So from today, NZers aged 16yrs+ can apply for the new passport at a cost of $180 - $40 more than a 5yr version. And although the new 10yr passports are more expensive per unit than the 5yr ones, they work out cheaper per year of validity. Children's passports remain at 5yrs (as is international convention), due to the rate at which their appearance change. But the 5yr adult passport is now a gone-burger.
A surge of applications is expected from today on, as lotsa folk wanting to renew their 5yr passports have been holding off until now. However the Department of Internal Affairs is confident that new passport turn-around time will be within 10 working days.
The new passport validity period brings NZ passports in line with US, UK, French, Dutch, German and Ozzie passports.