Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Act 1995

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Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Act 1995

Public Act1995 No 16
Date of assent31 March 1995

Note

This Act is administered in the Department of Internal Affairs.


Contents

Title

Amendments to Marriage Act 1955

2 

24 

44 

Consequential amendments and repeals


An Act to provide for—

  • (a) The recording of information relating to births, citizenship by birth, names, adoptions, sexual assignment and reassignment, deaths, marriages, and civil unions; and

  • (b) Access to information recorded in respect of any such matter; and

  • (c) The provision and effect of certificates relating to information recorded in respect of any birth, death, marriage, or civil union

  • Paragraph (a) was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 46 Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102) by substituting the words marriages, and civil unions for the words and marriages.

  • Paragraph (a) was amended, as from 21 April 2005, by section 16 Citizenship Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 43) by inserting the words citizenship by birth, after the expression births,.

  • Paragraph (c) was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 46 Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102) by substituting the words marriage, or civil union for the words or marriage.

BE IT ENACTED by the Parliament of New Zealand as follows:

1 Short Title and commencement
  • (1) This Act may be cited as the Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Act 1995.

    (2) This Act shall come into force on the 1st day of September 1995.

Part 1
Preliminary

2 Interpretation
  • In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—

    Adopted person means a person information (not being information derived from an adoption order that has been discharged) relating to whom has been recorded under section 24 or section 25 of this Act, or under a corresponding provision of a former Act or a former Adoption Act

    Adoption information means information relating to an adoption; and, in relation to any adoption, means information relating to that adoption

    Birth includes a still-birth; but does not include a miscarriage

    Birth certificate means a document—

    • (a) Issued by, and signed or sealed by or stamped with the seal of, a Registrar; and

    • (b) Containing registered birth information;—

    and, in relation to any person, means a birth certificate containing registered birth information relating to the person's birth

    Birth information means information relating to a birth; and, in relation to any birth, means information relating to that birth

    Body means a dead person; but does not include a dead foetus

    celebrant means, as the case requires,—

    • (a) in relation to a marriage, a person who is a marriage celebrant under the Marriage Act 1955; and, in relation to a marriage solemnised by a celebrant, means the celebrant who solemnised it; and

    • (b) in relation to a civil union, a person who is a civil union celebrant under the Civil Union Act 2004; and, in relation to a civil union solemnised by a celebrant, means the celebrant who solemnised it.

    Celebrant: this definition was substituted, as from 26 April 2005, by section 38(1) Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102).

    Chief Archivist means the person holding that office under the Public Records Act 2005

    Chief Archivist: this definition was amended, as from 21 April 2005, by section 67(1) Public Records Act 2005 (2005 No 40) by substituting Public Records Act 2005 for Archives Act 1957.

    Child includes a still-born child

    civil union certificate means—

    • (a) a document that is issued by, and signed or sealed by or stamped with the seal of, a Registrar, and that contains registered civil union information; and

    • (b) in relation to any civil union, means a civil union certificate containing registered civil union information relating to that civil union

    civil union certificate: this definition was inserted, as from 26 April 2005, by section 38(2) Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102).

    civil union information means information relating to a civil union; and, in relation to any civil union, means information relating to that civil union

    civil union information: this definition was inserted, as from 26 April 2005, by section 38(2) Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102).

    Computer system means any system of computers, or computers and terminals,—

    • (a) Used for storing information recorded under this Act or a former Act; and

    • (b) Accessible by the Registrar-General or a Registrar; and

    • (c) Under the control of—

      • (i) The Registrar-General or a Registrar; or

      • (ii) A person (other than the Registrar-General or a Registrar) who has the function of managing, on behalf of the Registrar-General, information recorded under this Act or a former Act:

    Coroner's order, in relation to a body, means an authorisation by a coroner for the release of the body

    Coroner's order: this definition was amended, as from 1 July 2007, by section 146 Coroners Act 2006 (2006 No 38) by substituting authorisation by for order by.

    Coroner's order: this definition was amended, as from 1 July 2007, by section 146 Coroners Act 2006 (2006 No 38) by substituting release for disposal.

    Dead foetus means a foetus that, whether or not the umbilical cord had been severed or the placenta had detached, at no time after issuing completely from its mother breathed or showed any other sign of life (such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of the voluntary muscles)

    Death does not include a miscarriage or a still-birth

    Death certificate means a document—

    • (a) Issued by, and signed or sealed by or stamped with the seal of, a Registrar; and

    • (b) Containing registered death information;—

    and, in relation to any person, means a death certificate containing registered death information relating to the person's death

    Death information means information relating to a death; and, in relation to any death, means information relating to that death

    Delivery means a birth or a still-birth

    Deputy Registrar-General means a Deputy Registrar-General appointed under section 80(1) of this Act

    Disposal, includes burial and cremation; and to dispose of has a corresponding meaning

    doctor means a health practitioner who is, or is deemed to be, registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand continued by section 114(1)(a) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 as a practitioner of the profession of medicine

    Doctor: the reference to the Medical Practitioners Act 1995 was substituted, as from 1 July 1996, for a reference to the Medical Practitioners Act 1968 pursuant to section 143(2) Medical Practitioners Act 1995 (1995 No 95).

    doctor: this definition was substituted, as from 18 September 2004, by section 175(1) Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (2003 No 48). See sections 178 to 227 of that Act as to the transitional provisions.

    Doctor's certificate, in relation to a death or a body, means a medical certificate referred to in section 37(1) of this Act relating to the cause of death or, as the case may require, the cause of death of the person whose body it is

    Document means a document in any form; and includes any photograph, film, negative, tape, or other device in which one or more visual images are embodied so as to be capable (with or without the aid of some other equipment) of being reproduced; and documentary has a corresponding meaning

    Family Court means the division of a District Court known, in accordance with section 4 of the Family Courts Act 1980, as a Family Court

    Former Act means the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1951 or the Marriage Act 1955 or any Act relating to the registration of births and deaths or marriages that was repealed before the 1st day of September 1995

    give a doctor's certificate, in relation to a person's death, means complete and sign a doctor's certificate, and give it to the person having charge of the person's body

    give a doctor's certificate: this definition was inserted, as from 15 November 2000, by section 3(1) Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Amendment Act 2000 (2000 No 54).

    Former Adoption Act means the Infants Act 1908 or the Maori Land Act 1931 or the Maori Affairs Act 1953 or any Act relating to the adoption of children that was repealed before the 1st day of September 1995

    Funeral director means a person whose business is or includes disposing of bodies

    Hospital means a hospital care institution within the meaning of section 58(4) of the Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001

    Hospital: this definition was substituted, as from 1 October 2002, by section 58(1) Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001 (2001 No 93). See section 11 of that Act for transitional provisions.

    Index includes part of an index

    Index: this definition was substituted, as from 28 July 1997, by section 4(1) Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Amendment Act 1997 (1997 No 35).

    Marriage means a marriage solemnised under the Marriage Act 1955 or a former Act; and includes a service marriage

    Marriage certificate means a document—

    • (a) Issued by, and signed or sealed by or stamped with the seal of, a Registrar; and

    • (b) Containing registered marriage information;—

    and, in relation to any marriage, means a marriage certificate containing registered marriage information relating to that marriage

    Marriage information means information relating to a marriage; and, in relation to any marriage, means information relating to that marriage

    Medical includes psychological and surgical

    midwife means a health practitioner who is, or is deemed to be, registered with the Midwifery Council established by section 114(3) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 as a practitioner of the profession of midwifery.

    midwife: this definition was substituted, as from 18 September 2004, by section 175(1) Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (2003 No 48). See sections 178 to 227 of that Act as to the transitional provisions.

    Minister means the Minister of the Crown who, under the authority of any warrant or with the authority of the Prime Minister, is for the time being responsible for the administration of this Act

    Miscarriage means the issue from its mother, before the 21st week of pregnancy, of a dead foetus weighing less than 400g

    New Zealand includes the Ross Dependency

    Occupier, in relation to any premises, means the person for the time being in charge of them

    Prescribed fee includes a fee calculated or ascertained in accordance with regulations made under this Act

    To record includes to cause to be recorded

    Register,—

    • (a) In relation to an adoption, or a birth, death, marriage, or civil union, means recording by a Registrar (in a manner authorised by the Registrar-General) of information relating to it under this Act, or a former Act or former Adoption Act; and

    • (b) In relation to any information, means recording that information (in a manner authorised by the Registrar-General) under this Act, or a former Act or former Adoption Act;—

    and to register and registered have corresponding meanings

    Register: paragraph (a) of this definition was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 38(3) Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102) by substituting marriage, or civil union for or marriage.

    Registrar means a person for the time being holding office under section 81(1) of this Act; and includes the Registrar-General and every Deputy Registrar-General

    Registrar-General means the Registrar-General appointed under section 79(1) of this Act and includes every Deputy Registrar-General

    Service marriage has the meaning given to it by section 2 of the Marriage Act 1955

    Still-birth means the issue from its mother of a still-born child

    Still-born child means a dead foetus that—

    • (a) Weighed 400g or more when it issued from its mother; or

    • (b) Issued from its mother after the 20th week of pregnancy:

    Unavailable means dead, unknown, missing, of unsound mind, or unable to act by virtue of a medical condition

    Working day, in relation to the office of the Registrar-General or a Registrar, means any day of the week on which the office is open for business; but does not include a Saturday.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 2

3 Act binds the Crown
  • This Act binds the Crown.

4 Notice of births
  • (1) Within 5 working days after a birth in New Zealand that took place in or immediately before the mother's admission to a hospital, the occupier of the hospital shall—

    • (a) Complete, sign, and give to a Registrar a preliminary notice in the prescribed form relating to the birth; or

    • (b) Send the prescribed information relating to the birth to a Registrar by an electronic means approved in respect of the occupier by the Registrar-General.

    (2) Within 5 working days after a birth in New Zealand (other than a birth that took place in or immediately before the mother's admission to a hospital),—

    • (a) If a doctor was present at the birth, the doctor; and

    • (b) If a midwife, but no doctor, was present, the midwife; and

    • (c) If neither a doctor nor a midwife was present, and the birth took place in or immediately before the mother was admitted to any premises, the occupier—

    shall complete, sign, and give to a Registrar a preliminary notice in the prescribed form relating to the birth.

    (3) The Registrar-General shall notify the Director-General of Health of all still-births notified to a Registrar under this section.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 ss 10, 20

Part 2
Births

5 Births in New Zealand to be notified and registered
  • Every birth in New Zealand shall be notified and registered in accordance with this Part of this Act.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 6(1)

6 Births outside New Zealand
  • Except as provided in sections 7(2) and 8 and Part 4 of this Act, no birth outside New Zealand shall be registered.

7 Foundlings
  • (1) A person who—

    • (a) Believes that a child in the person's charge is recently born and was found abandoned in New Zealand; and

    • (b) Is not satisfied that a Registrar has been notified of the child's birth—

    shall as soon as is practicable tell a member of the Police, who shall notify the Registrar-General.

    (2) As far as it is practicable to do so, the Registrar-General shall register the birth of all children of whose finding the Registrar-General is notified under subsection (1) of this section.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 16

8 Births on New Zealand aircraft or ships
  • Any person may notify to the Registrar-General, and the Registrar-General may cause to be registered, as if it had occurred in New Zealand, any birth that occurred outside New Zealand on an aircraft registered in New Zealand under the Civil Aviation Regulations 1953 or a New Zealand ship (within the meaning of the Maritime Transport Act 1994) or an aircraft or ship of the armed forces (within the meaning of the Armed Forces Discipline Act 1971).

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 15A

9 Persons responsible for notifying Registrar of birth
  • (1) subject to subsection (2), every guardian of a child born in New Zealand must, as soon as reasonably practicable after the birth,—

    • (a) notify a Registrar of the birth in accordance with this Act; and

    • (b) in the case of a child born on or after 1 January 2006, inform the Registrar whether or not, to the best of their knowledge, either or both of the child's parents are New Zealand citizens or persons entitled, in terms of the Immigration Act 1987, to be in New Zealand indefinitely.

    (2) When one of the persons required by subsection (1) to notify a Registrar of a birth and the parents' status does so, the others are no longer required to do so.

    (3) Except as provided in sections 7, 8, and 10 of this Act a person who is not a child's guardian shall not notify a Registrar of the child's birth, and is not capable of doing so.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 11

    Subsections (1) and (2) were substituted, as from 21 April 2005, by section 16 Citizenship Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 43).

10 Other person may be authorised to notify
  • Where every guardian of a child has failed or refused to notify a Registrar of the child's birth in accordance with this Act, the Registrar-General may authorise some other person to do so; and in that case the person may do so.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 13

11 Manner of notification of birth
  • (1) Subject to subsection (3) of this section, a person notifying a Registrar of a birth shall do so by completing and signing the prescribed form and giving, sending, or posting it to the Registrar.

    (2) Subject to subsection (3) of this section, a person who completes and signs the prescribed form and posts it to the Registrar shall be deemed to do so at the time the form would be received by the Registrar in the normal course of post.

    (3) Where—

    • (a) Any person has notified a Registrar of a birth by completing and signing the prescribed form and sending or posting it to a Registrar; but

    • (b) It has not arrived or has been lost or destroyed,—

    a Registrar may authorise the person, or any other person required by section 9(1) of this Act or authorised by section 10 of this Act to notify a Registrar of the birth, to do so as if the form had never been sent or posted; and in that case the person concerned may do so.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 11

12 Registration of births
  • (1) Unless authorised by the Registrar-General to register births, a Registrar who is notified of a birth in New Zealand shall, to the extent that the information given is information required by the prescribed form (and subject to section 12A), send it to the Registrar-General or to a Registrar specified by the Registrar-General (as the Registrar-General for the time being directs).

    (2) Subject to sections 12A, 14 to 16 and 82 of this Act,—

    • (a) A Registrar (being a Registrar authorised by the Registrar-General to register births) who—

      • (i) Is notified of a birth in New Zealand; or

      • (ii) Has been sent birth information under subsection (1) of this section—

      shall, to the extent that the information given is information required by the prescribed form, register it; and

    • (b) If sent birth information under subsection (1) of this section, the Registrar-General shall, to the extent that it is information required by the prescribed form, register it.

    (3) Every still-birth shall so be registered that the fact that the birth is a still-birth can clearly be ascertained.

    Subsection (1) was amended, as from 21 April 2005, by section 16 Citizenship Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 43) by inserting the words (and subject to section 12A) after the words prescribed form.

    Subsection (2) was amended, as from 21 April 2005, by section 16 Citizenship Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 43) by inserting the expression 12A after the words subject to sections.

