The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation

 

Legal › Privacy › Births, Deaths, Marriages, Civil Unions, Name Changes, Passports and Citizenship Privacy Notice

  • Introduction
  • Information collection
  • Information disclosures
  • Requesting personal information
  • Data protection methods
  • Making a Privacy Act complaint

    Introduction

    Scope
    Personal information
    Uses
    Your Choices
    Information Protection
    Contact Us

    Scope
    This statement applies to Births, Deaths, Marriages, Civil Unions, Name Changes, Passports and Citizenship information.

    Personal Information
    We collect personal information about you to maintain a series of statutory registers and when you apply for New Zealand citizenship or for a passport or other travel document.

    We sometimes obtain additional information about you from other agencies. For more about this, see: Uses
    The Registrar-General uses the information that you supply to meet the legal requirements to maintain a series of statutory registers including those of births, marriages, civil unions, deaths or name changes.

    The Citizenship office uses the information supplied or obtained to determine your eligibility for New Zealand citizenship. The Passport office uses the information supplied by you or obtained to establish entitlement to and to issue a New Zealand passport or other travel document

    Information is disclosed to other agencies as authorised by law. For more about this, see:
      • Information disclosures by the Registrar-General
      • Information disclosures by the Citizenship office
      • Information disclosures by the Passport office (Travel Document disclosures)
      Your Choices
      You may request access to or receive a copy of the information that we hold about you. See Requesting Personal Information.

      You may request the correction of any information that we hold about you that you believe is wrong. See Requesting Information or Information Correction.

      Information Protection
      We take steps to protect the information we hold about you. For more information about how the: How to Contact Us
      For more information about our privacy policy follow the links provided or Contact Us.

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      Information Collection

      Information Collection Practices of the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages
      Information Collection Practices of the Citizenship and Passport offices


      Information Collection Practices of the Registrar-General

      Our Purpose
      Births, Deaths and Marriages is an office within the Identity Services business group of the Department of Internal Affairs, responsible for the administration and maintenance of:
        (a) Birth registrations
        (b) Marriage registrations
        (c) Civil union registrations
        (d) Death registrations;
        (e) Name change registrations
        (f) Instrument of paternity or declaration of paternity lodgements
        (g) Application for a marriage licence
        (h) Application to become a marriage celebrant
        (i) Application for a civil union licence
        (j) Application to become a civil union celebrant
        (k) Registering as a donor in relation to human reproduction

      Our Forms
      To view samples of the current forms in use by the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships, see: Births, Deaths and Marriages Forms.

      Relevant Laws
      The laws that authorise the collection of the information are:
      • Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 1995
      • Marriage Act 1955
      • Civil Union Act 2004
      • Status of Children Act 1969
      • Human Reproductive Technology Act 2004

      Storage
      The intended recipient of the information is the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The collected information is held by the Department of Internal Affairs.

      Failure to supply
      The supply of the information is mandatory and failure to supply could lead to a prosecution, in particular as provided by section 89 (1) (e) of the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Act 1995.
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      Information Collection Practices of the Citizenship and Passport Offices

      Our Purpose
      The Citizenship and Passport sit offices within the Department of Internal Affairs. They collect and store information:
      (a) To process applications for New Zealand citizenship by grant and descent (where a person was born overseas to a New Zealand citizen [by grant or birth]) and maintain the Citizenship Registers
      (b) To process passport and other travel document applications (including applications for Certificates of Identity and Refugee Travel Documents for non New Zealand citizens) and maintain records of documents issued.

      Our Forms
      The forms for these purposes either contain the information required for the various processes or provide information about other organisations from which additional information may be sought. You may authorise the Department to approach these additional organisations for you to release the requested information. To view samples of the current registration / application forms, see Passports Forms and Citizenship Forms.

      Relevant Laws
      The laws that authorise the collection of the information are the:

      • Citizenship Act 1977
      • Passports Act 1992
      Storage
      The intended recipient of the information is the appropriate office within Identity Services of the Department of Internal Affairs. The collected information is held by the Department of Internal Affairs.

