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Cook Islanders advised to check extended wait times for passports

Wednesday 29 May 2024 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in National, Travel

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Cook Islanders advised to check extended wait times for passports

The New Zealand High Commission in the Cook Islands has advised applicants to check the extended processing time (up to 8 weeks) before applying for a New Zealand passport due to system upgrades.

The NZ High Commission says it has received around 30 passport applications over the last two weeks.

However, according to the High Commission’s administration manager, Marjorie Tautu, many Cook Islanders apply online for their passports via the Department of Internal Affairs’ website. 

New Zealanders and those holding NZ passport have been warned to apply for new passports at least two months before they need them.

According to Radio New Zealand, the wait time for an urgently required passport has increased to three days plus delivery. The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) has also advised that people should allow eight weeks, plus delivery, for a standard passport to be issued.

Last month, RNZ reported that more than 38000 Kiwis were waiting for their essential travel document.

Tautu says all passport applicants in the Cook Islands are advised of the estimated processing time ahead of submitting their applications. 

“The Department of Internal Affairs’ longer than usual processing time is due to an upgrade that aims to improve its passport processing systems and to allow customers to do more online.

“They have advised that reducing processing times continues to be one of their top priorities, and they are constantly looking at ways to achieve this.”

Tautu reiterated Department of Internal Affairs’ general advice:

  • Check if you need to apply for a passport as soon as you start planning your trip;
  • If you need to renew your passport or apply for a new one, do it online.
  • Applying online is the easiest, fastest way to get a New Zealand passport.
  • Check the latest information about passports cost, timeframes and delivery on the passport website – passports.govt.nz.
  • Consider the processing timeframes when applying for your passport and allow extra time for delivery.