12A Record of citizenship
  • (1) If a Registrar is satisfied that a person born on or after 1 January 2006 is a New Zealand citizen by birth in terms of section 6 of the Citizenship Act 1977, the Registrar must record the person's citizenship status on the birth record.

    (2) If the chief executive or other appropriate officer of the Department for the time being responsible for the administration of the Citizenship Act 1977 informs a Registrar that a person born on or after 1 January 2006 is a New Zealand citizen by birth, the Registrar must record that citizenship status on the birth record.

    (3) In deciding for the purposes of subsection (1) whether or not a person is a New Zealand citizen by birth, a Registrar must have regard to the following information, if available:

    • (a) information provided by any guardian or parent of the person:

    • (b) any birth register information about the parents or parent of the person:

    • (c) information about the citizenship status or immigration status of the person or the parents or parent of the person:

    Section 12A was inserted, as from 21 April 2005, by section 16 Citizenship Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 43).

13 Registration of certain still-births
  • (1) This section applies to every still-birth that occurred after the 24th day of July 1991 and before the commencement of this Act.

    (2) Subject to subsection (3) of this section, a still-birth to which this section applies is registrable to the same extent, and in the same manner, as if it had occurred after the commencement of this Act.

    (3) Nothing in subsection (2) of this section requires any person to notify a registrar of a still-birth to which this section applies.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 7

14 Maori custom marriages
  • (1) No Registrar shall include in the registered birth information any information relating to a Maori custom marriage entered into after the 31st day of March 1952.

    (2) All registered information relating to a Maori custom marriage shall so be recorded that the fact that the marriage is a Maori custom marriage can clearly be ascertained.

15 Particulars of father where not married to, or in civil union or de facto relationship with, mother
  • (1) This section applies to a man and child if the man was not married to, or in a civil union or de facto relationship with, the child's mother at any time during the period commencing with its conception and ending with its birth.

    (1A) Section 17(3A) of the Care of Children Act 2004 applies when determining for the purposes of this section whether a child's mother and father were in a de facto relationship at the relevant time.

    (2) Where this section applies to a man and child, a Registrar who is not the Registrar-General or a Deputy Registrar-General shall not register as part of the child's birth information any information indicating or purporting to indicate that the man is the child's father, unless—

    • (a) Directed to do so by the Registrar-General; or

    • (b) Satisfied that when the birth was notified—

      • (i) The man and the child's mother so requested; or

      • (ii) The child's mother so requested, and produced a notice in writing signed by the man, acknowledging that he is the child's father and consenting to the recording of information relating to him; or

      • (iii) The man so requested and the child's mother was unavailable; or

    • (c) Satisfied that the man has so requested, and the child's mother has confirmed that he is the child's father.

    (3) Where this section applies to a man and child, the Registrar-General shall not register as part of the child's birth information any information indicating or purporting to indicate that the man is the child's father (or direct a Registrar to do so) unless satisfied—

    • (a) That when the birth was notified—

      • (i) The man and the child's mother so requested; or

      • (ii) The child's mother so requested, and produced a notice in writing signed by the man, acknowledging that he is the child's father and consenting to the recording of information relating to him; or

      • (iii) The man so requested and the child's mother was unavailable; or

    • (b) That—

      • (i) The man has so requested, and the child's mother has confirmed that he is the child's father; or

      • (ii) The man has so requested, and is the child's father; or

      • (iii) The man is unavailable, and is the child's father; or

      • (iv) a Family Court or the High Court has declared the man to be the child's father; or

      • (v) The Family Court has made a paternity order declaring the man to be the child's father; or

    (4) Subject to subsection (7) of this section, when directed by the Registrar-General under this section to include information in the information recorded under this Act or a former Act relating to a child's birth, a Registrar shall do so.

    (5) Subject to subsection (6) of this section, any person affected by a decision of the Registrar-General (relating to a man and child to whom this section applies) to—

    • (a) Register as part of the child's birth information any information indicating or purporting to indicate that the man is the child's father, or direct a Registrar to do so; or

    • (b) Decline to register as part of the child's birth information any information indicating or purporting to indicate that the man is the child's father, or decline to direct a Registrar to do so,—

    may, within 28 days of receiving written notice that the Registrar-General has so decided, appeal against the decision to the Family Court nearest the Registrar-General's office.

    (6) Subsection (5) of this section shall not apply in relation to a decision of the Registrar-General that gives effect to a declaration made by a Family Court or by the High Court or to a paternity order made by a Family Court.

    (7) On an appeal under subsection (5) of this section, the Family Court shall, after—

    • (a) Giving every person the Court thinks has an interest in the matter an opportunity to be heard; and

    • (b) Receiving any evidence the Court thinks fit,—

    either confirm the Registrar-General's decision or make such decision as the Family Court thinks fit and, where necessary, direct the Registrar-General to cause to be included in or deleted from the information recorded under this Act or a former Act in respect of the birth concerned the information in dispute.

    (8) For the purposes of this section, the only information recorded under this Act or a former Act in respect of an adopted person's birth is the information originally recorded.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 ss 18, 19

    The heading to section 15 was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 7 Relationships (Statutory References) Act 2005 (2005 No 3) by inserting the words , or in civil union with, after the words married to.

    The heading to section 15 was amended, as from 1 July 2005, by section 151 Care of Children Act 2004 (2004 No 90) by inserting the words or de facto relationship after the words in civil union.

    Subsection (1) was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 7 Relationships (Statutory References) Act 2005 (2005 No 3) by inserting the words , or in a civil union with, after the words married to.

    Subsection (1) was amended, as from 1 July 2005, by section 151 Care of Children Act 2004 (2004 No 90) by inserting the words or de facto relationship after the words civil union.

    Subsection (1A) was inserted, as from 1 July 2005, by section 151 Care of Children Act 2004 (2004 No 90).

    Subsection (3)(b)(iv) was amended, as from 1 July 2005, by section 15(1) Status of Children Amendment Act 2004 (2004 No 91) by inserting the words a Family Court or before the words the High Court.

    Subsection (3)(b)(vi) was amended, as from 1 July 2005, by section 151 Care of Children Act 2004 (2004 No 90) by substituting the words section 19 or section 20 of the Care of Children Act 2004 for the words section 6(3) or section 6A of the Guardianship Act 1968.

    Subsection (6) was amended, as from 1 July 2005, by section 15(2) Status of Children Amendment Act 2004 (2004 No 91) by inserting the words a Family Court or by after the words declaration made by.

    Subsection (8) was incorrectly numbered as (7) in the original act. This was corrected, as from 28 July 1997, by section 2 Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Amendment Act 1997 (1997 No 35).

16 Registration of births notified late
  • No Registrar other than the Registrar-General shall register a birth notified more than 2 years after the birth.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 ss 11(2), 12, 14

17 Parents who marry or enter into civil union after birth of child may have particulars of marriage or civil union recorded
  • (1) If satisfied that—

    • (a) The parents of any person married, or entered into a civil union with, each other after the person's birth; and

    • (b) Either—

      • (i) The parents have jointly requested the Registrar-General to record information relating to their marriage or civil union as part of the information relating to the person's birth recorded under this Act or a former Act; or

      • (ii) One parent is unavailable and the other has so requested,—

    the Registrar-General shall do so.

    (2) Any person affected by a decision of the Registrar-General to decline to record information relating to a marriage or civil union between the parents of a person that took place after the person's birth as part of the information relating to the birth recorded under this Act or a former Act may, within 28 days after receiving written notice that the Registrar-General has so decided, appeal against the decision to the Family Court nearest the Registrar-General's office; and the Family Court shall, after—

    • (a) Giving every person the Court thinks has an interest in the matter an opportunity to be heard; and

    • (b) Receiving any evidence the Court thinks fit,—

    either confirm the Registrar-General's decision or make such decision as the Family Court thinks fit and, where necessary, direct the Registrar-General to cause to be included in the information recorded under this Act or a former Act in respect of the birth concerned the information in dispute.

    (3) For the purposes of this section, the only information recorded under this Act or a former Act in respect of an adopted person's birth is the information originally recorded.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 19A

    The heading to section 17 was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 7 Relationships (Statutory References) Act 2005 (2005 No 3) by inserting the words or enter into civil union after the word marry.

    The heading to section 17 was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 7 Relationships (Statutory References) Act 2005 (2005 No 3) by inserting the words or civil union after the word marriage.

    Subsection (1)(a) was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 7 Relationships (Statutory References) Act 2005 (2005 No 3) by inserting the words , or entered into a civil union with, after the word married.

    Subsections (1)(b)(i) and (2) were amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 7 Relationships (Statutory References) Act 2005 (2005 No 3) by inserting the words or civil union after the word marriage.

Part 3
Names

18 Acceptance of names
  • (1) A Registrar shall not include any name or names in the information recorded under this Act or a former Act relating to a person's birth, or omit or amend any name or names so included, unless—

    • (a) The effect is that there are so included—

      • (i) One name designated to be treated as the person's surname; and

      • (ii) One or more other names; or

    • (b) The religious or philosophical beliefs, or cultural traditions, of—

      • (i) The person, if the person has attained the age of 18 years or earlier married or entered into a civil union; or

      • (ii) A parent (living or dead) or living guardian of the person, if the person has not attained the age of 18 years or earlier married or entered into a civil union—

      require the person to bear only one name; and the effect is that there is so included only one name.

    (2) Subject to subsections (1) and (3) of this section, a Registrar shall include in the information recorded under this Act or a former Act relating to a person's birth any name or combination of names specified unless, in the Registrar's opinion, it may be undesirable in the public interest for the person to bear it.

    (3) If, in the opinion of a Registrar (other than the Registrar-General) who would otherwise include any name or combination of names in the information recorded under this Act or a former Act relating to a person's birth, it may be undesirable in the public interest for the person to bear it, the Registrar shall notify the Registrar-General of the name or combination of names concerned, and shall not include it unless directed by the Registrar-General to do so.

    (4) The Registrar-General shall include a name or combination of names in the information recorded under this Act or a former Act relating to a person's birth (or direct a Registrar to do so) unless, in the Registrar-General's opinion, it is undesirable in the public interest for the person to bear it.

    (5) Any person affected by a decision of the Registrar-General to decline to include any name or combination of names in the information recorded under this Act or a former Act relating to a birth, or to decline to direct a Registrar to do so, may, within 28 days of receiving written notice that the Registrar-General has so declined, appeal against the decision to the Family Court nearest the Registrar-General's office.

    (6) On an appeal under subsection (5) of this section, the Family Court shall, unless satisfied that it is undesirable in the public interest for the person concerned to bear the name or combination of names concerned, direct the Registrar concerned to include the name or combination of names in the information recorded under this Act or a former Act in respect of the person's birth.

    (7) In determining an appeal under subsection (5) of this section, the Family Court—

    • (a) Shall give every person the Court thinks has an interest in the matter an opportunity to be heard; and

    • (b) May receive any evidence the Court thinks fit.

    (8) For the purposes of this section, it is undesirable in the public interest for a person to bear a name or combination of names if, and only if,—

    • (a) It might cause offence to a reasonable person; or

    • (b) It is unreasonably long; or

    • (c) Without adequate justification, it is, includes, or resembles, an official title or rank.

    Subsection (1)(b) was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 7 Relationships (Statutory References) Act 2005 (2005 No 3) by inserting the words or entered into a civil union after the word married in both places where it appears.

19 Names to be specified when birth notified
  • (1) A person who pursuant to section 9 or section 10 of this Act notifies a Registrar of the birth of a child shall also specify for the child—

    • (a) Both—

      • (i) One name designated to be treated as the child's surname; and

      • (ii) One or more other names; or

    • (b) If the religious or philosophical beliefs, or cultural traditions, of a parent (whether living or dead) or living guardian of the child require the child to bear only one name, one name.

    (2) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section requires any name other than a name designated to be treated as the child's surname to be specified in the notification of a still-birth.

    (3) Where—

    • (a) Either—

      • (i) The Registrar-General has declined to include any name or names in the information recorded under this Act relating to a birth; or

      • (ii) A Registrar has declined to include any name or names in the information recorded under this Act relating to a birth, and the Registrar-General has declined to direct the Registrar to do so; and

    • (b) A Family Court has not determined that the name or names whose inclusion has been declined should be included,—

    the question of whether or not the person has complied with subsection (1) of this section shall be determined as if the name or names whose inclusion has been declined had not been specified.

20 Guardians may change child's names within 2 years of birth
  • (1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, within 2 years of a child's birth—

    • (a) The child's guardians jointly; or

    • (b) If any guardians are unavailable, the other or others of them; or

    • (c) If, on the application of one guardian, the Family Court has consented to a change in the child's name, that guardian,—

    may, by notice in writing to a Registrar, request the Registrar to omit, amend, or replace any name specified for the child under section 19 of this Act or under a former Act, or specify for the child a further name or names; and in that case, subject to subsection (2) of this section and section 18 of this Act, the Registrar shall, on payment of the prescribed fee, include the child's new names in the information relating to the birth recorded under the Act concerned.

    (2) A Registrar shall not, under subsection (1) of this section, include any new names in the registration of a child's birth—

    • (a) If the request concerned was made pursuant to an order of the Family Court, and is not in accordance with any conditions subject to which the order was made; or

    • (b) More than once in respect of the same child, unless satisfied that there are special reasons making it appropriate to do so.

21 Changes of name generally
  • (1) Any person who has attained the age of 18 years or earlier married or entered into a civil union may, by making a statutory declaration on a form provided by the Registrar-General for the purpose, declare—

    • (a) A present intention to abandon the names most recently included in the registration of the person's birth and adopt some other names; or

    • (b) That the person has previously abandoned the names most recently included in the registration of the person's birth and adopted some other names.

    (2) By making a statutory declaration on a form provided by the Registrar-General for the purpose,—

    • (a) The guardians of a person who has not attained the age of 18 years and has never been married or entered into a civil union, jointly; or

    • (b) If any guardians are unavailable, the other or others of them; or

    • (c) If, on the application of one guardian, the Family Court has consented to a change in the person's names, that guardian; or

    may declare—

    • (e) A present intention to abandon the names most recently included in the registration of the person's birth and adopt for the person some other names; or

    • (f) That the names most recently included in the registration of the person's birth have previously been abandoned and that some other names have been adopted for the person.

    (3) Any person may, on payment of the prescribed fee (if any), deposit with the Registrar-General—

    • (a) A statutory declaration under this section; or

    • (b) A deed poll executed before the commencement of this Act, evidencing any change in a person's names; or

    • (c) Where it was executed and filed in any office of the High Court before the commencement of this Act, a copy, certified by a Registrar of that Court, of such a deed poll,—

    together with a birth certificate, or some other certificate or evidence, that satisfies the Registrar-General of the date and place of the person's birth.

