29 Oct 2015

Passport-less travel to Australia on the table

8:23 pm on 29 October 2015

New Zealand and Australia are discussing trials of passport-less travel between the two countries, in which all the information normally carried on travel documents will be held in a "cloud".

New Zealand passport

New Zealand passport Photo: 123rf

Under the plan, a traveller's identity and biometrics data would be stored electronically, so trans-Tasman passengers would no longer need to carry their passports and risk having them lost or stolen.

More than 38,000 paper-based passports are lost by Australians each year.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the cloud-based passports would be "grounded in absolute security".

She told the Sydney Morning Herald the Australia-New Zealand trial was likely to go global.

New Zealand's new ten-year passports will now be from the end of November.