urgent passport application in late March 2024, related to DJ Fred Again, has been completed.

A statement from Chief Executive, Paul James:

I can confirm the review has found the passport renewal application was processed in the normal way, and also notes areas that we could have managed better.

While there has been a perception of preferential treatment, the review has found this has not been the case. There is no evidence of preferential treatment, nor of any DIA leader playing a role in the decision to grant the passport renewal. The urgent passport was processed in the normal way, by the normal people, and the urgent fee was paid.

That said, we should have handled aspects of this better, specifically privacy implications and the use of social media. I accept the recommendations in the review and will begin to implement these immediately to ensure this does not happen again.

The processing of same day urgent applications is not unusual for DIA. From 1 October 2023 to 30 March 2024, there were 14,026 urgent same day passports issued, with 62 being granted on 26 March 2024, including the passport in question. The urgent passport service is an important service we offer New Zealanders, and one the Department takes pride in.

You can read the full Report here: Assurance Review – Management of an urgent passport application (PDF, 644KB)


Media contact:

Media Desk
Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs
Mobile: +64 27 535 8639