    (4) If the person concerned has attained the age of 16 years, a statutory declaration under subsection (3) of this section shall be accompanied by the person's written consent to the change of names concerned.

    (5) Subject to section 18 of this Act and subsection (6) of this section, where there is deposited with the Registrar-General under subsection (3) of this section a statutory declaration (and, where appropriate, written consent), deed poll, or copy deed poll relating to a person whose birth has been registered, the Registrar-General shall, as soon as is practicable, include in the information relating to the birth recorded under this Act or a former Act the new names specified in the declaration or deed.

    (6) The Registrar-General shall not act under subsection (5) of this section if the change of name concerned is a person's abandonment of a surname assumed on marriage or entry into a civil union (not being the surname most recently included in the information relating to the person's birth recorded under this Act or a former Act), and reversion to the most recently included surname.

    (7) The Registrar-General shall, at the option of the applicant, return or destroy any certificate or evidence deposited under subsection (3) of this section.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 17A

    Section 21(1) was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 7 Relationships (Statutory References) Act 2005 (2005 No 3) by inserting the words or entered into a civil union after the word married.

    Section 21(2)(a) was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 7 Relationships (Statutory References) Act 2005 (2005 No 3) by inserting the words or entered into a civil union after the word married.

    Subsection (2)(d) was amended, as from 1 October 1999, by section 13 Department of Child, Youth, and Family Services Act 1999 (1999 No 82) by substituting the words chief executive of the department for the time being responsible for the administration of the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989 for the words Director-General of Social Welfare.

    Subsection (6) was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 7 Relationships (Statutory References) Act 2005 (2005 No 3) by inserting the words or entry into a civil union after the word marriage.

22 Registrar-General to give effect to decisions under Care of Children Act 2004
  • Subject to section 18 of this Act, but notwithstanding any other provision of this Part of this Act, an order under section 44(3) or section 46(1) of the Care of Children Act 2004 requiring the Registrar-General to include any names in the information recorded under this Act or a former Act relating to a child's birth shall have effect according to its tenor.

    The heading to section 22 was amended, as from 1 July 2005, by section 151 Care of Children Act 2004 (2004 No 90) by substituting the words Care of Children Act 2004 for the words Guardianship Act 1968.

    Section 22 was amended, as from 1 July 2005, by section 151 Care of Children Act 2004 (2004 No 90) by substituting the words section 44(3) or section 46(1) of the Care of Children Act 2004 for the words section 13(1) or section 14(1) of the Guardianship Act 1968.

Part 4
Adoptions

23 Registrar-General to be notified of New Zealand adoptions
  • Forthwith after the making of an adoption order under the Adoption Act 1955, the Court concerned or its Registrar shall give the Registrar-General notice of the following matters (so far as they are known to the Court):

    • (a) The names (if any) of the adopted person immediately before the making of the order:

    • (b) The names conferred on the person by the order:

    • (c) The names of the persons who were the person's parents immediately before the making of the order:

    • (d) Whether or not the adoptive parent or parents want the words adoptive parent or adoptive parents to appear on the face of birth certificates relating to the person:

    • (e) The date of the order:

    • (f) The name of the Court:

    • (g) Those matters required by the form prescribed for the purposes of section 11 of this Act (which relates to the notification of births) that would have been appropriate if the adopted person had been born to the adoptive parent or parents:

    • (h) Any other matters prescribed.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 21(1)

24 Registration of New Zealand adoptions
  • (1) On receiving—

    • (a) Notice under section 23 of this Act or section 21 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1951 relating to the adoption of; or

    • (b) Notice of the adoption under a former Adoption Act of—

    a person whose birth has been registered, the Registrar-General shall forthwith cause the information it contains to be included in the registration.

    (2) On receiving—

    • (a) Notice under section 23 of this Act or section 21 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1951 relating to the adoption of; or

    • (b) Notice of the adoption under a former Adoption Act of—

    a person whose birth has not been registered, the Registrar-General shall, if satisfied of the correctness or likely correctness of the information relating to the date and place of the person's birth, forthwith record the information it contains as if the person's birth is registered and the information is included in the registration.

    (3) On the application of the adoptive parent or parents of an adopted person who has not attained the age of 18 years or earlier married or entered into a civil union (with the consent of the adopted person, in the case of an adopted person who has attained the age of 16 years), or the survivor of them, or on the application of an adopted person who has attained the age of 18 years or married or entered into a civil union, the Registrar-General shall cause to be included in the registration of the adopted person's birth,—

    • (a) Notice of whether or not the words adoptive parent or adoptive parents should appear on the face of birth certificates relating to the adopted person; or

    • (b) Subject to section 82 of this Act, additional information relating to the birth.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 ss 21, 24

    Subsection (3) was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 7 Relationships (Statutory References) Act 2005 (2005 No 3) by inserting the words or entered into a civil union after the word married in both places where it appears.

25 Registration of overseas adoptions
  • If the Registrar-General—

    • (b) Has received any particulars the Registrar-General requires for the purpose, and is satisfied that they are or are likely to be correct,—

    the Registrar-General may direct that section 24 of this Act should apply to the adoption; and in that case that section and section 27 of this Act, with any necessary modifications, shall apply as if the adoption had been effected by an adoption order under the Adoption Act 1955.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 2

    Paragraph (a) was amended, as from 1 January 1999, by section 28 Adoption (Intercountry) Act 1997 (1997 No 109) by inserting the words or section 11 of the Adoption (Intercountry) Act 1997. See clause 2 Adoption (Intercountry) Act 1997 (SR 1997/427).

26 Registrar-General may supply adoption information to registration authorities overseas
  • If satisfied that—

    • (a) An authority constituted in a state outside New Zealand has the function of recording information relating to births within the state; and

    • (b) A person who has been adopted in New Zealand was born in the state; and

    • (c) The authority has so requested,—

    the Registrar-General may supply to the authority any information relating to the adoption.

27 Variation or discharge of adoption order
  • (1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, forthwith after the variation or discharge of an adoption order under the Adoption Act 1955, the Registrar of the Court concerned shall send a copy of the order to the Registrar-General, who shall cause to be included in the registration of the birth of the person to whom the adoption order related particulars of the variation or discharge including (where appropriate) a name or names for the person.

    (2) The Registrar-General may, if it seems expedient to do so, treat any order varying any adoption order as if it is a further adoption order; and in that case section 24 of this Act shall apply accordingly.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 23

Part 5
Declarations of Family Court as to sex

28 Declarations of Family Court as to sex to be shown on birth certificates issued for adults
  • (1) Subject to subsection (3) of this section, a Family Court may, on the application of a person who has attained the age of 18 years, declare that it is appropriate that birth certificates issued in respect of the applicant should contain the information that the applicant is a person of a sex specified in the application (in subsection (3) of this section referred to as the nominated sex).

    (2) The Court shall cause a copy of the application to be served on the Registrar-General, and any other person who, in the Court's opinion, is interested in it or might be affected by the granting of the declaration.

    (3) The Court shall issue the declaration if, and only if,—

    • (a) It is satisfied that there is included in the registration of the applicant's birth—

      • (i) Information that the applicant is a person of the sex opposite to the nominated sex; or

      • (ii) Information that the applicant is a person of indeterminate sex; or

      • (iii) No information at all as to the applicant's sex; and

    • (b) It is satisfied that the applicant is not a person of the nominated sex, but—

      • (i) Has assumed and intends to maintain, or has always had and intends to maintain, the gender identity of a person of the nominated sex; and

      • (ii) Wishes the nominated sex to appear on birth certificates issued in respect of the applicant; and

    • (c) Either—

      • (i) It is satisfied, on the basis of expert medical evidence, that the applicant—

        • (A) Has assumed (or has always had) the gender identity of a person of the nominated sex; and

        • (B) Has undergone such medical treatment as is usually regarded by medical experts as desirable to enable persons of the genetic and physical conformation of the applicant at birth to acquire a physical conformation that accords with the gender identity of a person of the nominated sex; and

        • (C) Will, as a result of the medical treatment undertaken, maintain a gender identity of a person of the nominated sex; or

      • (ii) It is satisfied that the applicant's sexual assignment or reassignment as a person of the nominated sex has been recorded or recognised in accordance with the laws of a state for the time being recognised for the purposes of this section by the Minister by notice in the Gazette.

29 Declarations of Family Court as to appropriate gender identity for children
  • (1) Subject to subsections (3) and (4) of this section, a Family Court may, on the application of the guardian of a person who has not attained the age of 18 years and who has never married or entered into a civil union (in subsection (3) of this section referred to as the child), declare—

    • (a) That it is in the child's best interests to be brought up as a person of a sex specified in the application (in subsection (3) of this section referred to as the nominated sex); and

    • (b) That any birth certificate issued in respect of the child should contain the information that the child is a person of the sex specified in the application.

    (2) The Court shall cause a copy of the application to be served on the Registrar-General, and any other person who, in the Court's opinion, is interested in it or might be affected by the granting of the declaration.

    (3) The Court shall issue the declaration if, and only if,—

    • (a) It is satisfied either that the child's birth is registrable under this Act but is not yet registered, or that there is included in the registration of the child's birth—

      • (i) Information that the child is a person of the sex opposite to the nominated sex; or

      • (ii) Information that the child is a person of indeterminate sex; or

      • (iii) No information at all as to the child's sex; and

    • (b) It is satisfied that the child is not a person of the nominated sex, but—

      • (i) The guardian intends to bring the child up as a person of the nominated sex; and

      • (ii) Wishes the nominated sex to appear on birth certificates issued in respect of the applicant; and

    • (c) It is satisfied, on the basis of expert medical evidence, that the child—

      • (i) Has already undergone; or

      • (ii) If the Court grants the declaration will undergo,—

      medical treatment reasonably necessary to enable the child to assume and maintain the gender identity of a person of the nominated sex; and

    • (d) It is satisfied, on the basis of expert medical evidence, that the child's physical conformation and gonadal and genital development are such that it is more likely that the child will be able (after undergoing any of the medical treatment not yet undergone) to assume the gender identity of a person of the nominated sex than it is that the child will be able to assume the gender identity of a person of the opposite sex (with or without medical intervention).

    (4) The declaration shall specify (with as much particularity as is possible in all the circumstances) all medical treatment (if any) that the child has not yet undergone that in the Court's opinion (reached in the light of the expert medical evidence) is reasonably necessary to enable the child's successful assumption and maintenance of the gender identity of a person of the nominated sex.

    Subsection (1) was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 7 Relationships (Statutory References) Act 2005 (2005 No 3) by inserting the words or entered into a civil union after the word married.

30 Registrar-General may add information to registration of birth
  • (1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, where there is deposited with the Registrar-General a declaration issued under section 28 or section 29 of this Act that relates to a person whose birth has been registered or is later registered, the Registrar-General shall, on payment of the prescribed fee (if any), include in the information relating to the birth recorded under this Act or a former Act information that the person is a person of the nominated sex.

    (2) The Registrar-General shall not at any time act under subsection (1) of this section if the person concerned is then lawfully married to a person of the nominated sex.

31 Registrar-General may delete information where procedures not completed
  • If satisfied that—

    • (a) Information that a person is a person of a particular sex has under section 30 of this Act been included in the information relating to the person's birth recorded under this Act or a former Act; and

    • (b) The information was included after the deposit with the Registrar-General of a declaration issued under section 29 of this Act; and

    • (c) The declaration of the Family Court included with the documents specified medical treatment that was, in the Court's opinion, reasonably necessary to enable the person's successful assumption and maintenance of the gender identity of a person of that sex; and

    • (d) There has been produced to the Registrar-General expert medical evidence to the effect that the person has not undergone that medical treatment, or other medical treatment having the same effect,—

    the Registrar-General may delete from the information recorded the information that was included.

32 Other powers not affected
  • Nothing in sections 28 to 31 of this Act limits or affects—

    • (a) The power of the Registrar-General under section 84(2) of this Act to substitute for—

      • (i) Incorrect information relating to a person's sex; or

      • (ii) Information that a person is of indeterminate sex,—

      correct information relating to the person's sex; or

    • (b) The power of the Registrar-General under section 84(3) of this Act to cause correct information relating to a person's sex to be recorded where previously no information at all as to the person's sex was recorded.

33 New information not to affect general law
  • Notwithstanding this Part of this Act, the sex of every person shall continue to be determined by reference to the general law of New Zealand.

Part 6
Deaths

34 Deaths in New Zealand to be notified and registered
  • (1) Every death in New Zealand must be notified and registered in accordance with this Part.

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a death to which section 19(1) of the Visiting Forces Act 2004 applies.

    Section 34 was substituted, as from 1 July 2004, by section 26 Visiting Forces Act 2004 (2004 No 59).

35 Deaths outside New Zealand
  • Except as provided in sections 36, 48(3), and 50 of this Act, no death outside New Zealand shall be registered under this Act.

36 Deaths on New Zealand aircraft or ships
  • Any person may notify the Registrar-General and the Registrar-General may cause to be registered, as if it had occurred in New Zealand, any death that occurred outside New Zealand on an aircraft registered in New Zealand under the Civil Aviation Regulations 1953 or a New Zealand ship (within the meaning of the Maritime Transport Act 1994) or an aircraft or ship of the armed forces (within the meaning of the Armed Forces Discipline Act 1971).

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 33A

37 Medical certificates in relation to illness
  • (1) If a person dies after an illness,—

    • (a) a doctor who attended the person during the illness must, if (and only if) satisfied that the person's death was a natural consequence of the illness, give a doctor's certificate for the death immediately after the doctor learns of the death; and

    • (b) a doctor other than a doctor who attended the person during the illness may give a doctor's certificate for the death if (and only if) satisfied that the person's death was a natural consequence of the illness and that—

      • (i) the doctor who last attended the person during the illness is unavailable; or

      • (ii) less than 24 hours has passed since the death, and the doctor who last attended the person during the illness is unlikely to be able to give a doctor's certificate for the death within 24 hours after the death; or

      • (iii) 24 hours or a longer period has passed since the death, and the doctor who last attended the person during the illness has not given a doctor's certificate for the death.

    (2) Subparagraphs (ii) and (iii) of subsection (1)(b) do not apply if the doctor who last attended the person during the illness has refused to give a doctor's certificate for the death because that doctor was not satisfied, or was not yet satisfied, that the death was a natural consequence of the illness.

    (3) If a death must under section 14(2) of the Coroners Act 2006 be reported to the New Zealand Police because it is one to which section 13 (except subsection (1)(b)) of that Act applies, or has been reported to a coroner under section 15(2)(a) or section 16(2)(b) of that Act, a doctor must not give a doctor's certificate for the death under subsection (1) unless a coroner has decided not to open an inquiry into the death.

