SmartGate system goes trans-Tasman

Photo / ThinkStock
Photo / ThinkStock

An integrated trans-Tasman SmartGate system will soon allow travellers to complete part of the Australian arrivals process in New Zealand.

Minister for Customs Maurice Williamson and Australian Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor today welcomed the launch of the SmartGate trans-Tasman trial.

Australian and New Zealand ePassport holders, travelling from Auckland to the Gold Coast, could now use the new system that would allow them to bypass the SmartGate kiosk at their destination and go straight to the gate.

"The New Zealand and Australian governments share the view that travelling across the ditch should be as much like a domestic experience as possible," Mr Williamson said.

"The SmartGate trans-Tasman trial aims to make it easier and more efficient for travellers to self-process at passport control," Mr O'Connor said.

"SmartGate will also help to reduce queuing by creating a more seamless border processing experience.

Given the success of SmartGate, both Australia and New Zealand have planned expansions of the programme at several of their international airports."

SmartGate uses face recognition technology and the information stored in a microchip inside electronic passports to do the identity checks usually carried out by Customs officers.

It has been used by more than one million travellers since its introduction in 2009.

- NZPA

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