New Zealand plans trial of 'trusted traveller' fast-track program

By Chris Chamberlin , August 3 2016
New Zealand plans trial of 'trusted traveller' fast-track program

Business travellers arriving internationally into New Zealand will soon be able to take advantage of a ‘trusted traveller’ scheme, providing a fast-track service through passport control and a dedicated processing lane at quarantine for a quick exit.

Flagged as part of a two-year trial, interested high flyers would provide certain personal information to border agencies in advance of their trip for complimentary access – but once the trial concludes, the priority handling service would come at a cost.

Start dates, eligibility rules and future pricing are yet to be announced, although the system isn’t without its challenges, highlights NZ Customs Service Group Manager Border Operations Anne Marie Taggart.

Speaking at the CAPA Australia Pacific Summit 2016, Taggart shares that “the people you’d expect to be able to trust are sometimes not the people you can trust,” and that even within a ‘trusted traveller’ group, some concerns from quarantine agencies would still remain.

Being an island nation with unique quarantine challenges, travellers wouldn’t be able to waltz straight out of the airport, but regular international business travellers to New Zealand “shouldn’t need the level of interaction that they have now,” Taggart continues.

Also under consideration as part of the trial: how the existing ‘green lanes’ at New Zealand airports can be operated more effectively for other passengers genuinely with nothing to declare – in particular, travellers arriving from Australia where similar border controls are currently applied.

Australian citizens with an electronic passport already have access to New Zealand's SmartGates on arrival and departure.

More ways to skip the queues abroad:

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 477

Will they let you know of any link to register interest Chris? I'm in and out of Auckland every month and would be keen to trial it. 

Having said that, Auckland arrivals is usually pretty quick. I think the longest I've been delayed is 15 mins! 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

31 Jan 2012

Total posts 108

Thats because everyone is leaving NZ not arriving

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 477

Hardly...

My NZ sales in July outstripped my AU sales! The place is a-rockin! 

We chose mineral exports, they chose dairy exports. The contrast could not be more poetic!

 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 477

It's all about being agile and moooving with the times! 

We've been caught baaadly lacking on that front...

Etihad - Etihad Guest

06 Apr 2012

Total posts 101

Are you sure the rockin' is not an earthquake ? :)

NZ Elite

03 Jul 2014

Total posts 108

Once the program goes live and registration opens to travellers, you can be sure we'll report that also.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

The only benefit to this would be the lack of arrival and departure cards. Smart gate is offered in all 4 major airports and the lines to leave are never that long so as far as I can see that could be the only real benefit.

This may be aimed at Chinese business people as they can't use the service and could possibly face queues and lengthy visa waits.


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