Ten year passports are due to return by the end of the year, Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne has announced.
Mr Dunne said Cabinet had signed off on bringing back a ten year term for adult's passports, making it cheaper and more convenient for travellers.
However, children's passports will remain at five years because a child's appearance changed significantly over time. He said the five year term for children was common in many overseas countries.
The 10-year adult passport price will cost $180, an average saving of more than $90 over the 10-year period.
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It will require law changes which he hoped to have in place by the end of the year.
He said Internal Affairs was also working on opening up online passport applications to children and first-time applicants in the future. The service was currently used by about 40 per cent of adults renewing their passports.
He said it was essential that passports were as secure as possible to prevent misuse and theft.
"We must safeguard the highly trusted international reputation of our passport which allows Kiwis the freedom to visit approximately 170 countries without applying for a visa."
Adult passports would continue to "heavily subsidise" the costs of cheaper child passports so it was affordable for families.
"The price of the 10-year passport will reflect the need to keep the price affordable for New Zealanders, while production costs are spread over much lower volumes being produced."
He said a truncated select committee process would be required to bring the changes in by the end of December, but the issue had already been considered by a select committee last year and the public had a chance to have their input.