Airport departure cards will be a thing of the past from November.
People will no longer have to fill out the cards before flying overseas, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway announced at Auckland International Airport on Sunday.
"This will improve the experience of all travellers departing New Zealand, enabling a faster and smoother process ahead of the busy holiday period," Lees-Galloway said.
"It will also save more than 100,000 hours of time currently spent by travellers completing more than 6.5 million departure cards per year."
There is no exact date set for the axing of the cards, and one would be announced closer to the time.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern first signalled the move in March at the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum in Sydney.
Delegates at that forum said the cards were not necessary and hampered a seamless trans-Tasman experience, which affected tourism and business.
Ardern said she agreed and would be talking to statistics and immigration officials in the coming months.
On Sunday, Lees-Galloway said the move would bring New Zealand into line with other countries, few of which had departure cards with the level of detail required by the New Zealand card.
Australia removed its departure card in 2017, and the announcement meant travellers would be able to travel across the Tasman without filling out a departure card in either port, Lees-Galloway said.
While the dollar amount saved by axing departure cards was "not huge", it would save people time, he said.
"It removes an inconvenience which isn't necessary anymore . . . It's time for them to go."
Auckland International Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood said the move was something the airport had wanted for many years.
"[It's] something that will make a big difference to travellers' lives."
While filling out a departure card was a small part of the overall process, doing away with them would cut out the "slight annoyance factor" for those customers just wanting to get to the gate, he said.
Customs Minister Meka Whaitiri said the cards were no longer needed for their original purpose – to account for all passengers crossing the New Zealand border.
"We have smarter systems now that capture passenger identity information and travel movement records electronically," she said.
"Information captured by the departure cards is now mainly used for statistical purposes.
"Statistics NZ has developed an alternative way to produce migration and tourism statistics, based on actual movements rather than passengers' stated intentions on the departure cards."
Departure cards were introduced in 1921, and it's estimated more than 132 million cards have been filled out since that time.
In 2017, 6.5 million cards were completed. That represented about 100,000 hours of traveller time, or about 12 years, a fact sheet provided by Lees-Galloway and Whaitiri said.
The cards ask travellers how long they have been in New Zealand and how long they intend to be away.
From November, Statistics NZ would switch to a new system which would measure the actual times, the statement said.
Those hoping for an end to arrival cards, along with departure cards, were set for a longer wait.
The statement said arrival cards captured important declarations which were used by border staff to manage immigration and biosecurity risks.
"Officials are in the early stages of exploring alternative means of capturing this information, but there are no set timeframes."