New Zealand passport plummets in latest 'power' ranking

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A new survey of the world’s most ‘powerful’ passports has seen New Zealand’s little black book take a big slide.

The Global Passport Index is one of several rankings which measure how strong a passport is. Others include the Passport and Henley Passport indexes which look at how many countries can be accessed without a visa, or offer a visa on arrival.

Immigration consultancy Global Citizens Solutions does things a little differently, rating passports not only on how many countries their holders can visit either without a visa or a visa on arrival, but also on quality of life and investment opportunities. Data is gleaned from organisations such as the World Bank, World Economic Forum and Sustainable Development Forum.

The travel benefits a passport confers on its holder is given the most weight (50%), while quality of life and investment opportunities each contribute 25% to the total score.

In the latest Global Passport Index New Zealand has dropped from 10th to 17th place. While scoring well in the quality of life index (10th overall), it is in 20th in the mobility index and 34th in investment which “is used to provide a general assessment of the economy as an option for investment and other business decisions”, according to its methodology.

The cost of living in New Zealand was said to be “very high”, but the country scored highly for freedom, happiness and sustainable development.

In the latest Global Passport Index New Zealand has dropped from 10th to 17th place.

In the latest Global Passport Index New Zealand has dropped from 10th to 17th place.

Topping the list is Germany, which has bumped the US off the top of the ranking. It drops to second ahead of Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands.

At the bottom is North Korea just ahead of, perhaps unusually, Vatican City.

Patricia Casaburi, CEO of Global Citizen Solutions, said the index “is a valuable tool for anyone looking to make an informed decision about a second citizenship or simply considering relocation temporarily or permanently to another country”.

In the Henley Index, which uses data from the International Air Transport Association for its measurements covering 199 passports and 227 travel destinations, Japan and Singapore lead the way with New Zealand in joint 15th, with visa-free access to 188 countries. The Passport Index measures 193 United Nations member countries and six territories. It updates more regularly through the year and currently has the United Arab Emirates leading with New Zealand in joint 13th.

The top 10 passports ranked in the Global Passport Index are:

  1. Germany
  2. The United States
  3. Sweden
  4. Denmark
  5. The Netherlands
  6. Finland
  7. United Kingdom
  8. Canada
  9. Norway
  10. Switzerland

Also: 17. New Zealand