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Finding Family History Records

Click here for Maori language version

(Statement on the use of macrons)

You can use the records held by the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry to research family history. We hold information about all New Zealand birth, death and marriage records dating as far back as 1848.

We are computerising these records, but they are not available online yet.

We offer the following ways of viewing or getting copies of the registered information:

Searches Of The Records
To request a search of birth, death or marriage records, you will need to know:
  • The name of the person about whom you want information (it is important to give the full name if possible)
  • The kind of event (ie birth, death or marriage)
  • The date, year, or period of years to search for that event
  • The place where the event happened (if this information is available)
  • Any further information you know that might help us to identify the correct record (eg. parents names)

We will search for the event one year on either side of the year you quote, for the standard search fee. If you are not sure about the actual year when the birth, death or marriage took place you can ask us to search over a broader range of years. If a broader search is requested the fee for the first three years specified will be NZ$15.00, and each additional year specified will be NZ$1.00.

Our Auckland and Wellington offices have microfiche readers that customers can use to search our indexes of births, deaths and marriages up to year 1990. No appointment is necessary. Some public libraries and other organisations also have copies of these indexes.

If your search is successful, you may wish to purchase either a certificate (NZ$26.00) or an electronic printout (which usually contains more information than a certificate). An electronic printout costs NZ$26.00 if the event took place from 1848 to 1874, or NZ$20.00 if the event took place after 1874. The cost of the certificate or electronic printout is additional to the cost of the search.

Electronic Printout of Historic Registrations
Electronic printouts of records from the following years are available from our Auckland and Wellington offices:
  • Births 1848 - 1997
  • Deaths 1848 - 1997
  • Marriages 1854 - 1997
Inspection documents can be issued in an electronic printout form of records from 1998 onwards.

Request for an Electronic Printout of a Birth, Death or Marriage Record (BDM 92) (49k) You need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to download this form. You can download a free version from the Adobe site. Hard copy versions are available from Births, Deaths and Marriages.

The cost per request, when the correct year is given is NZ$26.00 if the event took place from 1848 to 1874, or NZ$20.00 if the event took place after 1874. Search fees are payable for extended searches.

Purchase of Indexes
Indexes of births, deaths and marriages are compiled on an annual basis and are available on microfiche, diskette or printout depending on the storage of our information, for purchase by the public. Several libraries and genealogical societies throughout New Zealand and overseas have obtained their own copies of these indexes. Prices of indexes vary according to what is purchased. Please contact us for a price list.

A limited range of Maori indexes are also held. Separate Maori registers were kept only between the years 1911 and 1961. A microfiche of indexes of Maori birth, death, and marriage registrations for the years 1911-1961 is available for purchase at the price of NZ$150.00.

More Information
For further information view, download or print out Family Record Research: a guide to tracing your family history (112k)
This file is in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. To view it you need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. You can download a free version from the Adobe site.

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Last updated: 19/12/2003