And if you’re not sure whether your passport is valid or not, Deputy High Commissioner Samantha Beckett says it’s as easy as checking the expiry date.
“If you open up your passport to the front biodata page, one of the pieces of information listed on the front page is the expiry date,” Beckett said.
“But also remember if you are travelling further afield than New Zealand and Australia, most countries require your passport to have at least six months’ validity.”
The High Commission Office will close at noon on December 22 and will reopen on January 3. A valid passport will be vital should an emergency make it necessary to leave the country during that time.
“It is important to have a valid passport. It means that if an emergency happens to your family living overseas, you can still travel, Beckett said.
“It is also important for any medical emergencies of you or your family that might require emergency medical treatment in New Zealand,” she explained.
There is a service that allows eligible people to receive an emergency travel document, an option that is more expensive and has limited validity.
“This is also only available if you have had a normal passport beforehand, as we can’t issue you one if you have never had a New Zealand passport,” says Beckett.
“The other, cheaper option, which we would encourage those who have previously had passports to consider, is to go online and apply for an urgent passport.”
Beckett encouraged those without a valid passport to visit the High Commission office before November 27 to receive one before the Christmas break.
Going online to www.passports.govt.nz to apply for renewals is also an option the High Commission also strongly encourages.