    (4) A doctor who must give a doctor's certificate under subsection (1)(a) but knows that since he or she attended the person concerned some other doctor attended the person must not give the certificate without taking all reasonable steps to consult the other doctor.

    (5) A doctor must not give a doctor's certificate for a death under subsection (1)(b) unless the doctor has—

    • (a) had regard to the medical records relating to the person concerned of the doctor who last attended the person during the illness; and

    • (b) had regard to the circumstances of the person's death; and

    • (c) examined the person's body.

    Section 37 was substituted, as from 15 November 2000, by section 4 Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Amendment Act 2000 (2000 No 54).

    Subsection (3) was substituted, as from 1 July 2007, by section 146 Coroners Act 2006 (2006 No 38).

38 Medical certificates in relation to accidents to elderly persons
  • (1) Even though a death may have been reported to the New Zealand Police under section 14 of the Coroners Act 2006, a doctor may give a doctor's certificate for the death of a person if the person had attained the age of 70 years and, in the opinion of the doctor,—

    • (a) The death was caused by injuries, or injuries contributed substantially to it; and

    • (b) The injuries were caused by an accident; and

    • (c) The injuries, the accident, or both, arose principally by virtue of infirmities that were attributes of the person's age; and

    • (d) The accident was not suspicious or unusual; and

    • (e) The accident was not caused by an act or omission of any other person; and

    • (f) Except to the extent that the death involved injury by accident, it was not violent, unnatural, or in some way a death in respect of which the Coroners Act 2006 requires an inquiry to be conducted.

    (2) If a doctor is aware that a death has been reported to a coroner under section 15(2)(a) or section 16(2)(b) of the Coroners Act 2006, the doctor must not give a doctor's certificate under subsection (1) without first obtaining the agreement of the Coroner to whom the death has been reported.

    Subsection (1) was amended, as from 15 November 2000, by section 3(2)(a) Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Amendment Act 2000 (2000 No 54) by substituting give a doctor's certificate for the death of a for complete a doctor's certificate in respect of the death of any.

    Subsection (1) was amended, as from 1 July 2007, by section 146 Coroners Act 2006 (2006 No 38) by substituting Even though a death may have been reported to the New Zealand Police under section 14 of the Coroners Act 2006, for Notwithstanding that a death may have been reported to the Police under section 4 of the Coroners Act 1988,.

    Subsection (1)(f) was amended, as from 1 July 2007, by section 146 Coroners Act 2006 (2006 No 38) by substituting Coroners Act 2006 requires an inquiry to be conducted for Coroners Act 1988 requires an inquest to be held.

    Subsection (2) was amended, as from 15 November 2000, by section 3(2)(b) Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Amendment Act 2000 (2000 No 54) by substituting must not give a doctor's certificate under subsection (1) for shall not issue a certificate under subsection (1) of this section.

    Subsection (2) was amended, as from 1 July 2007, by section 146 Coroners Act 2006 (2006 No 38) by substituting to a coroner under section 15(2)(a) or section 16(2)(b) of the Coroners Act 2006 for under section 4 of the Coroners Act 1988.

39 Bodies to be disposed of within reasonable time
  • Subject to any enactment to the contrary, a person having charge of a body shall, within a reasonable time of taking charge of it,—

    • (a) Dispose of it; or

    • (b) Cause it to be disposed of; or

    • (c) Transfer charge of it to another person for—

      • (i) Disposal; or

      • (iii) Removal from New Zealand for disposal outside New Zealand.

40 Transfer of charge of body
  • (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, no person having charge of a body shall transfer charge of it to another person without first—

    • (a) Giving the other person a doctor's certificate or coroner's order; and

    • (b) Getting from the other person a notice in the prescribed form, signed by the other person, taking responsibility for notifying a Registrar under section 42 of this Act of the death of the person whose body it is, and (except where the body is being removed by the other person for anatomical examination under the Human Tissue Act 1964)—

      • (i) Taking responsibility for disposing of the body; and

      • (ii) Describing (with enough detail to enable it to be identified) the place where the other person intends to dispose of the body.

    (2) Subject to subsection (3) of this section,—

    • (a) Any person having charge of a body who is not a funeral director may transfer charge of it to a funeral director; and

    • (b) Any person having charge of a body may transfer charge of it to—

      • (i) A member of the Police; or

      • (ii) A doctor who has been directed by a coroner to perform a post-mortem examination of the body; or

      • (iii) The occupier of a hospital,—

    without complying with subsection (1) of this section.

    (3) A person who, at the time the person transfers charge of a body to another person, has a doctor's certificate or coroner's order shall then give the other person the certificate or order.

    (4) No person shall take charge of a body for anatomical examination under the Human Tissue Act 1964, or removal from New Zealand for disposal outside New Zealand, without first obtaining a doctor's certificate or coroner's order.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 26

    Subsection (2)(b)(ii) was amended, as from 1 July 2007, by section 146 Coroners Act 2006 (2006 No 38) by substituting directed for authorised.

    Subsection (2)(b)(iii) was substituted, as from 28 July 1997, by section 3 Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Amendment Act 1997 (1997 No 35).

41 Medical certificate or coroner's order to be obtained before body disposed of
  • No person shall dispose of a body, or cause or permit a body to be disposed of, unless the person in charge of the disposal has obtained a doctor's certificate or coroner's order.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 ss 26, 27

42 Registrar to be notified when body disposed of or removed
  • (1) A person who disposes of a body (not being the body of a person whose death has already been notified under subsection (2) of this section) shall forthwith notify a Registrar of the death of the person concerned.

    (2) Before removing a body—

    • (a) From New Zealand for disposal outside New Zealand; or

    the person proposing to remove it shall notify a Registrar of the death of the person concerned.

    Compare: 1964 No 22 ss 29, 30, 32

43 Notification of death where Court gives leave to swear to death
  • Where, in any proceedings under the Administration Act 1969, the High Court gives leave to swear to the death of any person,—

    • (a) The Registrar of the Court shall forthwith notify the Registrar-General; and

    • (b) The Registrar-General may authorise a Registrar to register the person's death; and

    • (c) In that case, so far as this Act may be complied with in the circumstances, the Registrar shall do so.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 33B

44 Notification of death reported to coroner where body destroyed or irrecoverable
  • A coroner who has established—

    • (a) That a person (being a person whose body is destroyed, impossible or impracticable to recover, or lost) has died; and

    • (b) The person's identity,—

    shall notify a Registrar of the person's death.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 31A

45 Notification of death reported to coroner in other cases
  • (1) The coroner to whom a death has been reported (or any coroner acting in that coroner's place) shall give a Registrar written notice of all particulars known to the coroner relating to the date, place, cause of the death, and identity of the person concerned,—

    • (a) Forthwith after issuing a coroner's order in relation to the person's body, in the case of particulars then known to the coroner:

    • (b) Forthwith after acquiring them, in the case of particulars learned of later.

    (2) A coroner shall not include in any particulars given under subsection (1) of this section any matter that tends to incriminate any person of any offence.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 31

46 Other person may be authorised to notify
  • (1) Where—

    • (a) A person required by any of sections 42 to 45 of this Act to notify a death has signed and given to some other person written authority to notify it; or

    • (b) Every person required by any of sections 42 to 45 of this Act to notify a death has failed or refused to do so, and the Registrar-General has authorised some other person to notify it,—

    the other person may do so.

    (2) Except as provided in subsection (1) of this section, a person not required by any of sections 42 to 45 of this Act to notify a death shall not notify it, and is not capable of notifying it.

    (3) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, where any person required by any of sections 42 to 45 of this Act to notify a death authorises any other person to notify it, the requirement is not discharged until the other person duly notifies it.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 33

47 Manner of notification of death
  • (1) A person notifying a Registrar of a death shall do so—

    • (a) By completing and signing the prescribed form and giving, sending, or posting it to the Registrar; or

    • (b) By sending the prescribed information relating to the death to the Registrar by an electronic means approved by the Registrar-General.

    (2) Subject to subsection (3) of this section, a person who completes and signs the prescribed form and posts it to the Registrar shall be deemed to do so at the time the form would be received by the Registrar in the normal course of post.

    (3) Where—

    • (a) Any person has notified a Registrar of a death by completing and signing the prescribed form and sending or posting it to a Registrar; but

    • (b) It has not arrived or has been lost or destroyed,—

    a Registrar may authorise the person, or any other person required by any of sections 42 to 45 of this Act to notify a Registrar of the death, to do so as if the form had never been sent or posted; and in that case the person concerned may do so.

48 Time within which death to be notified
  • (1) A person required by section 42(1) of this Act to notify a death shall do so within 3 working days after the disposal of the body concerned.

    (2) A coroner required by section 44 of this Act to notify a death shall do so within 3 working days of the completion of the inquiry concerned.

    (3) If the Registrar-General is satisfied that—

    • (a) Any death in New Zealand has not previously been registered; or

    • (b) The death of a person ordinarily resident in New Zealand occurred in a place outside New Zealand where—

      • (i) There was no system for recording information relating to deaths; or

      • (ii) The system for recording information relating to deaths did not apply to the person,—

    the death may be notified at any time; but (without limiting the generality of section 82 of this Act) the Registrar-General may decline to allow information relating to it to be recorded if not satisfied that its registration is appropriate.

    Subsection (2) was amended, as from 1 July 2007, by section 146 Coroners Act 2006 (2006 No 38) by substituting inquiry for inquest.

49 Registrars to register deaths
  • (1) Unless authorised by the Registrar-General to register deaths, a Registrar who is notified of a death under this Act shall, to the extent that the information given is information required by the prescribed form, send it to the Registrar-General or to a Registrar specified by the Registrar-General (as the Registrar-General for the time being directs).

    (2) Subject to sections 48 and 82 of this Act,—

    • (a) A Registrar (being a Registrar authorised by the Registrar-General to register deaths) who—

      • (i) Is notified of a death under this Act; or

      • (ii) Has been sent death information under subsection (1) of this section,—

      shall, to the extent that the information given is information required by the prescribed form, register it; and

    • (b) If sent death information under subsection (1) of this section, the Registrar-General shall, to the extent that it is information required by the prescribed form, register it.

    (3) A Registrar who records information relating to a person's death (whether under subsection (1) of this section or under section 50 of this Act) at a time when the Registrar has access to a computer system on which information relating to births is recorded shall—

    • (a) Take all reasonable steps to find out if information relating to the person's birth is recorded on the system; and

    • (b) If so, ensure that there is recorded, with but not as part of that information, the fact that the person is dead.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 7

50 Register of deaths of certain service personnel
  • (1) The Registrar-General shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that there is and continues to be recorded in respect of each person who, in the Registrar-General's opinion, died outside New Zealand while a member of, and on service with,—

    • (a) A naval, military, or air force raised in New Zealand, or in—

      • (i) Any other state that was a Commonwealth country when the force was raised; or

      • (ii) Any state for whose international relations New Zealand or another state that was a Commonwealth country when the force was raised was then responsible; or

    • (b) A unit of the Police of New Zealand forming part of a United Nations force,—

    all the information (so far as it is known) described in subsection (2) of this section.

    (2) The information to be recorded is:

    • (a) Name and sex:

    • (b) Force or unit served in, and rank, at the time of death, and official number:

    • (c) Last occupation and usual place of abode before departure from New Zealand:

    • (d) Birthplace and parentage:

    • (e) Date of birth, or age at date of death:

    • (f) relationship status at time of death:

    • (g) Date and place of death:

    • (h) Cause of death:

    • (i) Place of disposal:

    • (j) The source of information from which the particulars were obtained.

    (3) For the purpose of recording information under this section, the Registrar-General may accept—

    • (a) In proof of the death of any person—

      • (i) The fact that the High Court has granted probate or administration of the estate of the person; or

      • (ii) The fact that the High Court has granted leave to swear to the death; or

      • (iii) A certificate signed by an officer of the force concerned; or

      • (iv) A certificate signed by an officer of a force (being a force of another country or of the United Nations) acting in co-operation with the force concerned; or

      • (v) A certificate signed by any person approved for the purpose by the Minister of Defence or, as the case requires, the Minister of Police:

    • (b) In proof of the death of any person, or of any other information required by subsection (2) of this section to be recorded, any evidence the Registrar-General thinks sufficient.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 36

    Subsection (2)(f) was substituted, as from 26 April 2005, by section 7 Relationships (Statutory References) Act 2005 (2005 No 3).

51 Registrar to be notified when disinterred body disposed of or removed
  • (1) A person who disposes of a body that has been disinterred (otherwise than by returning it to the place where it was previously interred) shall, within 5 working days of doing so, notify a Registrar of where and how it was disposed of.

    (2) A person who removes—

    • (a) From New Zealand for disposal outside New Zealand; or

    a body that has been disinterred shall notify a Registrar of the removal.

    (3) Subject to section 82 of this Act, a Registrar who is notified under this section shall record as information relating to the death of the person whose body has been disposed of or removed—

    • (a) Where the body has been disposed of; or

    • (b) That the body has been removed from New Zealand for disposal outside New Zealand; or

52 Deposit with Registrar-General of death certificates issued outside New Zealand
  • (1) Subject to this section, any person may, on payment of the prescribed fee and in the manner prescribed by regulations made under this Act, deposit with the Registrar-General a death certificate issued outside New Zealand in respect of the death outside New Zealand, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, of a New Zealand citizen or of a person ordinarily resident in New Zealand.

    (2) Where any person delivers to the Registrar-General, for deposit under subsection (1) of this section, a document that purports to be a death certificate to which that subsection applies, the Registrar-General shall, if satisfied that the document appears to be such a certificate, accept it for deposit and record the information contained in it.

    (3) Where a death certificate to which subsection (1) of this section applies is not in the English language, the Registrar-General shall not accept it for deposit unless it is accompanied by a translation of that death certificate into the English language.

    (4) The Registrar-General shall not be responsible for the authenticity of any death certificate deposited under this section nor for the truth of any information contained in any such death certificate.

    (5) Where a death certificate is deposited under this section, the Registrar-General may, on payment of the prescribed fee, issue a written statement—

    • (a) Stating that that death certificate is, under this section, deposited with the Registrar-General; and

    • (b) Giving the information contained in that death certificate; but

    • (c) Stating that the Registrar-General is not responsible for the authenticity of that death certificate nor for the truth of any information contained in that death certificate.

    (6) Where a death certificate is deposited under this section with the Registrar-General at a time when the Registrar-General has access to a computer system on which information relating to births is recorded, the Registrar-General shall—

    • (a) Take all reasonable steps to find out if information relating to the person's birth is recorded on the system; and

    • (b) If so, ensure that there is recorded, with but not as part of that information, the fact that a death certificate issued outside New Zealand has been deposited but the recording of that fact shall note that the death certificate has not been authenticated.

