These passports illustrate the steady increase in official expression of New Zealand identity since 1948, when New Zealand citizenship was first legally established. The top left passport, from 1948, is described as 'British' but with the qualifier of 'Dominion of New Zealand'. The embossed insignia is the royal coat of arms. The second passport, at top right, is from 1963. It is still described as a 'British passport', but the insignia is now the New Zealand coat of arms. The third, from 1987 (bottom left), has removed the reference to 'British'. The last, from 2011, retains the New Zealand coat of arms but adds a silver fern. The words 'New Zealand passport' also appear in equal-sized script in Māori.
Using this item
Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photographs by Marguerite Hill
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