Citizenship Act 1977

  • This version was reprinted on 31 October 2014 to make a correction to the definition of employee in section 2(1) under section 25(1)(i) of the Legislation Act 2012.

Part 1
New Zealand citizenship

Acquisition of citizenship

6 Citizenship by birth
  • (1) Subject to subsection (2), a person is a New Zealand citizen by birth if—

    • (a) the person was born in New Zealand on or after l January 1949 and before 1 January 2006; or

    • (b) the person was born in New Zealand on or after 1 January 2006, and, at the time of the person's birth, at least one of the person's parents was—

      • (i) a New Zealand citizen; or

      • (ii) entitled in terms of the Immigration Act 2009 to be in New Zealand indefinitely, or entitled to reside indefinitely in the Cook Islands, Niue, or Tokelau.

    (2) A person shall not be a New Zealand citizen by virtue of this section if, at the time of his birth,—

    • (b) his father and mother were enemy aliens and the birth occurred in a place then under occupation by the enemy.

    (3) Despite subsections (1) and (2),—

    • (a) every person born in New Zealand on or after 1 January 1978 is a New Zealand citizen by birth if the person would otherwise be stateless:

    • (b) a person is deemed to be a New Zealand citizen by birth if—

      • (i) the person, having recently been born, has been found abandoned in New Zealand; and

      • (ii) investigations have failed to establish the identity of at least one of the person's parents.

    (4) Notwithstanding section 7, a person born outside New Zealand shall be deemed to be a New Zealand citizen otherwise than by descent if that person's father or mother is then—

    • (a) a New Zealand citizen, or a New Zealand citizen by descent, pursuant to this Act; and

    • (b) either—

      • (ii) an employee in any part of the State services, or a member of the Armed Forces, on service overseas; or

      • (iia) a person working overseas for the public service of Niue, Tokelau, or the Cook Islands; or

    (5) Despite section 7, a person is a New Zealand citizen by birth if—

    • (a) the person is born in the Independent State of Samoa; and

    • (b) but for reasons of medical necessity requiring the mother to travel from Tokelau to the Independent State of Samoa to give birth to the person, the person would have been born in Tokelau; and

    • (c) at the time of the person's birth the person would have been a New Zealand citizen by birth under subsection (1), had the person been born on that date in Tokelau.

    (6) A person who is a New Zealand citizen by birth does not lose his or her New Zealand citizenship by reason of the person being adopted by a parent or parents who are neither—

    • (a) New Zealand citizens; nor

    • (b) persons entitled to reside indefinitely in New Zealand in terms of the Immigration Act 2009 or entitled to reside indefinitely in the Cook Islands, Niue, or Tokelau.

    Compare: 1948 No 15 s 6

    Section 6(1): replaced, on 21 April 2005, by section 5(1) of the Citizenship Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 43).

    Section 6(1)(b)(ii): amended, at 2 am on 29 November 2010, by section 406(1) of the Immigration Act 2009 (2009 No 51).

    Section 6(3): replaced, on 21 April 2005, by section 5(2) of the Citizenship Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 43).

    Section 6(4): replaced, on 18 November 1992, by section 4(1) of the Citizenship Amendment Act 1992 (1992 No 104).

    Section 6(4)(b)(i): amended, on 1 July 1993, pursuant to section 2(3) of the Foreign Affairs Amendment Act 1993 (1993 No 48).

    Section 6(4)(b)(iia): inserted, on 10 December 2001, by section 4 of the Citizenship Amendment Act (No 2) 2001 (2001 No 95).

    Section 6(4)(b)(iii): replaced, on 1 July 2003, by section 84 of the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Act 2003 (2003 No 27).

    Sections 6(5): inserted, on 21 April 2005, by section 5(3) of the Citizenship Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 43).

    Sections 6(6): inserted, on 21 April 2005, by section 5(3) of the Citizenship Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 43).

    Section 6(6)(b): amended, at 2 am on 29 November 2010, by section 406(1) of the Immigration Act 2009 (2009 No 51).