    (7) Nothing in this section limits or affects the provisions of sections 48(3)(b) and 50 of this Act.

Part 7
Marriages

53 Marriages in New Zealand to be registered
  • Every marriage solemnised in New Zealand shall be registered in accordance with this Part of this Act.

54 Marriages outside New Zealand
  • Except as provided in sections 56 and 58 of this Act, no marriage solemnised outside New Zealand shall be registered.

55 Marriage information to be sent to Registrar
  • (1) A celebrant shall,—

    • (a) Forthwith after solemnising a marriage,—

      • (i) Enter on both forms provided under section 24 of the Marriage Act 1955 with the licence for the marriage the prescribed information relating to the marriage; and

      • (ii) Ensure that both forms are signed by the husband, the wife, the celebrant, and 2 witnesses to the solemnisation; and

      • (iii) Give one form to the parties; and

    • (b) Within 10 days of solemnising the marriage, give, send, or post the other form to a Registrar.

    (2) If a marriage has been solemnised in accordance with the marriage regulations of the religious Society of Friends (commonly called Quakers) or, as the case may require, in accordance with the rules and procedures of an exempt religious body,—

    • (a) the husband and wife must, immediately after the solemnisation,—

      • (i) enter on both forms provided under section 24 of the Marriage Act 1955 with the licence for the marriage the prescribed information relating to the marriage; and

      • (ii) ensure that both forms are signed by the husband, the wife, and 2 witnesses to the solemnisation; and

      • (iii) ensure that 1 form is given, sent, or posted to the registering officer of the Society of Friends or, as the case may require, the registering officer of the exempt religious body; and

    • (b) as soon as is practicable after receiving a form under paragraph (a)(iii) or subsection (4), the registering officer of the Society of Friends or, as the case may require, the registering officer of the exempt religious body must give, send, or post it to a Registrar.

    (2A) In subsection (2), exempt religious body has the same meaning as in section 32A(5) of the Marriage Act 1955.

    (3) A person who solemnises a service marriage (other than a service marriage solemnised in a Commonwealth country, particulars of which have been recorded in that country in accordance with its laws) shall,—

    • (a) Forthwith after the solemnisation,—

      • (i) Make and keep a record of information relating to the marriage on the form for the time being supplied with licences under section 24 of the Marriage Act 1955, or in a form as nearly as possible in accordance with that form; and

      • (ii) Ensure that the record and 2 copies of it are signed by the husband, the wife, the person, and 2 witnesses to the solemnisation; and

      • (iii) Give one copy to the parties; and

    • (b) As soon as is practicable after the solemnisation, send or post the other copy to the Registrar-General.

    (4) Where a form or copy record prepared under this section (or a document prepared under an equivalent provision of a former Act) has been lost or mislaid, the Registrar-General may direct the person or persons who prepared it to prepare and give, send, or post another; and in that case the person or persons shall do so.

    Compare: 1955 No 92 ss 11(2), 32, 36

    Subsection (2) was substituted and subsection (2A) was inserted, as from 1 January 2002, by section 46 Human Rights Amendment Act 2001 (2001 No 96).

56 Registrars to register marriages
  • (1) Unless authorised by the Registrar-General to register marriages,—

    • (a) A Registrar who receives a form given, sent, or posted under section 55 of this Act shall, to the extent that the information given is information required by the prescribed form, send it to the Registrar-General or to a Registrar specified by the Registrar-General (as the Registrar-General for the time being directs):

    • (b) A Registrar who solemnises a marriage shall send the prescribed information relating to it to the Registrar-General or to a Registrar specified by the Registrar-General (as the Registrar-General for the time being directs).

    (2) Subject to section 82 of this Act,—

    • (a) A Registrar (being a Registrar authorised by the Registrar-General to register marriages) who receives a form given, sent, or posted under section 55 of this Act shall, to the extent that the information given is information required by the prescribed form, register it:

    • (b) A Registrar (being a Registrar authorised by the Registrar-General to register marriages) who solemnises a marriage shall register the prescribed information relating to it:

    • (c) If sent marriage information under subsection (1) of this section, the Registrar-General shall, to the extent that it is information required by the prescribed form, register it.

    Compare: 1955 No 92 s 36

57 Registrar-General may register certain marriages
  • (1) Subject to section 82 of this Act, the Registrar-General may record any of the prescribed information relating to a marriage that has not been recorded under this Act or a former Act—

    • (a) Whether or not a form has been prepared in respect of the marriage under section 55 of this Act (or a part of the register, certificate, or copy of particulars has been prepared in respect of the marriage under section 11(2), section 32, or section 36 of the Marriage Act 1955, or a corresponding provision of a former Act); and

    • (b) Whether or not information to the same effect, or conflicting information, was contained in any such form, part, certificate, or copy.

    (2) Subject to section 82 of this Act, where the Registrar-General—

    • (a) Has received from a party to a service marriage, or a descendant of the parties to a service marriage, or some other person on behalf of such a party or descendant,—

      • (i) An original record of information relating to the marriage recorded under section 55(3)(a) of this Act, purporting to be signed by the person who solemnised it; or

      • (ii) An original certificate of its solemnisation under section 45(1) of the Marriage Act 1955 (or a corresponding provision of a former Act), containing information relating to it and purporting to be signed by the person who solemnised it; or

      • (iii) Some other information relating to the marriage; and

    • (b) Is satisfied that the record, certificate, or information is authentic; and

    • (c) Is satisfied that it is impracticable to produce a copy record or copy certificate (as the case requires),—

    the Registrar-General may record the information or any of it.

    Compare: 1955 No 92 ss 38(2), 46(2)

58 Overseas ceremony where New Zealand representative attends
  • The Registrar-General shall record all information contained in a duplicate copy of a certificate forwarded to the Registrar-General under section 43(1) of the Marriage Act 1955.

    Compare: 1955 No 92 s 43(2)

59 Dissolutions to be recorded
  • (1) Upon the making of—

    • (a) An order dissolving a marriage; or

    • (b) An order declaring that a party to a marriage is presumed to be dead and that the marriage is dissolved; or

    • (c) An order declaring a marriage to be void ab initio,—

    under the Family Proceedings Act 1980, the Registrar of the Family Court concerned shall forthwith send to the Registrar-General a certificate of the order in the prescribed form; and the Registrar-General shall record the information it contains as part of the information recorded under this Act or a former Act relating to the marriage.

    (2) The Registrar-General may record, as part of the information recorded under this Act or a former Act relating to a marriage, any information contained in—

    • (a) Any order described in subsection (1) of this section; or

    • (b) Any equivalent order or decree made under a former divorce enactment (that is to say an Act repealed by the Family Proceedings Act 1980 or by a former divorce enactment).

    Compare: 1955 No 92 ss 53, 55

60 Convictions for bigamy to be recorded
  • Upon the conviction of any person for bigamy, the Registrar of the Court concerned shall forthwith send to the Registrar-General a certificate of the conviction specifying in respect of each bigamous marriage the parties to the marriage, the date and place of the marriage, and the date of the conviction; and the Registrar-General shall, if information relating to the bigamous marriage has been recorded under this Act or a former Act, record as part of that information the information sent to the Registrar-General.

    Compare: 1955 No 92 ss 54, 55

61 Celebrants and Registrars to be notified
  • The Registrar-General shall give the living celebrant or Registrar who solemnised a marriage in respect of which the Registrar has received a certificate under section 59 or section 60 of this Act (or, where appropriate, a successor of the celebrant or Registrar) a copy of the certificate; and a celebrant, Registrar, or successor who has custody of a register book in which information relating to the marriage is recorded shall note on the entry concerned that the marriage has been dissolved or (as the case may be) was bigamous.

62 Recording new names in relation to marriages
  • (1) Any party to a marriage who, during the subsistence of the marriage,—

    • (a) Has under section 21(5) of this Act had new names included in the information relating to the person's birth recorded under this Act or a former Act; or

    • (b) Has under section 17A of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1951 or an equivalent provision of a former Act had a change of name registered,—

    (or, if any such person has died, the other party to the marriage) may request the Registrar-General to include the new names or change of name as part of the information recorded under this Act or a former Act relating to the marriage.

    (2) A request under subsection (1) of this section made in respect of the recording of new names under section 21 of this Act may be made when the statutory declaration, deed poll, or copy deed poll concerned is deposited under subsection (3) of that section.

    (3) Where a request under subsection (1) of this section is accompanied by the prescribed fee, the Registrar-General shall include the new names or change of name accordingly.

    Compare: 1955 No 92 s 55A

Part 7A
Civil unions

  • Part 7A (comprising sections 62A to 62G) was inserted, as from 26 April 2005, by section 38(3) Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102).

62A Civil unions under Civil Union Act 2004 to be registered
  • (1) Every civil union entered into under the Civil Union Act 2004 must be registered in accordance with this Part.

    (2) No other type of civil union may be registered under this Act.

    Part 7A (comprising sections 62A to 62G) was inserted, as from 26 April 2005, by section 38(3) Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102).

62B Civil unions solemnised by celebrant
  • A celebrant who solemnises a civil union must,—

    • (a) immediately after solemnising the civil union,—

      • (i) enter on both information return forms provided under section 12 of the Civil Union Act 2004 the prescribed information relating to the civil union; and

      • (ii) ensure that both forms are signed by the parties to the civil union, the celebrant, and 2 witnesses to the solemnisation; and

      • (iii) give one form to the parties; and

    • (b) within 10 days of solemnising the civil union, forward the other form to a Registrar.

    Part 7A (comprising sections 62A to 62G) was inserted, as from 26 April 2005, by section 38(3) Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102).

62C Registrars to register civil unions
  • (1) A Registrar who is authorised by the Registrar-General to register civil unions must,—

    • (a) if he or she receives a form under section 62B, register the information, but only to the extent that the information given is information required by the prescribed form; and

    • (b) if he or she solemnises a civil union, register the prescribed information relating to it.

    (2) A Registrar who is not authorised by the Registrar-General to register civil unions must send to the Registrar-General, or to a Registrar specified by the Registrar-General (as the Registrar-General for the time being directs),—

    • (a) any information contained on a form forwarded to the Registrar under section 62B, but only to the extent that the information is information required by the prescribed form; and

    • (b) if the Registrar solemnises a civil union, the prescribed information relating to that civil union.

    (3) Subsections (1) and (2) may be overridden by section 82.

    Part 7A (comprising sections 62A to 62G) was inserted, as from 26 April 2005, by section 38(3) Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102).

62D Change to form of relationship to be recorded
  • If the Registrar-General or a Registrar receives information that the parties to a marriage or civil union have, under section 18 of the Civil Union Act 2004, changed the form of their relationship, the Registrar-General or Registrar must—

    • (a) note on any information relating to the earlier marriage or civil union that is registered under this Act that the marriage or civil union has been changed, and note when and where the change was effected; and

    • (b) note on the information relating to the later marriage or civil union that, on the date and at the place in which the solemnisation of the later marriage or civil union took place, the parties changed their earlier marriage or civil union into a marriage or civil union; and

    • (c) ensure that a link is created between the registered information relating to the earlier marriage or civil union and the registered information relating to the later marriage or civil union.

    Part 7A (comprising sections 62A to 62G) was inserted, as from 26 April 2005, by section 38(3) Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102).

62E Dissolutions to be recorded
  • (1) The Registrar of a Family Court must immediately send to the Registrar-General a certificate of any of the following orders made in that Court under the Family Proceedings Act 1980:

    • (a) an order dissolving a civil union:

    • (b) an order declaring that a party to a civil union is presumed dead and the civil union is dissolved:

    • (c) an order declaring that a civil union is void ab initio.

    (2) The Registrar-General must record the information contained in a certificate received under subsection (1) as part of the information recorded under this Act relating to the civil union.

    Part 7A (comprising sections 62A to 62G) was inserted, as from 26 April 2005, by section 38(3) Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102).

62F Convictions for bigamy to be recorded
  • (1) When a person who is a party to a civil union is convicted of bigamy, the Registrar of the Court concerned must immediately send to the Registrar-General a certificate of the conviction specifying—

    • (a) the names of the parties to the bigamous marriage or civil union; and

    • (b) the date and place of the bigamous marriage or civil union; and

    • (c) the date of the conviction.

    (2) If the information relating to a bigamous marriage or civil union is recorded under this Act, the Registrar-General must record the information received under subsection (1) as part of that information.

    Part 7A (comprising sections 62A to 62G) was inserted, as from 26 April 2005, by section 38(3) Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102).

62G Recording new names in relation to civil unions
  • (1) If a person in a civil union changes his or her name and the change is recorded (under section 21(5)) in the person's birth information, the person may request the Registrar-General to include his or her new name in the information relating to his or her civil union.

    (2) A request under subsection (1) that is made in respect of the recording of new names under section 21 may be made when the statutory declaration is deposited under section 21(3).

    (3) The Registrar-General must include the new names or change of names as requested, so long as the request was accompanied by the prescribed fee.

    Part 7A (comprising sections 62A to 62G) was inserted, as from 26 April 2005, by section 38(3) Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102).

Part 8
Certificates

63 Birth certificates for adopted persons
  • (1) Except as provided in section 11(4)(a) of the Adult Adoption Information Act 1985, no birth certificate shall be provided in respect of an adopted person unless it has been requested—

    • (a) By reference to the names most recently included in the registration of the person's birth under section 24 or section 25 of this Act, or under a corresponding provision of a former Act (not being names derived from an adoption that has been discharged); or

    • (b) By reference to a name or names later recorded for the person under section 20 or section 21 of this Act, or a corresponding provision of a former Act.

    (2) Except as provided in the Adult Adoption Information Act 1985, a birth certificate provided in respect of a person in respect of whom information (not being information derived from an adoption order that has been discharged) has been recorded under section 24 or section 25 of this Act,—

    • (a) Subject to paragraph (b) of this subsection, shall contain the information that such a certificate would contain if the adoptive parents by whom the person was most recently adopted (otherwise than under an adoption order that has been discharged) were the person's biological mother and father, and the name or names recorded under that section had been recorded as information relating to the person's birth; and

    • (b) Shall state that those adoptive parents are or are not adoptive parents according to the information in that behalf most recently recorded under section 24 of this Act or a corresponding provision of a former Act; and

    • (c) Shall contain no other information.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 21(7)

64 Birth certificates after sexual assignment or reassignment
  • (1) A birth certificate provided in respect of a person in respect of whom it is for the time being recorded under section 30 of this Act that the person is a person of a particular sex—

    • (a) Shall, where new names have been included in the registration of the person's birth since it was recorded that the person was a person of that sex, contain the information that such a certificate would contain if the names first so included had been the person's names since birth; and

    • (b) Subject to paragraph (a) of this subsection, shall contain the information that such a certificate would contain if the person had always been a person of that sex; and

    • (c) Shall contain no other information.