      Failure to supply
      You must supply the requested information and failure to supply may cause the processing of your application to stop.

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      Information Disclosures

      Authorised Disclosures by the Registrar-General
      Authorised Information Matching Conditions
      Agencies that can receive information from the Registrar-General for authorised information matching programmes
      Citizenship Information Disclosures
      Agencies that can receive information from the Citizenship Office

      Authorised Disclosures by the Registrar-General

      The Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 1995 provides for authorised searches of the register in relation to named individuals. In addition, Section 78A of the Act authorises the Registrar-General to share births, deaths, marriages, civil union and name change information with specific agencies for certain purposes. Additional disclosures are authorised by the
      • Status of Children Act 1969 (section 9 authorises the issue of duplicates or copies of Instruments of Acknowledgement on payment of the prescribed fee)
      • Veterinarians Act 2005 (section 17 requires that information of the death of a veterinarian be made available to the Council)
      • Human Assisted Reproductive Technology Act 2004 (section 50 authorises disclosure of donor details to offspring)
      • Social Workers Registration Act 2003 (section 128 requires that information of the death of a social worker be provided to the Registrar)
      • Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (section 143 requires that information of the death of a health practitioner to the Registrar)
      • Electoral Act 1993 (sections 92, 93 & 94 requires that the Chief Registrar of Electors be informed of the marriage and/or death and/or change of name of registered electors.

      Authorised Information Matching Conditions
      The sharing of the births, deaths, marriages and civil union information by the Registrar-General with specified agencies is subject to:

      (a) The Registrar-General entering into an agreement with the chief executive of the specified agency
      (b) The agreement limits the use of the information to a purpose listed in Schedule 1A of the Act
      (c) The agreement is an Information Matching Agreement that complies with the provisions of the Privacy Act 1993.

      For more about this, see: Agencies that can receive information from the Registrar-General for authorised information matching programmes

      How to Contact Us:
      For more information about our privacy policy follow the links provided or Contact Us.

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      Agencies that can receive information from the Registrar-General for authorised information matching programmes

      Who
      What
      Why
      Accident Compensation CorporationBirth information and name change informationTo verify the identity of a claimant, and a claimant's eligibility or continuing eligibility for a benefit.
      Marriage information, civil union information and name change informationTo verify a claimant's change of name.
      Death informationTo identify deceased claimants.
      Board of Trustees of the National Provident Fund Birth information, marriage information, civil union information, name change information and death informationTo verify the identity of a member or beneficiary of the National Provident Fund, and the eligibility of a member or beneficiary for payments under the fund.
      Department of Internal AffairsBirth information, marriage information, civil union information, name change information and death information (1) To verify whether a person is eligible to hold a New Zealand passport.
      (2) To verify whether a person is eligible for New Zealand citizenship.
      (3) To issue and maintain accurate Electronic Identity Credentials.
      Department of Inland Revenue Birth information, marriage information, civil union information and name change name information (1) To verify the identity of a person to establish the tax file number of the person.
      (2) To verify the identity of a person to establish the details of an applicant for child support.
      Death informationTo identify deceased taxpayers and verify their details.
      New Zealand Transport AgencyBirth information and name change informationTo verify details supplied by an applicant for a driver licence.
      Marriage information and civil union informationTo verify the change of name of the holder of a driver licence.
      Death informationTo identify deceased holders of driver licences.
      Immigration NZ (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment)Birth information and name change information(1) To verify a person's citizenship status.
      (2) To verify a person's entitlement to reside in New Zealand.
      (3) Update and verify immigration records.
      Marriage information and civil union informationTo verify the marriage or civil union of a person to a New Zealand citizen.
      Death informationTo identify deceased holders of limited term permits or visas.
      Government Superannuation Fund AuthorityBirth information, marriage information, civil union information, name change information and death informationTo verify the identity of member or beneficiary of the Government Superannuation Fund, and the eligibility or continuing eligibility of a member or beneficiary for payments under the fund.
      Ministry of EducationBirth information, name change information and death informationTo verify and update student information on the National Student Index.
      Ministry of HealthBirth information, name change information and death informationTo verify and update health information on the National Health Index
      Birth information and death informationTo compile mortality statistics
      Ministry of JusticeMarriage information and civil union informationTo verify a fine defaulter's change of name.
      Death information(1) To remove the names of deceased persons from jury lists.
      (2) To remit or enforce payment of fines owed by deceased persons.
      Ministry of Justice (Maori Land Court Unit)Death informationTo identify deceased Maori landowners.
      Ministry of Social DevelopmentBirth information, marriage information, civil union information, name change information and death information(1) To verify a person's eligibility or continuing eligibility for benefits, war pensions, grants, loans, or allowances.
      (2) To verify a person's eligibility or continuing eligibility for a community services card or a card the availability of which is based principally on age or residence of a person, or of his or her spouse or civil union partner, or former spouse or civil union partner.
      (3) To identify debtors, including any person no longer in receipt of a benefit, war pension, grant, loan, or allowance.

