Reconnecting New Zealanders to the World

Reconnecting New Zealanders to the World is the Government's plan to safely re-open our borders and develop new ways for people to travel to and from Aotearoa New Zealand.

About the programme

This is a new framework for travel that will involve gradually shifting our border settings from where New Zealand is now, with travel based on country-to-country arrangements, to a risk-based travel approach based on individual travellers. It will take into account a number of factors, including vaccine status.

Read more about the next steps [PDF, 122 KB]

Our guiding objectives

  • Maintaining our elimination strategy to stamp out the virus and keep our options open.
  • Ensuring every eligible New Zealander is offered the opportunity to be vaccinated as soon as possible.
  • Reducing the need for further lockdowns as much as possible by continuing to strengthen our health and contact tracing systems.
  • Maintaining strong public health tools.
  • Developing new ways to enable people to travel safely to and from New Zealand.
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Reconnecting New Zealanders to the World forum

The Reconnecting New Zealanders to the World forum brought together experts to discuss the next steps in our reconnection strategy.

The forum featured a presentation from Sir David Skegg, a panel discussion with experts and a speech from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. 

The event was held on Thursday 12 August 2021.

Watch the Reconnecting New Zealanders to the World forum

Self-isolation pilot for businesses and organisations

Self-isolation is part of the Government’s plan for re-opening borders and allowing more people to visit and return home to New Zealand without the requirement to enter managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ).

A self-isolation pilot over October and December 2021 will test some of the systems and processes that would be needed to roll out self-isolation more widely.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will administer the pilot.

Traveller Health Declaration System

The traveller health declaration system will collect information from travellers arriving in New Zealand. In future, New Zealand will assess the health risk of each traveller depending on their vaccination status, test results and where they have travelled.

This information will be used to help facilitate the traveller on arrival to New Zealand, for example whether they need to go into a MIQ facility, or be eligible for other isolation options and testing requirements.

In order to confirm people’s vaccination status, this system will be able to validate the vaccination certificate and show it is authentic and can be trusted. The complexity of digital and operational systems that the traveller health declaration system needs means it will be developed in stages with security and simplicity for users being key to the solution. The first version will be available in Quarter1 2022.

The New Zealand Customs Service will administer the project.

Vaccination Certificates

Vaccination status and verification will be an important part of supporting New Zealanders to travel internationally. The Ministry of Health is currently piloting a web application called My COVID Record so people can access their vaccination and test records using the new My Health Account. Pending a successful pilot, this service is due to made available to the public in mid-October.

My Covid Record will be a self-service web application for consumers to generate their COVID-19 vaccination certificate that can be verified by international jurisdictions. Work is underway on developing digital certificates that can be stored on a person’s phone. These are expected to be available later this year. Those who cannot access digital devices will have an assisted phone line support option.

Learn more about proof of vaccination for travel (external link)

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