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The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation

 

Resource material › Our Policy Advice Areas › Identity Policy

The Identity and General Policy team is responsible for providing administrative and strategic policy advice to the Minister of Internal Affairs and the Government for a number of different Acts. The team also provides advice and support on other identity-related issues dealt with by the Department, such as biometrics. See also: General Policy


Legislation


Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 1995 Citizenship Act 1977
  • This Act provides the right of persons born in New Zealand to become citizens if one of their parents is a citizen or entitled to reside indefinitely in New Zealand.
  • The Act also sets out in what circumstances a person born overseas to a New Zealand citizen can be considered a New Zealand citizen by descent.
  • The standard requirements for a grant of citizenship (sometimes referred to as naturalisation) are also contained in the Act, as well as provisions for a grant of citizenship in special cases.
  • The Act also provides for how a person can lose their citizenship either by voluntarily renouncing citizenship, or by the Minister of Internal Affairs depriving a person of citizenship.
  • If you would like more information about applying for citizenship see How to Contact Us
Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act 1982
  • The Act provides that the grant of citizenship shall, as of right, be given to any Samoan citizen who was in New Zealand on 14 September 1982, and to any Samoan who is entitled to reside indefinitely in New Zealand and who enters New Zealand on or after 15 September 1982.
  • If you would like more information about applying for citizenship under this Act see How to Contact Us
Passports Act 1992
  • The right for New Zealanders to obtain a passport is set out in this Act. The Act also provides for the grounds on which a passport can be refused and cancelled.
  • The Act also provides for a number of other travel documents, such as certificates of identity (for non-citizens who cannot obtain a passport from their home country) and refugee travel documents.
  • The Act also contains offence provisions for forging a passport and other related matters.
  • If you would like to apply for a passport visit www.passports.govt.nz

Bills Before the House of Representatives


Identity Information Confirmation Bill
  • This Bill provides a consent based service to allow both public and private sector agencies to check whether identity information presented by customers is the same as that recorded by the Department, through its citizenship, passports, and Births, Deaths and Marriages registry functions.
Citizenship Amendment Bill
  • This Bill amends the Citizenship Act 1977, particularly the citizenship by grant requirements. These include reducing the five year presence period to two years for New Zealand Defence Force regular force members, better providing for family members of citizens serving (and planning to serve) New Zealand overseas, and no longer automatically disqualifying migrants with very minor convictions from receiving the grant of citizenship for three years. A number of other minor amendments change the rules for how a person can lose citizenship and other administrative provisions in the Citizenship Act.