New Zealand Customs Minister, Nicky Wagner
New Zealand’s Customs Minister Nicky Wagner testing next generation SmartGate border processing technology

Over NZD$6 million from the Future Investment Fund will go towards expanding and modernising SmartGate at our borders to help manage increasing numbers of travellers, says New Zealand Customs Minister, Nicky Wagner.

An additional 29 next generation SmartGates will ensure New Zealand’s border processing systems continue to be world-class. The new SmartGates use a one-step process and will be quicker and easier for passengers to use.

“Expanding the automated border processing capacity at Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch airports will enable Customs to manage the forecast growth in traveller volumes, which is expected to increase by around 2.3 million by 2019,” Wagner says.

“Nine new generation SmartGates, which deliver a faster process, will be installed this year. The remaining 20 SmartGates will be installed over the next 18 to 24 months.

“The new SmartGates use a faster, more efficient, integrated process that incorporates the passport scanner into the gate, eliminating the kiosk and ticket. Passengers scan their passport and step up to the biometric scanner, which is an improvement on the current two-step process.

“The new SmartGates will improve Customs’ capability to manage forecast traveller growth for New Zealand, Australian, and other nationalities.

“With annual passenger numbers expected to increase to nearly 12.7 million by 2019, Customs will be well positioned to manage this increase efficiently and effectively.

“The accuracy of biometrics enables Customs to focus on managing security risks at the border as well as ensuring that legitimate travellers are cleared in a fast and seamless way.

“Last year, 10.4 million air passengers crossed our border; and 96.4% were processed within 45 minutes, which is well above global ICAO standard of 90%.

“The World Economic Forum ranks New Zealand sixth in the world for efficiency of the border, and the investment in new SmartGates will help further enhance our standing on the world stage,” Wagner says.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management