    (2) Where the Registrar-General records under section 30 of this Act information that a person is a person of a particular sex and that person, before that information is recorded, has had a new name or names included in the information recorded under this Act or a former Act in respect of that person's birth, being a name or names that accord with the sex subsequently recorded by the Registrar-General under section 30 of this Act, that person may nominate one name or combination of names (including the name or names already so included in the information recorded under this Act or the former Act in respect of that person's birth), which names shall appear on all future birth certificates issued in respect of that person.

    (3) Any birth certificate issued in accordance with subsection (2) of this section—

    • (a) Shall contain the information that such a certificate would contain if the nominated names had been the person's names since birth; and

    • (b) Shall, subject to that subsection, contain the information that such a certificate would contain if that person had always been a person of that sex; and

    • (c) Shall contain no other information.

    (4) Notwithstanding subsections (1) to (3) of this section, a birth certificate provided in respect of a person at any time while, under section 30 of this Act, there is included in the information relating to the person's birth recorded under this Act or a former Act information that the person is a person of a particular sex may, by virtue of the serial number it bears, be capable of indicating that the information has been recorded.

65 Protection of certain witnesses, etc
  • (1) This section applies to a person if the Minister—

    • (a) Has received a written request from the Minister of Police to protect a new identity adopted by the person on a specified day; and

    • (b) Being satisfied that it is in the interests of justice that the identity should not be available by reference to a former name, has given the Registrar-General a written direction to protect the identity adopted by the person on that day; and

    • (c) Has not later revoked the direction.

    (2) Subject to subsection (4) of this section, while this section applies to any person, a birth certificate provided in respect of the person by reference to the names included before the day specified in the direction under subsection (1)(b) of this section in the information relating to the person's birth recorded under this Act or a former Act—

    • (a) Shall contain the information that such a certificate would contain if the names for the person included in that information before that day were the only names for the person ever included in the information; and

    • (b) Shall contain no other information.

    (3) Subject to subsection (4) of this section, while this section applies to any person, a birth certificate provided in respect of the person by reference to names included on or after the day specified in the direction under subsection (1)(b) of this section in the information relating to the person's birth recorded under this Act or a former Act—

    • (a) Shall not contain any information relating to the adoption of the names constituting the identity to protect which the direction was given, or the abandonment of the names used before that adoption; but

    • (b) Shall otherwise contain all the information that such a certificate would contain if this section did not apply to the person.

    (4) While this section applies to any person, any birth certificate provided in respect of the person shall contain all the information that such a certificate would contain if this section did not apply to the person, if the Registrar-General is satisfied—

    • (a) That the person has requested the certificate; or

    • (b) That some other person has requested the certificate, and the person has given the Registrar-General written consent to the issue of a full birth certificate to the other person; or

    • (c) That the person is dead; or

    • (d) That 120 years has passed since the person's birth.

66 Birth certificates where error in birth registration corrected
  • (1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, where an error in the registration of a person's birth has been corrected under this Act or a former Act, a birth certificate later provided in respect of the person—

    • (a) Shall contain the information that such a certificate would contain if the error had not been made; and

    • (b) Shall contain no other information.

    (2) Where—

    • (a) Under this Act or a former Act an error as to a person's sex has been corrected in the registration of the person's birth; and

    • (b) Since the error was corrected new names have been included in the registration,—

    a birth certificate later provided in respect of the person shall show the names first included after the error was corrected as if they were the names recorded when the person's birth was registered.

    (3) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, where under this Act or a former Act an error in respect of the registration of a person's birth has been corrected, there may be provided in respect of that person a birth certificate that, by virtue of the serial number it bears, is capable of indicating that such an error has been corrected.

67 Birth certificates generally
  • (1) Every birth certificate shall contain as much information (being information relating to the birth to which the certificate relates recorded under this Act or a former Act at the time the certificate is issued) as is then prescribed.

    (2) Subsection (1) of this section is subject to sections 63 to 66 of this Act.

    (3) Notwithstanding sections 63(2)(c), 64(1)(c), 65(2)(b), 65(3)(b), and 66(1)(b) of this Act, if satisfied that the person to whom a birth certificate relates was still-born or is dead, the Registrar issuing it shall cause it to bear the expression STILL-BORN or, as the case requires, DECEASED.

    (4) Any Government agency that wants to know if a birth that has been registered was—

    • (a) The birth of a person who has since died; or

    • (b) A still-birth—

    may apply to the Registrar-General for information.

    (5) Every application under subsection (4) of this section shall be accompanied by—

    • (a) A birth certificate relating to the birth concerned (or a copy of such a certificate); or

    • (b) Some other information sufficient, in the Registrar-General's opinion, to enable the birth concerned to be identified.

    (6) The Registrar-General shall, on an application under subsection (4) of this section,—

    • (a) Take all reasonable steps to ascertain if—

      • (i) There has been registered the death of a person who appears to have been the person concerned; or

      • (ii) The birth appears to have been a still-birth; and

    • (b) On payment of the prescribed fee,—

      • (i) Tell the applicant the result; and

      • (ii) If there has been registered the death of a person who appears to have been the person concerned, give the applicant a death certificate.

68 Surnames on certain birth certificates
  • In relation to births registered under a former Act before the 1st day of January 1972, section 67 of this Act shall have effect,—

    • (a) In the case of a birth in respect of which there was recorded the information that the parents of the person concerned were married to each other, as if there had been recorded the information that the person had the surname of the person's father; and

    • (b) In every other case, as if there had been recorded the information that the person had the surname of the person's mother.

69 Death certificates
  • Every death certificate shall contain as much information (being information relating to the death to which the certificate relates recorded under this Act or a former Act at the time the certificate is issued) as is then prescribed.

70 Marriage certificates
  • Every marriage certificate shall contain as much information (being information relating to the marriage to which the certificate relates recorded under this Act or a former Act at the time the certificate is issued) as is then prescribed.

70A Civil union certificates
  • Every civil union certificate must contain as much information (being information relating to the civil union to which the certificate relates that is recorded under this Act at the time the certificate is issued) as is then prescribed.

    Section 70A was inserted, as from 26 April 2005, by section 46 Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102).

71 Certificates to be prima facie evidence
  • A birth, death, marriage certificate, or civil union certificate certificate shall in any proceedings be received as prima facie evidence of the truth of the information it contains.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 42

    Section 71 was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 46 Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102) by substituting the words marriage certificate, or civil union certificate for the words or marriage certificate.

72 Fees for certificates
  • No birth certificate, death certificate, marriage, or civil union certificate shall be provided to any person unless the prescribed fee has been paid.

    Section 72 was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 46 Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102) by substituting the words marriage, or civil union for the words or marriage.

Part 9
Searches

73 Searches of Registrars' records
  • Subject to sections 75 to 78 of this Act, upon request and upon payment of the prescribed fee or fees, a Registrar shall—

    • (a) Cause a search to be made of all registered information that is recorded on a computer system accessible to the Registrar:

    • (b) Provide any person with a print-out of any such information:

    • (c) Cause to be made a search of documents (other than indexes) held in the Registrar's office containing information at any time recorded under this Act or a former Act:

    • (d) Permit any person to inspect any such document:

    • (e) Provide any person with a copy of any such document.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 38

74 Registrar-General's indexes
  • (1) The Registrar-General shall maintain indexes of—

    • (a) All registered information that is recorded on a computer system; and

    • (b) Documents containing information recorded under this Act or any former Act (including documents sent to the Chief Archivist).

    (1A) Subject to subsection (1B), to the extent that an index relating to several births, marriages, civil unions, or deaths is or was compiled after the commencement of this Act, it—

    • (a) Must contain (in relation to each birth, marriage, civil union, or death) as much of the following information as is registered:

      • (i) The place where it took place or the place where it was registered (or both); and

      • (ii) The name of the person born, the names of the people married, the names of the people who entered into a civil union, or the name of the person who died:

      • (iii) In the case of a birth, the mother's name:

      • (iv) In the case of a death, the person's date of birth or age at death (or both):

      • (v) The day on which it took place:

      • (vi) The day on which it was registered; and

    • (b) May contain any other information the Registrar-General thinks fit; and

    • (c) May be sorted by reference to any of the information it contains.

    (1B) No index relating to several births, marriages, or deaths that is or was compiled after the commencement of this Act and before 1 January 1998 is invalid or ineffectual by virtue only that it contains (in relation to any of the births, marriages, or deaths to which it relates)—

    • (a) Only the year in which it took place (rather than the day on which it took place); or

    • (b) Only the year in which it was registered (rather than the day on which it was registered).

    (2) Upon request and payment of the prescribed fee or fees, the Registrar-General shall—

    • (a) Provide any person with a print-out of all or any part of any index (other than an index relating to adoption, sexual assignment or reassignment in respect of which information has been recorded under this Act, or the names of people to whom section 65 of this Act applies or at any time applied)—

      • (i) Maintained on a computer system; or

      • (ii) Maintained in documentary form under subsection (1) of this section or an equivalent provision of a former Act, and subsequently recorded on a computer system; or

    • (b) Provide any person with a copy of all or any part of any copy prepared by or under the control of the Registrar-General of an index (other than an index relating to adoption, sexual assignment or reassignment in respect of which information has been recorded under this Act, or the names of people to whom section 65 of this Act applies or at any time applied) maintained in documentary form under subsection (1) of this section or an equivalent provision of a former Act.

    Subsection (1A) was inserted, as from 28 July 1997, by section 4(1) Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Amendment Act 1997 (1997 No 35). See section 4(3) and (4) of that Act as to the effects of subsections (1A) and (1B) in regard to the Registrar-General's indexes.

    Subsection (1A) was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 46 Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102) by inserting the words civil unions, after the expression marriages,.

    Subsection (1A)(a) was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 46 Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102) by inserting the words civil union, after the expression marriage,.

    Subsection (1A)(a)(ii) was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 46 Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102) by inserting the words the names of the people who entered into a civil union, after the expression married,.

    Subsection (1B) was inserted, as from 28 July 1997, by section 4(1) Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Amendment Act 1997 (1997 No 35). See section 4(3) and (4) of that Act as to the effects of subsections (1A) and (1B) in regard to the Registrar-General's indexes.

75 Searches to be made in respect of named persons only
  • (1) Except when acting under section 74(2) of this Act, no Registrar shall cause a search of any information or document to be made, or permit the inspection of any document, or provide any person with a print-out of any information or a copy of any document, unless—

    • (a) A request for that information has been made, in a manner for the time being approved by the Registrar-General, in respect of a named person; and

    • (b) The prescribed fee has been paid; and

    • (c) The information or document is or contains information relating to the registration of the named person's birth, death, marriage, or civil union, or references to such information.

    (2) If satisfied in respect of a search otherwise forbidden by subsection (1) of this section that—

    • (a) It will be conducted for a person acting on behalf of a Government agency or a body or person undertaking the gathering of statistics, or genuine health or demographic research; and

    • (b) Information relating to particular individuals is not sought and will not be retained; and

    • (c) It is in the public interest,—

    the Registrar-General may in the Registrar-General's absolute discretion direct a Registrar to allow it.

    (3) If satisfied that a search is desirable to verify (for the purposes of section 76(3)(d) of this Act) the death of any person,—

    • (a) A Registrar may, on payment of the prescribed fee, cause it to be made in respect of that person's status as the adoptive or natural parent of a named adopted person; but

    • (b) The Registrar shall not permit the inspection of any document relating to the person, or provide a print-out of any information or copy of any document, except in accordance with subsection (1) of this section.

    Subsection (1)(c) was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 46 Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102) by substituting the words marriage, or civil union for the words or marriage.

76 Restrictions on searches relating to adopted persons
  • (1) This section applies to information if—

    • (a) It relates to an adopted person; and

    • (b) It was recorded under section 24 or section 25 of this Act, or a corresponding provision of a former Act.

    (2) No person other than the Registrar-General shall permit a person to inspect any document containing information to which this section applies, or provide any person with a print-out or copy of any such document or a print-out of any such information.

    (3) The Registrar-General may permit a person to inspect any document containing information to which this section applies, or provide any person with a print-out or copy of any such document or a print-out of any such information, if satisfied—

    • (a) That—

      • (i) The person wishes to inspect the document or have the print-out or copy for a purpose in connection with the administration of an estate or trust; and

      • (ii) The person is executor, administrator, or trustee of the estate or trust; and

      • (iii) The information is material for the purpose; or

    • (b) That—

      • (i) The person wishes to inspect the document or have the print-out or copy for the purpose of investigating forbidden degrees of relationship under the Marriage Act 1955 or the Civil Union Act 2004; and

      • (ii) The person is a Registrar or celebrant; or

    • (d) That the adopted person concerned, the adoptive parents, and such of the adopted person's natural parents as had information relating to them recorded under this Act or a former Act as part of the information relating to the adopted person's birth, are all dead; or

    • (e) That 120 years has passed since the birth of the adopted person concerned.

    (4) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, the Registrar-General shall not permit a person to inspect any document containing information to which this section applies, or provide any person with a print-out or copy of any such document or a print-out of any such information, except on the order of a Family Court, a District Court, or the High Court, made—

    • (a) For the purposes of a prosecution for making a false statement; or

    • (b) In the event of any question of the validity or effect of any interim order or adoption order; or

    • (c) On any other special ground.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 21(8), (9)

    Subsection (3)(b)(i) was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 46 Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102) by inserting the words or the Civil Union Act 2004 after the words the Marriage Act 1955.

77 Restrictions on searches where error relating to person's sex has been corrected or sexual assignment or reassignment has been registered
  • (1) In this section, birth information, in relation to any person, means information recorded under this Act or a former Act as information relating to the person's birth.

    (2) This subsection applies to information if—

    • (a) It is birth information relating to a person's sex; and it has later been corrected under section 84 of this Act or a corresponding provision of a former Act; or

    • (b) It is information relating to the correction under section 84 of this Act or a corresponding provision of a former Act of birth information relating to a person's sex.

    (3) This subsection applies to information if—

    • (a) It is birth information specifying names for a person; and—

      • (i) After it was recorded the birth information relating to the person's sex has been corrected under section 84 of this Act or a corresponding provision of a former Act; and

      • (ii) After the correction was made, new names adopted by the person have been recorded as birth information; or

    • (b) It is information relating to the recording, after the correction under section 84 of this Act of birth information relating to a person's sex, of new names adopted by the person.

