The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


New passports being phased in

3 May 2021

An updated passport with new and improved security features is being phased in by Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs.

"The New Zealand passport has a unique design we can be proud of when we present our documents at foreign borders,” says Maria Robertson, Service Delivery and Operations Deputy Chief Executive.

“New Zealanders can be assured that the government has taken all necessary steps to protect the reputation of the New Zealand passport. We attach a lot of value to our passport and the enhanced security features.”

Te Tari Taiwhenua has ensured New Zealand passports continue to have top security features without increasing the cost of producing passports. These new security enhancements make the New Zealand passport one of the most technologically advanced passports in the world.

The silver fern and Coat of Arms remain, but te reo Māori now appears first on the cover and throughout the book.

To ensure wastage is minimised, the public may not see a new version of the book for some time as existing book stock will continue to be produced until stock is depleted. The impacts of COVID-19 on travel mean it will take longer than anticipated to use the old stock.

The public can be assured they are receiving a high quality and secure passport, regardless of which book they receive. Current passports remain valid until the date of expiry and can continue to be used until that time.

The New Zealand passport allows access visa-free to 185 countries, making it one of the best in the world.

Te Tari Taiwhenua makes it easy to apply for a passport. Just visit


Media contact:
Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs
Media phone | +64 27 535 8639