The New Zealand Government is making travel easier for United States and United Kingdom residents, with ePassport holders from both nations now allowed to use the SmartGate system on departure.
“Building on the success and popularity of SmartGate with New Zealanders and Australians, the system is now being made available to eligible US and UK ePassport holders departing New Zealand,” said New Zealand’s Customs Minister, Maurice Williamson.
“I’m sure eligible passengers will be just as impressed with how quick and easy it is to use the technology,” he said.
SmartGate is Customs’ automated passenger processing system, which has been used by six million people since its introduction in 2009.
About 50,000 people use the automated self-processing system each week and 22 gates are in operation at Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch airports for both departures and arrivals.
The same system is offered in Australia, but only to inbound arrivals and faster departures means a smoother travelling experience from New Zealand.
Taking the technology one step further, New Zealand Customs is currently trialling a prototype of the next generation of SmartGate, called SmartGate Plus, at Auckland International Airport. SmartGate Plus is a more intuitive one-step concept, where the passport is scanned at the gate, eliminating the need for the kiosk and ticket.
“It’s great New Zealand is able to play a part in the evolution of this technology, and another example of how the Government is always looking for new ways to improve the passenger experience,” Williamson said.
The Australian Government is yet to announce when SmartGate will be available for departing passengers.