I asked the last government in 2017 about whether NZ would consider joining Global Entry - for those of you who fly semi-regularly to the United States, you'll understand what the program is and why it would be a boon for anyone who ever has to deal with the absolute clusterfork that is CBP and TSA. Back then, the response was "nope". I've recently enquired again and gotten another response out of the current minister which I've enclosed below.
Sadly, the slightly faster screening at Houston remains the best we're going to get. It seems based on the fact the answer hasn't deviated in three years that NZ will never get access to Trusted Traveller programs, and we'll just have to suck it up and be the "odd ones out" stuck in the slow queue.
Thank you for your email to me dated 4 February 2020 expressing your interest in the United States trusted traveller programme and inquiring about the possibility of New Zealand taking steps, as Australia has, to obtain access to trusted traveller programs when visiting the United States.
Like my predecessors, Hon Kris Faafoi and Hon Meka Whaitiri, I do appreciate your interest in this matter and welcome your feedback as a regular traveller to the United States. You can be assured that the New Zealand Government is very committed to improving the travel experience for inbound and outbound travellers.
I note your comment that Hon Meka Whaitiri had previously advised you that that the New Zealand Customs Service (Customs) had looked into New Zealand citizens travelling to the United States accessing the Global Entry Program, and determined that there would be limited uptake which would not justify the costs of joining the program.
Your recent correspondence asks if, as Minister of Customs, I would reconsider this position and investigate whether there is potentially a renewed appetite for New Zealand obtaining access to these programs. My Customs officials have discussed this matter with their American counterparts in the last fortnight, and it is clear that the transaction costs of negotiating the agreement and then maintaining the requisite security protocols on behalf of United States Customs and Border Protection, would still be too high. At this time, there is still not a compelling case for Customs to negotiate the necessary international agreements with United States Customs and Border Protection.
You may find it useful to know that Customs, together with other New Zealand border agencies, has a very broad suite of seamless travel initiatives for all travellers arriving or departing New Zealand. Some of these initiatives include; the removal of departure cards, expansion of the New Zealand Customs eGate programme to a larger group of countries, ongoing facilitation of trans-Tasman cruise ship travel, and the digital arrival card trial. Customs also continues to review and assess new ways in which we can expedite New Zealander's travel across the world.