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Applying For A New Zealand Passport

Apply for a NZ passport blog image by health and travel insurance


There seems to be many people currently renewing their passports, thanks to the short-sighted, and luckily short-lived, 5-year passports (unless you’re a child - still 5-years sorry!).  In case you didn’t know, 5-year biometric passports were introduced in 2005 in response to security concerns sparked by the 2001 terrorist attacks in the US. In 2014, the Government Administration Committee recommended to the New Zealand government that ten-year passports be reinstated because the new biometric passports were helping reduce fraud - oh, and no other country reduced their passports to a 5-year limit as was expected?!


So we are back to 10 year passports, at a cost of course.  A new passport will cost you around $180 if you are based in NZ, $105 for a child. Urgent passports, processed in up to 3 working days, cost $360 for an adult and $285.00 for a child. These costs increase dramatically if you are outside New Zealand.

For those of you about to start the tedious process of renewing your passport, and for those who are applying for the first time, here is a useful guide about how to apply for your New Zealand passport.


First Time Passport

If you are a New Zealand citizen and at least 16 years old you can apply online or in person, it’s completely up to you.

If you apply online, you are required to set up a RealMe verified account in the same name you want in your passport. You also need:

  • the mobile phone associated with your RealMe verified identity

  • a digital photo - taken in the last 6 months, in colour (and please no selfies),

  • credit card or debit card or prezzi card - no eftpos, Paypal, or electronic bank transfer.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a RealMe verified account, you can complete an editable PDF form, print it and post. You will also need a recent photo that meets the requirements ( see below).

Renew Passport

Obviously it’s a lot easier to renew a passport than start from scratch. You will need:

  • previous passport details: your name, passport number, date of issue, who issued the passport

  • digital photo - taken in the last 6 months, in colour.

  • referee details: their passport number, name, phone number and email address (optional), date of birth

  • credit card or debit card or prezzi card.

Passport photo

The government is, understandably, pretty strict when it comes to passport photos. We recommend reading the requirements on their website

There is also has a helpful video on those page for those who want to take their own photo.

However, given the very specific requirements we recommend you go to your local post office, chemist or professional photographer who actually knows what they’re doing.   It will save you a lot of unnecessary stress (we have heard about many photo rejections). Oh, and please don’t smile for the camera!


Don’t forget, as well as a photo you will need an ‘identity referee’.  This is someone who knows you, can verify your name and address, but is not related (and over 16 of course!). They must agree to provide their current passport details and other information like how they can be contacted.

For a full run-down on specifics visit the Government Website

Don’t use a third party website, and if you’re in another country Find your nearest New Zealand Embassy, High Commission or Consulate office for assistance.  Good luck!


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