New Zealand to do away with departure cards

From November, people travelling overseas from New Zealand will no longer need to fill out long-winded departure cards prior to leaving the country.

Due to systems that capture passenger identity information and travel movement records electronically, the cards are no longer needed for their original purpose, which was to account for all passengers crossing the New Zealand border. Tourism and immigration statistics were once gathered solely by using the cards.

“This will improve the experience of all travellers departing New Zealand, enabling a faster and smoother process ahead of the busy holiday period,” explained the country’s Immigration Minister, Iain Lees-Galloway.

“It will also save more than 100,000 hours of time currently spent by travellers completing more than 6.5 million departure cards per year. The removal of departure cards will align with international best practice. Few other countries have departure cards with the level of detail required by the New Zealand one,” he added.

The development will also further facilitate free movement between Australia and New Zealand. Australia removed their own departure card system last year.

Article published 31st August 2018