Immigration New Zealand (INZ)’s Policy Director Nick Aldous says the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) aims to improve border security, and prevent anyone who may pose a potential risk from travelling to New Zealand. “INZ (Immigration New Zealand) understands this is a significant change not only for travellers but also for airlines, cruise ships and tourism operators both here in New Zealand and overseas. This is why our team will be at TRENZ in Rotorua this week so that we can be on the ground, answering questions.”
From 1 October 2019, passengers who are eligible to travel to New Zealand without a visa will be required to hold an NZeTA before departure. As part of their NZeTA request, travellers will be required to answer questions about their criminal conviction history and the purpose of their trip. “Currently, visitors who are able to fly to New Zealand without a visa only receive light-touch screening at check in, and cruise ship passengers and crew are not screened at all. “With a growing number of tourists choosing New Zealand as their holiday destination each year, it’s important for us to bring our border controls into line with international best practice,” Nick says.
INZ has chosen TRENZ, New Zealand’s largest annual trade travel event, as the place to unveil the NZeTA name and logo. The logo, featuring a bright green colour and the map of Aotearoa, quickly shows visitors that the NZeTA is the ‘green light’ for travel to New Zealand. “The logo, combined with the name ‘NZeTA’ adds some Kiwi flavour and helps to ensure travellers don’t confuse it with other travel authorities from around the world, such as Canada’s eTA and Australia’s ETA,” Nick says. “Work with the tourism industry is already well underway, to ensure travel agents, tourism operators, airlines and cruise companies that facilitate travel to New Zealand are aware of the NZeTA. “Once the NZeTA becomes mandatory on 1 October 2019, passengers who arrive at check in without an NZeTA will be denied boarding. That’s why it’s so important for the tourism industry to begin telling their customers,” Nick says. An NZeTA communications toolkit will be released at TRENZ, including content and collateral that tourism businesses can drop into their customer communications, such as booking emails.
Travellers will be able to request their NZeTA using the official INZ mobile app or website, which will be available from July 2019. An NZeTA request will be quick and easy, taking less than ten minutes to complete. The mobile app includes innovative machine readable technology that can scan a passport and instantly recognise details like a traveller’s name and passport number, meaning visitors won’t have to manually enter this information.
The NZeTA will cost NZD$9 when requested via the mobile app, and NZD$12 when requested via immigration.govt.nz. When a visitor requests their NZeTA, they’ll also be charged the NZD$35 International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) at the same time. The IVL is a way for travellers to contribute directly to the tourism infrastructure they use and help protect the natural environment they enjoy during their stay in New Zealand.
New Zealand and Australian passport holders, and those who already hold a valid visa for New Zealand, will not need an NZeTA. Australian permanent residents will need to hold an NZeTA but don’t need to pay the IVL. Find out more about the NZeTA, and who needs one, at immigration.govt.nz/nzeta.