Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 1995

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Reprint as at 29 November 2010

Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 1995

Public Act1995 No 16
Date of assent31 March 1995
Commencementsee section 1(2)
  • Act name: substituted, on 24 January 2009, by section 5(1)(a) of the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Amendment Act 2008 (2008 No 48).


Changes authorised by section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989 have been made in this reprint.

A general outline of these changes is set out in the notes at the end of this reprint, together with other explanatory material about this reprint.

This Act is administered by the Department of Internal Affairs.




1 Short Title and commencement

Part 1

1A Purpose

2 Interpretation

3 Act binds the Crown

4 No information to be recorded or altered except in accordance with Act

Part 2

5 Births in New Zealand to be notified and registered

5A Preliminary notice of birth

6 Births outside New Zealand

7 Foundlings

8 Births on New Zealand aircraft or ships

9 Parents primarily responsible for notifying birth

10 Guardian or authorised person may notify birth

11 Manner of notification of birth

12 Registration of births

12A Record of citizenship

13 Registration of certain still-births

14 Maori custom marriages

15 Registration of parents' details

15A Appeals relating to registration of parents' details

16 Registration of births notified late

17 Parents who marry or enter into civil union after birth of child may have particulars of marriage or civil union recorded

Part 3

18 Acceptance of names

19 Names to be specified when birth notified

20 Guardians may change child's names within 2 years of birth

21 Definitions for sections 21A and 21B

21A Application for registration of name change

21B Registration of name change

22 Registrar-General to give effect to decisions under Care of Children Act 2004

Part 4

23 Registrar-General to be notified of New Zealand adoptions

24 Registration of New Zealand adoptions

25 Registration of overseas adoptions

26 Registrar-General may supply adoption information to registration authorities overseas

27 Variation or discharge of adoption order

Part 5
Declarations of Family Court as to sex

27A Definitions for sections 28 and 29

28 Declarations of Family Court as to sex to be shown on birth certificates issued for adults

29 Declarations of Family Court as to appropriate gender identity for children

30 Registrar-General may add information to registration of birth

31 Registrar-General may delete information where procedures not completed

32 Other powers not affected

33 New information not to affect general law

Part 6

34 Deaths in New Zealand to be notified and registered

35 Deaths outside New Zealand

36 Deaths on New Zealand aircraft or ships

37 Medical certificates in relation to illness [Repealed]

38 Medical certificates in relation to accidents to elderly persons [Repealed]

39 Bodies to be disposed of within reasonable time [Repealed]

40 Transfer of charge of body [Repealed]

41 Medical certificate or coroner's order to be obtained before body disposed of [Repealed]

42 Registrar to be notified when body disposed of or removed

43 Notification of death where court gives leave to swear to death

44 Notification of death reported to coroner where body destroyed or irrecoverable

45 Notification of death reported to coroner in other cases

46 Other person may be authorised to notify

47 Manner of notification of death

48 Time within which death to be notified

49 Registrars to register deaths

50 Register of deaths of certain service personnel

51 Registrar to be notified when disinterred body disposed of or removed

52 Deposit with Registrar-General of death certificates issued outside New Zealand

Part 7

53 Marriages in New Zealand to be registered

54 Marriages outside New Zealand

55 Marriage information to be sent to Registrar

56 Registrars to register marriages

57 Registrar-General may register certain marriages

58 Overseas ceremony where New Zealand representative attends

59 Dissolutions to be recorded

60 Convictions for bigamy to be recorded

61 Celebrants and Registrars to be notified [Repealed]

62 Recording new names in relation to marriages

Part 7A
Civil unions

62A Civil unions under Civil Union Act 2004 to be registered

62B Civil unions solemnised by celebrant

62C Registrars to register civil unions

62D Change to form of relationship to be recorded

62E Dissolutions to be recorded

62F Convictions for bigamy to be recorded

62G Recording new names in relation to civil unions

Part 8

63 Birth certificates for adopted persons

64 Birth certificates after sexual assignment or reassignment

65 Request for new identity information for certain witnesses, etc

66 Birth certificates where error in birth registration corrected

67 Birth certificates generally

68 Surnames on certain birth certificates

69 Death certificates

70 Marriage certificates

70A Civil union certificates

70B Name change certificates

71 Certificates to be prima facie evidence

72 Fees for certificates

Part 9
Searches and disclosure of information

73 Definitions for sections 74 to 75G

74 Access to birth information, death information, marriage information, civil union information, or name change information

75 Persons authorised to access source documents

75A Subject of birth information, marriage information, civil union information, or name change information may search access register and request non-disclosure direction

75B Effect and duration of non-disclosure direction

75C Registrar may provide limited verification of registered information that becomes publicly available while non-disclosure direction in force

75D Registrar-General must keep access register

75E Public sector agencies may search access register

75F Searches for certain authorised purposes

75G Searches for purposes of gathering statistics, or for health, historical, or demographic research

76 Restrictions on searches relating to adopted persons

77 Restrictions on searches where error relating to person's sex has been corrected or sexual assignment or reassignment has been registered

78 Restrictions on searches relating to new names of certain witnesses, etc

78A Disclosure of birth information, death information, marriage information, civil union information, and name change information to certain specified agencies for certain purposes

78B Information matching to trace unregistered births

78C Disclosure of statistical information

78D Registrar-General may share name change information and death information with foreign registration authorities

78E Supply of information to foreign registration authorities must be in accordance with written agreement

78F Disclosure of death information to non-government organisations for certain purposes

78G Definition for sections 78H and 78I

78H Registrar-General may make certain historical information available

78I Index information must not be made available on Internet

78J Review of operation of sections 74 to 75G, 78F, and 78H

Part 10
Registrar-General and Registrars

79 Registrar-General

80 Deputy Registrar-General

81 Registrars

Part 11
Powers of inquiry and correction and updating of records

82 Registrar-General's powers of inquiry

83 Registrars must decline to record certain information

84 Correction of errors

84A Amendments to birth registrations to include details of parents under Part 2 of Status of Children Act 1969

85 Family Court may consider proposed corrections in cases of difficulty or dispute

85A Health information may be used to correct records

85B Information recorded under Act may be used to update information kept under Human Assisted Reproductive Technology Act 2004

Part 11A
Miscellaneous provisions

86 Entries relating to illegitimate children

87 Statutory declarations

87A Provision of information to Statistics New Zealand

87B Registrar-General may issue standard forms

88 Regulations

89 Offences and penalties

89A Electronic transactions

90 No prosecution without authority of Registrar-General

91 Fees

91A No liability for costs incurred in supplying information

91B Protection for supply of information

Amendments to Marriage Act 1955

92 Interpretation

93 Issue of marriage licence and information return

94 Validity of service marriages

Consequential amendments and repeals

95 Consequential amendments

96 Repeals

Schedule 1A
Disclosure of information to specified agencies

Schedule 1
Consequential amendments

Schedule 2
Enactments repealed

Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Amendment Act 2008

Reprint notes



  • Title: repealed, on 24 January 2009, by section 4 of the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Amendment Act 2008 (2008 No 48).