Democratic Party secretary Eddie Drollett applied on New Zealand’s internal affairs ministry’s passport website last Friday.
“I made my application at 9.52am, and at 11.10am they sent me an email saying my application was being processed and it would be done within 10 working days,” says Drollett.
On Monday, Drollett received an email from courier company DHL which had confirmed his address.
He received confirmation the following day that the passport was finished before his passport was delivered to his door on Wednesday.
“People need to know there’s a faster way to renew their passport by going online.”
Applicants need to have a credit card in order to apply online.
New Zealand High Commission passport officer Mere Kamana confirms Drollett is the first Cook Islander to renew his passport online and encourages others to follow suit.
“I think it’s a good idea for the locals to go online, but the downfall is often they don’t have access to internet,” says Kamana.
Kamana adds another downside is a lot of Cook Islands residents don’t own credit cards.
“The ones that have credit cards say they wouldn’t use it to go on the internet to pay for their passport.”
Drollett adds those who are looking to renew their passports online need to enter 000 into the country code, not 682 which is the country’s calling code.
Cook Islanders who don’t have a proper street address can also enter 000 into the street address section of the online form.
Locals who want their passport stamped to show they’re a Cook Islander will still have to go down to the foreign affairs ministry’s immigration office.