New Zealand has improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand.
This was launched in August and became mandatory on October 1 this year.
More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since the system went live in early August, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway.
"This is a significant milestone in keeping our borders secure with the NZeTA. There’s excellent awareness and compliance among travellers after Immigration New Zealand successfully ensured all key players were well informed and prepared for the introduction of the electronic travel authority," says Iain.
"While there are always hiccups for a small number of people, more than 99 per cent of applications have been processed automatically within 10 minutes.
"There were 196 individuals who had their NZeTA refused, which demonstrates that the NZeTA is already helping to improve border security and bring our border control into line with international best practice.
"I encourage travellers to apply for the NZeTA using the official government website (www.immigration.govt.nz/nzeta) or mobile app, rather than using unauthorised third party sites to avoid any disappointment," says Iain.
The NZeTA became mandatory for visitors from visa waiver countries from October 1 and costs NZD$9 via the mobile app and NZD$12 through the website. At the same time that a visitor requests their NZeTA, they are charged the new NZD$35.00 International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy.
"More than $27 million has been collected through the IVL to go towards sustainable tourism and conservation projects," says Iain.
More information on the NZeTA, as well as the web form to request an NZeTA, can be found at: www.immigration.govt.nz/nzeta