Congratulations to the team of five million - our efforts over the past year have had a bonus side effect, making the New Zealand passport the most powerful in the world on the Global Passport Index.
The achievement is particularly impressive given just eight of the top 40 passports came from outside of Europe.
The Aotearoa uruwhenua has risen from third place to first due to an increase in global mobility since 2020. Another big winner is the US, moving from 16th place to third under the Biden administration and its vaccine rollout.
The Passport Index's Mobility Score is based on adding two key figures - the number of countries for which a passport grants visa-free entry, and the number it grants a visa on arrival. These totals determine the passport rank and New Zealand - with 92 visa-free countries and 44 visa on arrival countries - ranked top of the list.
Analysts working on the Passport Index say the numbers suggest countries that managed the pandemic effectively have risen up the ranks.
While Aotearoa went up the list, other countries dropped - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia all dropped around four to seven places.
The UK also dropped to fifth, while Norway fell to sixth.
Due to numerous joint placings, a total of 40 passports feature in the Passport Index's top ten.
The world's most powerful passports in 2021:
- New Zealand
- Germany, Spain, Australia
- Finland, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Republic of Ireland, Japan, South Korean, United States, United Arab Emirates
- Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, France, Portugal, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Hungary
- Malta, Slovenia, Greece, Poland, Slovakia
- Singapore, Norway, Lithuania
- Estonia, Latvia
- Iceland, Canada
- Cyprus, Croatia, Liechtenstein, Romania
Those with the lowest scores were:
- 80 Somalia
- 81 Syria
- 82 Iraq
- 83 Afghanistan