    (4) This subsection applies to information if—

    • (a) It is birth information that a person is a person of indeterminate sex; and after it was recorded there has been recorded under Part 5 of this Act birth information that the person is a person of a particular sex; or

    • (b) It is information to the effect that a person's birth information at one time did not include any information relating to the person's sex; and there has since been recorded under Part 5 of this Act information that the person is a person of a particular sex; or

    • (c) It is birth information that a person is a person of a particular sex; and after it was recorded there has been recorded under Part 5 of this Act information that the person is a person of the opposite sex; or

    • (d) It is information relating to the recording under Part 5 of this Act of information that a person is a person of a particular sex, or the sex opposite to that recorded when birth information relating to the person was first recorded; or

    • (e) It is birth information specifying names for a person; and—

      • (i) After it was recorded there has been recorded under Part 5 of this Act information that the person is a person of a particular sex or the sex opposite to that recorded when the names were recorded; and

      • (ii) After the sex information was recorded, names other than those specified in the birth information have, in accordance with this Act, been recorded as birth information; or

    • (f) It is information relating to the recording, for the first time after the recording under Part 5 of this Act of information that a person is a person of a particular sex or the sex opposite to that recorded when birth information relating to the person was first recorded, of new names adopted by the person.

    (5) No person other than the Registrar-General shall permit a person to inspect any document containing information to which subsection (2) or subsection (3) or subsection (4) of this section applies, or provide any person with a print-out or copy of any such document or a print-out of any such information.

    (6) The Registrar-General may permit a person to inspect any document containing information to which subsection (4) of this section applies, or provide any person with a print-out or copy of any such document or a print-out of any such information, if satisfied—

    • (a) That the person is the person to whom the information relates; or

    • (b) That—

      • (i) The person wishes to inspect the document or have the print-out or copy for a purpose in connection with the administration of an estate or trust; and

      • (ii) The person is executor, administrator, or trustee of the estate or trust; and

      • (iii) The information is material for the purpose; or

    • (c) That—

      • (i) The person wishes to inspect the document or have the print-out or copy for the purpose of investigating whether or not the parties to a proposed marriage are a man and a woman; and

      • (ii) The person is a celebrant or Registrar; and

      • (iii) The information is material for the purpose.

    (7) The Registrar-General may permit a person to inspect any document containing information to which subsection (3) or subsection (4) of this section applies, or provide any person with a print-out or copy of any such document or a print-out of any such information, if satisfied that—

    • (a) The person who wishes to inspect the document or have the print-out or copy is the person to whom the information relates; or

    • (b) One hundred and twenty years has passed since the birth of the person to whom the information relates.

    (8) Except as provided in subsections (6) and (7) of this section, the Registrar-General shall not permit a person to inspect any document containing information to which subsection (2) or subsection (3) or subsection (4) of this section applies, or provide any person with a print-out or copy of any such document or a print-out of any such information, except on the order of a Family Court, a District Court, or the High Court, made—

    • (a) For the purposes of a prosecution for making a false statement; or

    • (b) In the event of any question as to the validity of a marriage; or

    • (c) In the event of any question as to the validity of any information recorded under section 30(1) of this Act; or

    • (d) On any other special ground.

    (9) Notwithstanding anything in this Act, the Registrar-General may notify any Government agency that has an interest in ensuring that people should not have more than one identity of—

    • (a) The fact that any person has had the person's sexual assignment or reassignment registered under section 30(1) of this Act, or has had birth information relating to the person's sex corrected under section 84 of this Act:

    • (b) The person's names at the time:

    • (c) Any new names later adopted by the person.

    Subsections (8)(c) and (9)(a) were amended, as from 28 July 1997, by section 5 Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Amendment Act 1997 (1997 No 35) by substituting the expression 30(1) for the expression 28.

78 Restrictions on searches relating to new names of certain witnesses, etc
  • (1) While section 65 of this Act applies to a person, no person other than the Registrar-General shall permit any person to inspect, or obtain a copy or print-out of any information contained in, any document relating to the acquisition of the new identity the Registrar-General has been directed to protect.

    (2) The Registrar-General may permit a person (in this subsection referred to as the applicant) to inspect, or obtain a copy of or print-out of any information contained in, the document if satisfied that the person to whom it relates—

    • (a) Is the applicant; or

    • (b) Has given the Registrar-General written consent to the applicant's inspecting it; or

    • (c) Is dead; or

    • (d) Was born more than 120 years ago.

    (3) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, the Registrar-General shall not permit any person to inspect, or obtain a copy of or print-out of any information contained in, the document, except on the order of a Family Court, a District Court, or the High Court, made—

    • (a) For the purposes of a prosecution for making a false statement; or

    • (b) In the event of any question as to the validity of a marriage or civil union; or

    • (c) On any other special ground.

    (4) Notwithstanding anything in this section, the Registrar-General may, with the written approval of the Commissioner of Police, notify any Government agency that has an interest in ensuring that people do not have more than one identity of—

    • (a) The fact that section 65 applies, or has at any time applied, to any person; and

    • (b) The person's former and new name.

    Subsection (3)(b) was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 46 Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102) by inserting the words or civil union after the word marriage.

    Subsection (4)(a) was substituted, as from 28 July 1997, by section 6 Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Amendment Act 1997 (1997 No 35).

78A Disclosure of birth information, death information, marriage information, and civil union information to certain specified agencies for certain purposes
  • (1) The purpose of this section is to authorise the disclosure of birth information, death information, marriage information, and civil union information to certain specified agencies for certain purposes.

    (2) The Registrar-General and the chief executive of a specified agency listed in the first column of Schedule 1A may enter into an agreement for the disclosure by the Registrar-General to the chief executive of any information described in the second column of that schedule in relation to the specified agency only for the purpose described in the third column of that schedule in relation to the information.

    (3) An agreement entered into under subsection (2) may be varied by the Registrar-General and the chief executive.

    (4) The Registrar-General may disclose birth information, death information, marriage information, and civil union information to the chief executive only in accordance with Schedule 1A and an agreement entered into under subsection (2).

    (5) In this section, specified agency has the meaning given to it by section 97 of the Privacy Act 1993.

    Section 78A was inserted, as from 27 September 2001, by section 3 Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Amendment Act 2001 (2001 No 56).

    The heading to section 78A was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 46 Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102) by substituting the words marriage information, and civil union information for the words and marriage information.

    Subsection (1) was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 46 Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102) by substituting the words marriage information, and civil union information for the words and marriage information.

    Subsection (4) was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 46 Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102) by substituting the words marriage information, and civil union information for the words and marriage information.

Part 10
Registrar-General and Registrars

79 Registrar-General
  • (1) There shall from time to time be appointed under the State Sector Act 1988 a Registrar-General.

    (2) The Registrar-General is charged with the general administration of this Act.

    (3) Subject to this Act, every Registrar shall exercise and perform powers and duties under this Act in accordance with the directions for the time being (if any) of the Registrar-General.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 3

80 Deputy Registrar-General
  • (1) There shall from time to time be appointed under the State Sector Act 1988 one or more Deputy Registrars-General as may be desirable for the effective and efficient administration of this Act.

    (2) Subject to the control of the Registrar-General, a Deputy Registrar-General has and may exercise and perform any of the powers, functions, and duties of the Registrar-General.

    (3) On the occurrence from any cause of a vacancy in the office of Registrar-General (whether by reason of death or resignation or otherwise) or in the absence (from whatever cause arising) of the Registrar-General, and for so long as the vacancy or absence continues,—

    • (a) The Deputy Registrar-General if there is only one; or

    • (b) A Deputy Registrar-General authorised in writing in that behalf by the chief executive of the department of State that, with the authority of the Prime Minister, is for the time being responsible for the administration of this Act (before, on, or after the occurrence of the vacancy or absence) in every other case,—

    has and may exercise and perform all the powers, functions, and duties of the Registrar-General.

    (4) The fact that a Deputy Registrar-General exercises or performs any power, function, or duty of the Registrar-General is conclusive evidence of the Deputy Registrar-General's authority to do so; and no authority given under subsection (3)(b) of this section, and no act done by a Deputy Registrar-General under any such authority or under subsection (2) or subsection (3) of this section, shall in any proceedings be questioned on the ground that the occasion for the giving of the authority had not arisen or had ceased, or that the act was contrary to a direction of the Registrar-General.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 3

    Subsection (3)(b) was amended, as from 1 October 1995, by section 10(3) Department of Justice (Restructuring) Act 1995 (1995 No 39) by substituting the words chief executive of the department of State that, with the authority of the Prime Minister, is for the time being responsible for the administration of this Act for the words Secretary for Justice.

81 Registrars
  • (1) There shall from time to time be appointed such number of persons to be Registrars as is necessary for the purposes of this Act.

    (2) Appointments under subsection (1) of this section shall,—

    • (a) In the case of persons who on their appointment will become employed in the Public Service, be in accordance with the State Sector Act 1988; and

    • (b) In every other case, be in writing under the hand of the Registrar-General, specifying either—

      • (i) The name of the person appointed; or

      • (ii) An office whose holder for the time being is to hold the appointment; and

    • (c) Specify whether the person appointed, or the office holder, is to exercise and perform all or some of the powers, functions, and duties of a Registrar under this Act and, if some only, which of those powers, functions, and duties.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 4(1), (2); 1982 No 61 s 2(1)

Part 11
Miscellaneous provisions

82 Registrars may decline to record certain information
  • Notwithstanding anything in this Act, after making in respect of any information purporting to relate to a birth, death, marriage, or civil union any inquiries that seem appropriate, a Registrar shall decline to record it in respect of the birth, death, marriage, or civil union if satisfied (on reasonable grounds) that it is or is likely to be incorrect.

    Section 82 was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 46 Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102) by substituting the words marriage, or civil union for the words or marriage,.

83 No information to be recorded or altered except in accordance with Act
  • Except as expressly provided in this Act—

    • (a) No information shall be recorded under this Act; and

    • (b) No information recorded under this Act or a former Act shall be removed or altered.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 37(4)

84 Correction of errors
  • (1) A Registrar who is satisfied that any information recorded under this Act or a former Act contains a clerical error shall correct the error and notify the Registrar-General of the error and correction.

    (2) If satisfied that any information recorded under this Act or a former Act is incorrect, the Registrar-General shall cause it to be removed and (if the Registrar-General is satisfied that relevant information in the Registrar-General's possession is correct) cause the correct information to be substituted.

    (3) If satisfied that any information in the Registrar-General's possession and not recorded under this Act or a former Act is correct and should have been recorded, the Registrar-General shall cause the information to be recorded.

    (4) Before being satisfied of any matter for the purposes of this section, the Registrar-General may require the production of one or more statutory declarations relating to the circumstances in question, any other evidence the Registrar-General thinks fit, or both.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 37

85 Family Court may consider proposed corrections in cases of difficulty or dispute
  • (1) The Registrar-General, if uncertain as to any matter in respect of which the Registrar-General is required to be satisfied for the purposes of section 84 of this Act, may apply to the Family Court nearest the Registrar-General's office to have the matter determined.

    (2) Any person who wishes the Registrar-General to act under section 84 of this Act in respect of any matter may apply to the Family Court nearest the Registrar-General's office to have the matter determined.

    (3) A Family Court to which application is made under this section shall, notwithstanding section 84 of this Act, after—

    • (a) Giving every person whom the Court considers to have an interest in the matter an opportunity to be heard; and

    • (b) Receiving any evidence the Court thinks fit,—

    determine whether or not the Registrar-General should act under that section.

86 Entries relating to illegitimate children
  • All entries in any register made pursuant to section 25 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1924 or the corresponding provisions of any former Act shall continue to be deemed to be expunged and deleted.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 40

87 Statutory declarations
  • The Registrar-General and every Registrar shall, in respect of any statutory declaration made for the purposes of this Act, the Marriage Act 1955, or the Civil Union Act 2004, be deemed to be persons duly authorised to take and receive a statutory declaration under section 9 of the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 44

    Section 87 was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 46 Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102) by substituting the words , the Marriage Act 1955, or the Civil Union Act 2004 for the words or the Marriage Act 1955.

88 Regulations
  • (1) The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations—

    • (a) Prescribing fees to be paid for the purposes of this Act:

    • (b) Providing for any other matters contemplated by or necessary for giving full effect to this Act and for its due administration.

    (2) Regulations made under subsection (1) of this section may require the giving and collection of information for the purpose of statistics, including matters to be notified, matters to be registered, or both.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 45

89 Offences and penalties
  • (1) Every person commits an offence who—

    • (a) Makes or causes to be made, for the purpose of the recording of any information under this Act, any statement that is, and is known by that person to be, false in relation to any particular matter required to be notified or recorded under this Act:

    • (b) Being a person (other than a Registrar) with control of or access to a device on which registered information is stored electronically, knowingly and without the consent of a Registrar—

      • (i) Deletes or alters any information stored on the device; or

      • (ii) Allows any information stored on the device to be deleted or altered; or

      • (iii) Stores any information (whether correct or incorrect) on the device; or

      • (iv) Allows any information (whether correct or incorrect) to be stored on the device,—

      (whether directly or by alteration of or damage to the device, its programming, any other device, the programming of any other device, or any electronic storage medium):

    • (c) Being a Registrar, knowingly—

      • (i) Deletes or alters any registered information stored electronically on any device; or

      • (ii) Allows any registered information stored electronically on any device to be deleted or altered; or

      • (iii) Stores any information (whether correct or incorrect) on a device on which registered information is stored electronically by or on behalf of the Registrar-General; or

      • (iv) Allows any information (whether correct or incorrect) to be stored on a device on which registered information is stored electronically by or on behalf of the Registrar-General,—

      otherwise than in accordance with this Act (whether directly or by alteration of or damage to the device, its programming, any other device, the programming of any other device, or any electronic storage medium):

    • (d) Acts in contravention of or fails to comply with any provision of this Act (not being a provision requiring the person to give any notice or information):

    • (e) Having had the relevant provision of this Act drawn to the person's attention, fails or refuses to give any information required by this Act to be given:

    • (f) Being a Registrar,—

      • (i) Negligently loses or damages a document containing information recorded under this Act or a former Act, or any part of such a document; or

      • (ii) Negligently allows it to be damaged; or

      • (iii) Negligently does any act referred to in paragraph (c) of this subsection.

    (2) Every person who commits an offence against subsection (1)(a) or subsection (1)(b) or subsection (1)(c) of this section shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years.

    (3) Every person who commits an offence against this Act (other than an offence against subsection (1)(a) or subsection (1)(b) of this section) shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding—

    • (a) $2,000, in the case of a contravention of or failure to comply with section 42 of this Act:

    • (b) $1,000, in the case of a contravention of or failure to comply with section 41 of this Act:

    • (c) $500, in the case of—

      • (i) A contravention of or failure to comply with any provision of this Act other than section 41 or section 42; or

      • (ii) An offence against any of paragraphs (d) to (f) of subsection (1) of this section.

