Passport-Free NZ/Aussie Travel A Step Closer

Publish Date
Friday, 30 October 2015, 7:34AM
Travellers would still have to have some form of identity verification. Photo / Mark Mitchell / NZ Herald

Travellers would still have to have some form of identity verification. Photo / Mark Mitchell / NZ Herald

The concept of travelling without passports between Australia and New Zealand may be edging closer.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says it is something she would like to trial and implement if it could be done "with appropriate requirements including security".

Data on an individual would still be stored online during travel.

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne welcomed the reports of Ms Bishop's comments in Melbourne yesterday about a trial.

"But there have been no discussions between New Zealand and Australian authorities as yet."

Mr Dunne said the idea had been around for a long time but now technology made it possible. Passport-less travel would not mean people walked through gates unchecked.

"You'd still have to have some form of verifications but it would be done through Smartgate and all the data would be held commonly."

The transtasman relationship has been strained by the detention of hundreds of Kiwis in Australia.

NZ ministers Amy Adams and Michael Woodhouse met Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton yesterday to discuss the policy.

Ms Adams said the Australian Government confirmed it had doubled its resources to speed up the appeals process for deportees.

NZ Herald