Just which passengers will skip the queues and be fast-tracked through the country's airports is yet to be decided - but the new system will initially be by invitation only.

Customs Minister Nicky Wagner doesn't expect airport rage among those not entitled to it.

"It's a bit like having a bus lane, so everybody will get an improvement," Ms Wagner told the Herald.

The scheme will be free for the initial two-year pilot - but Ms Wagner did not rule out charging people for access in the longer term.


Frequent business travellers are likely to benefit, and the Government could work with companies to have staff signed up.

In the pilot, selected regular transtasman travellers will provide detailed information before they reach the border to enable an "advanced risk assessment".

Last week's Budget provided $1.6 million to fast-track passengers, and $2.8 million over two years to speed up clearance of low-risk goods.

Ms Wagner said it was in the planning phase and details were yet to be decided.

"We might come up with a faster method of processing. For example, there might be iris recognition instead of having to go through the normal passport channel."

However, the sped-up process would likely cover passport control as well as biosecurity screening. In the long term, she expected individuals to be able to apply for inclusion.

Ms Wagner did not rule out any charges for the scheme here: "Certainly for the trial it will be a free service, and we'll see how it pans out."