    (4) Nothing in this section derogates from section 150 of the Crimes Act 1961.

90 No prosecution without authority of Registrar-General
  • No prosecution for an offence against this Act shall be commenced without the authority of the Registrar-General.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 s 49

91 Fees
  • (1) If empowered by this Act or any other Act to do any act for which a fee is payable, the Registrar-General or a Registrar may refuse to do the act until the fee is paid.

    (2) Notwithstanding anything in this Act, the Registrar-General (or to the extent that a Registrar is authorised by the Registrar-General to do so, the Registrar) may—

    • (a) Dispense with the payment of all or any part of any fee payable under this Act; or

    • (b) Refund all or any part of any fee paid under this Act.

    (3) Notwithstanding anything in this Act, within 10 years of the death of the person concerned, no fee shall be payable in respect of the inspection of any document containing information recorded under section 50 of this Act, or the provision of a print-out or copy of any such document or a print-out of any such information.

    Compare: 1951 No 22 ss 36(5), 50

Amendments to Marriage Act 1955

92 Interpretation
  • The Marriage Act 1955 is hereby amended by repealing section 2 (as amended by section 2(1) of the Marriage Amendment Act 1976 and section 2(2) of the Marriage Amendment Act 1982), and substituting the following section:

    2
    • (1) In this section, unless the context otherwise requires,—

      Commonwealth country includes a territory for whose international relations the Government of a Commonwealth country is responsible

      Marriage celebrant means a person authorised to act as a marriage celebrant under this Act

      New Zealand representative means a person who is for the time being a head of mission or head of post (within the meaning of section 2 of the Foreign Affairs Act 1988) or a person assigned or reassigned to service overseas under section 6 of that Act

      Service marriage means a marriage solemnised outside New Zealand at a time when the person who solemnised it, and at least one party to it, is a member of a naval, military, or air force raised in New Zealand, and the person who solemnised it—

      • (a) Is both a chaplain and a marriage celebrant; or

      • (b) In the case only of a marriage solemnised before the commencement of the Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Act 1995, is a person duly authorised to solemnise it.

      (2) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, the terms Registrar-General, Deputy Registrar-General, and Registrar have the meanings assigned to them by section 2 of the Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Act 1995.

93 Issue of marriage licence and information return
  • The Marriage Act 1955 is hereby further amended by repealing section 24 (as amended by section 5(1) of the Marriage Amendment Act 1976), and substituting the following section:

    24
    • (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, if a marriage is to be solemnised by a marriage celebrant or under section 32 of this Act, and notice has been given to a Registrar in accordance with section 23 of this Act, the Registrar shall, not earlier than the 3rd day after the day the notice was given, issue to the person who gave the notice—

      • (a) A marriage licence in the prescribed form, authorising the marriage of the persons named in it at the place, or either of 2 places (being a place or places situated in New Zealand), specified in it; and

      • (b) Two copies of a form provided by the Registrar-General for the purpose of returning information relating to marriages solemnised by marriage celebrants or under section 32 of this Act.

      (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, if satisfied that—

      • (a) A proposed marriage is not prohibited by this Act; and

      • (b) The requirements of this Act have been complied with; and

      • (c) The parties to the proposed marriage would otherwise be inconvenienced,—

      a Registrar may issue a marriage licence and marriage return forms before the 3rd day after the day the notice concerned was given.

94 Validity of service marriages
  • The Marriage Act 1955 is hereby further amended by repealing section 44, and substituting the following section:

    44
    • A service marriage shall be deemed to have been and to be as valid as if it had been solemnised in New Zealand in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

Consequential amendments and repeals

95 Consequential amendments
  • The enactments specified in Schedule 1 to this Act are hereby consequentially amended in the manner specified in that Schedule.

96 Repeals
  • The enactments specified in the Second Schedule to this Act are hereby repealed.


Schedule 1A
Disclosure of information to specified agencies

s 78A

  • Schedule 1A was inserted, as from 27 September 2001, by section 4 Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Amendment Act 2001 (2001 No 56).

  • The item relating to the Accident Compensation Corporation was inserted, as from 22 October 2003, by section 3 Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Amendment Act 2003 (2003 No 61).

  • An item relating to the Ministry of Justice was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 46 Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102) by inserting, in the second column of the entry relating to the Department of Internal Affairs, the words civil union information after the words marriage information. This amendment appears to be in error and the amendment has been editorially made to the item relating to the Department for Courts.

  • The item relating to the Department for Courts (Maori Land Court Unit) was inserted, as from 19 December 2002, by section 3(1) Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 59).

  • The item relating to the Department of Internal Affairs was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 46 Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102) by inserting, in the second column, the words civil union information after the words marriage information.

  • The item relating to the Department of Inland Revenue was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 46 Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102) by substituting, in the second column, the words , marriage information, and civil union information for the words and marriage information.

  • The item relating to the Department of Labour was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 46 Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102) by inserting, in the second column, the item Civil union information after the item Marriage information and opposite that new item, in the third column, inserting the words To verify the civil union of a person to a New Zealand citizen.

  • The item relating to the Department for Work and Income was substituted, as from 19 December 2002, by section 3(2) Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 59).

  • The item relating to the Department of Work and Income was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 46 Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102) by inserting, in the second column of the entry relating to the Department of Work and Income, the words civil union information, after the words marriage information,.

  • The item relating to the Department of Work and Income was amended, as from 22 May 2007, by section 8(1) Social Security (Entitlement Cards) Amendment Act 2007 (2007 No 17) by substituting Ministry of Social Development for Department of Work and Income.

  • The item relating to the Department of Work and Income paragraph (b) was amended, as from 22 May 2007, by section 8(2) Social Security (Entitlement Cards) Amendment Act 2007 (2007 No 17) by adding or a card the availability of which is based principally on the age and residence of a person, or of his or her spouse or civil union partner, or former spouse or civil union partner.

  • The item relating to Land Transport New Zealand was amended, as from 1 December 2004, by section 19(1) Land Transport Management Amendment Act 2004 (2004 No 97) by substituting the words Land Transport New Zealand for the words Land Transport Safety Authority of New Zealand. See sections 20 to 22 of that Act as to the savings and transitional provisions.

  • The item relating to the Land Transport Safety Authority of New Zealand was amended, as from 26 April 2005, by section 46 Civil Union Act 2004 (2004 No 102) by inserting, in the second column, the words and civil union information.

  • The item relating to the Ministry of Education was inserted, as from 19 December 2002, by section 3(3) Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 59).

Specified agencyType of informationPurpose
Accident Compensation CorporationBirth informationTo verify the identity of a claimant, and a claimant's eligibility or continuing eligibility for a benefit 
 Marriage informationTo verify a claimant's change of name 
 Death informationTo identify deceased claimants 
Department for CourtsMarriage information and civil union informationTo verify a fine defaulter's change of name
 Death informationTo— 
  (a)remove the names of deceased persons from jury lists:
  (b)remit or enforce payment of fines owed by deceased persons
Department for Courts (Maori Land Court Unit)Death informationTo identify deceased Maori landowners
Department of Internal AffairsBirth information, marriage information civil union information and death informationTo verify whether a person is eligible—
  (a)to hold a New Zealand passport:
  (b)for New Zealand citizenship
Department of Inland RevenueBirth information, marriage information, and civil union informationTo verify the identity of a person to establish—
  (a)the tax file number of the person:
  (b)the details of an applicant for child support
 Death informationTo identify deceased taxpayers and verify their details
Land Transport New ZealandBirth information and civil union informationTo verify details supplied by an applicant for a driver licence
 Marriage informationTo verify the change of name of the holder of a driver licence
 Death informationTo identify deceased holders of driver licences
Department of LabourBirth informationTo verify—
  (a)a person's citizenship status:
  (b)a person's entitlement to reside in New Zealand
 Marriage informationTo verify the marriage of a person to a New Zealand citizen
 Civil union informationTo verify the civil union of a person to a New Zealand citizen
 Death informationTo identify deceased holders of limited term permits or visas
Ministry of Social DevelopmentBirth information, marriage information, civil union information, and death informationTo—
  (a)verify a person's eligibility or continuing eligibility for benefits, war pensions, grants, loans, or allowances:
  (b)verify a person's eligibility or continuing eligibility for a community services card or a card the availability of which is based principally on the age and residence of a person, or of his or her spouse or civil union partner, or former spouse or civil union partner:
  (c)identify debtors, including any person no longer in receipt of a benefit, war pension, grant, loan, or allowance
Ministry of EducationBirth information and death informationTo verify and update student information on the National Student Index

Schedule 1
Consequential amendments

Section 95

Enactment AmendedAmendment
1955, No 93—The Adoption Act 1955 (RS Vol 1, p 35)

By repealing section 16(1), and substituting the following subsections:

  • (1) Every adoption order shall confer on the adopted child a surname, and one or more given names.

  • (1A) The names conferred on an adopted child by an adoption order shall be those specified by the applicant for the order, unless the Court is satisfied it is not in the public interest for the child to bear those names.

  • (1B) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, if the Court is satisfied that it is contrary to the religious beliefs or cultural traditions of the applicant for an adoption order for the adopted child to bear a given name, the order may confer on the child a surname only.

1964, No 75— The Burial and Cremation Act 1964 (RS Vol 16, p 1)

By inserting, after section 46, the following section:

46A Still-born children
  • No person shall bury, cremate, or otherwise dispose of any still-born child unless there has been delivered to the person—

    • (a) A written certificate that the child was born dead, signed—

      • (i) By a person registered as a medical practitioner under the Medical Practitioners Act 1968 (hereafter in this section referred to as a doctor) who was present at the birth or examined the child after birth; or

      • (ii) If no doctor was present at the birth or examined the child after birth, by a person present at the birth whose name appears in that part of the Register of Nurses kept under section 16 of the Nurses Act 1977 relating to registered midwives (hereafter in this section referred to as a midwife); or

    • (b) A statutory declaration, made by the person required by the Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Act 1995 to notify the birth, to the effect that the child was born dead, and that—

      • (i) No doctor or midwife was present at the birth; or

      • (ii) It is impossible to obtain a certificate under paragraph (a) of this section from any doctor or midwife present at the birth; or

    • (c) An order by a coroner for the disposal of the child.

1969, No 18—The Status of Children Act 1969 (RS Vol 4, p 893)

By repealing paragraph (a) of section 8(1) as enacted by section 2 of the Status of Children Amendment Act 1990), and substituting the following paragraph:

  • (a) Any provision of the Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Act 1995 or the corresponding provision of any former Act (within the meaning of that Act); or.

By repealing subsection (4) of section 9, and substituting the following subsection:

  • (4) For the purposes of this section, Registrar-General has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Act 1995.

1985, No 127—The Adult Adoption Information Act 1985

By repealing the definition in section 2 of the term original birth certificate, and substituting the following definition:

Original birth certificate, in relation to any person, means a birth certificate (within the meaning of the Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Act 1995) containing information recorded under that Act or a former Act (within the meaning of that Act) relating to the person's birth bearing on its face the words ISSUED FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE ADULT ADOPTION INFORMATION ACT 1985; and includes any such certificate from which there have been omitted, in accordance with this Act, any details relating to either or both of the person's birth parents.

By omitting from section 5(1) the words all details relating to the applicant's birth parents have been omitted, and substituting the words there have been removed all details relating to the applicant's birth parents, and every reference to any surname registered for the applicant.

By adding to section 5 the following subsection:

  • (4) There shall be omitted from every original birth certificate sent under subsection (2) of this section every reference to any surname registered for the applicant if—

    • (a) There is on the original entry of the applicant's birth an unexpired endorsement under section 3(2) of this Act relating to a parent who has that surname; and

    • (b) The Registrar-General is not satisfied that that parent is dead.

By omitting from section 11(4) the words section 21(7) of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1951, and substituting the words section 63 of the Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Act 1995.

1993, No 28—The Privacy Act 1993

By omitting from Part 1 of Schedule 2 the item relating to the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1951, and substituting the following item:

 “Births, Deaths, Marriages and Registration Act 1995Sections 5, 7(2), 8, 24, 25, 34, 36, 48(3), 50, 53, 56, 58”.
 By omitting from Part 1 of Schedule 2 the item relating to the Marriage Act 1955, and substituting the following item:
 Marriage Act 1955Section 7”.

Schedule 2
Enactments repealed

Section 96

  • 1951, No 22—The Births and Deaths Registration Act 1951. (RS Vol 1, p 333.)

  • 1953, No 81—The Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act 1953. (RS Vol 1, p 369.)

  • 1955, No 30—The Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act 1955. (RS Vol 1, p 369.)

  • 1955, No 92—The Marriage Act 1955: Sections 5, 6, 11(2), 32(3), 32(4), 35(1), 36, 37, 37A, 38, 43(2), 45 to 55A. (RS Vol 10, p 39.)

  • 1959, No 11—The Marriage Amendment Act 1959: Sections 4 to 6.

  • 1959, No 25—The Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act 1959. (RS Vol 1, p 370.)

  • 1961, No 23—The Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act 1961. (RS Vol 1, p 370.)

  • 1963, No 76—The Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act 1963. (RS Vol 1, p 372.)

  • 1964, No 79—The Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act 1964. (RS Vol 1, p 373.)

  • 1966, No 70—The Marriage Amendment Act 1966.

  • 1969, No 18—The Status of Children Act 1969: So much of the Schedule as relates to the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1951.

  • 1969, No 68—The Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act 1969. (RS Vol 1, p 373.)

  • 1970, No 48—The Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act 1970. (RS Vol 1, p 374.)

  • 1970, No 137—The Age of Majority Act 1970: So much of Schedule 1 as relates to the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1951.

  • 1972, No 49—The Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act 1972. (RS Vol 1, p 374.)

  • 1976, No 8—The Marriage Amendment Act 1976: Section 2.

  • 1976, No 76—The Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act 1976. (RS Vol 1, p 374.)

  • 1977, No 61—The Citizenship Act 1977: Section 28(j). (RS Vol 31, p 45.)

  • 1980, No 94—The Family Proceedings Act 1980: So much of Schedule 1 as relates to the Marriage Act 1955.

  • 1982, No 61—The Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act 1982.

  • 1982, No 81—The Marriage Amendment Act 1982: Sections 2(2) and 2(3).

  • 1991, No 127—The Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act 1991.

  • 1991, No 129—The Marriage Amendment Act 1991.

  • 1993, No 29—The Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act 1993.

  • 1993, No 31—The Marriage Amendment Act 1993.