New Zealand will follow Australia's lead in scrapping departure cards for outbound travellers.
The white and orange paper slips will be phased out in November this year, the NZ Government announced over the weekend, although inbound passengers will still need to complete an arrival card.
The move will be especially welcomed by Australian business travellers who regularly dart across the Tasman.
"Information captured by the departure cards is now mainly used for statistical purposes," noted NZ Customs Minister Meka Whaitiri.
"This also brings us closer to seamless travel between Australia and New Zealand for the benefit of Trans-Tasman travellers and businesses. Travellers will be able to travel departure card-free on both sides of the Tasman."
It's estimated that travellers leaving New Zealand fill out around 6.5 million departure cards each year, but Whaitiri says the government's Stats NZ arm "has developed an alternative way to produce migration and tourism statistics, based on actual movements rather than passengers' stated intentions on the departure cards."
Both the Australian and New Zealand governments have long talked up ways to remove 'barriers to movement' between both countries, and in 2009 plans were set up – but never enacted – to trial a clearance system similar to that used in Europe across European Union countries
There was also talk of trialling a cloud passport which would replace physical passports with digital passenger information and biometric data stored on government servers for access by border agencies.
Airlines have also pitched in, with Qantas CEO Alan Joyce last year renewing the push for 'seamless' trans-Tasman travel which would make flying to New Zealand no different to crossing into another Aussie state.
“We think that Australia-New Zealand should have as seamless access as possible" Joyce told a meeting of the Trans-Tasman Business Circle in Wellington.
Joyce affirmed that such an arrangement "would make it easier for business travellers and it would make tourism a lot easier," while admitting there would also be an upside for Qantas: New Zealand flights could depart from domestic rather than international airports.
"From an infrastructure perspective what it does is improve our efficiency dramatically because we can use domestic terminals."