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Departure cards to be removed 5 November Friday, 2 November 2018

Departure cards will be removed from the New Zealand border on 5 November 2018 and replaced by smarter electronic systems.

Removing departure cards brings New Zealand in line with international best practice, and helps make border crossing smoother and faster for travellers. It also brings us closer to seamless travel between Australia and New Zealand, which benefits Trans-Tasman travellers and businesses. As Australia removed its departure card last year, from 5 November people will be able to travel without completing a departure card on both sides of the Tasman.

Departure cards were originally used to process and account for all travellers departing New Zealand, however, this is now done electronically.

Currently departure cards are mainly used to collect statistics. Stats NZ has confirmed there are alternative sources of information and methods they can use to produce tourism and migration statistics, removing the need for travellers to complete departure cards.

The New Zealand departure card required more details than many other countries. The Government will continue to collect the information required for the most critical functions of the card (border processing and key statistics) by electronic and other means. This includes information on passports, departure dates, actual time spent in New Zealand and actual time away. Other less important information currently collected on departure cards may be collected in other ways in future.

It is estimated that over 132 million departure cards have been filled out since they were introduced in April 1921.

Departure card factsheet PDF 244KB

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