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      Citizenship Information Disclosures

      Section 26A of the Citizenship Act 1977, authorises the Secretary of the Department of Internal Affairs to share citizenship information with specific agencies for certain purposes. For details of the information that may be shared, the specific agencies and purposes of these disclosures, see: Agencies that can receive information from the Citizenship Office

      Section 263B(3)(d) of the Electoral Act 1993 allows for the Department of Internal Affairs to provide the Chief Registrar of Electors with details of people who have been granted citizenship under the Citizenship Act 1977.

      Conditions
      The sharing of the citizenship information by the Secretary of the Department of Internal Affairs with the specified agencies is subject to:
        (a) The Secretary enters into a written agreement with the chief executive of the specified agency
        (b) The agreement limits the use of the information to a purpose listed in Schedule 4 of the Act
        (c) The agreement is an Information Matching Agreement that complies with the provisions of the Privacy Act 1993 relating to such agreements.

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        Agencies that can receive information from the Citizenship Office

        Who
        What
        Why
        Department of Internal Affairs (Passport Office)Citizenship informationTo verify whether a person is eligible to hold a New Zealand passport. (New Zealand citizenship is a requirement to apply for a New Zealand passport)
        Department of Internal Affairs (Birth, Deaths and Marriages)Citizenship informationFor the Registrar-General to be satisfied whether or not a person is a New Zealand citizen by birth.
        Inland Revenue DepartmentCitizenship information (1) To verify the identity of a person to establish the tax file number of the person.
        (2) To verify the identity of a person to establish the details of an applicant for child support.
        Immigration NZ (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment)Citizenship information(1) To verify a person’s citizenship status.
        (2) To verify a person’s entitlement to reside in New Zealand.
        Electoral Enrolment CentreCitizenship information(1) Identifying persons who are qualified to apply to register as an elector but who have not yet registered; and
        (2) Encouraging those persons identified to register as an elector; and
        (3) Updating and ensuring the accuracy of the particulars of persons whose names are on the roll.
        Ministry of Social DevelopmentCitizenship information(1) To verify a person’s eligibility or continuing eligibility for benefits, war pensions, loans, or allowances.
        (2) To verify a person’s eligibility or continuing eligibility for a community services card.
        Ministry of EducationCitizenship informationTo verify and update student information on the National Student Index.

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        Travel Document Information Disclosures

        What is a travel document?
        A travel document is any of the following issued by authority of the Passport Act 1992:
        • Passport
        • Certificate of Identity
        • Emergency Travel Document
        • Refugee Travel Document

        Authorisation to disclose certain passport related information
      • Section 263B(4)(d)(iv) of the Electoral Act 1993 authorises the disclosure of information concerning persons “by whom, or on whose behalf, an application is made under the Passports Act 1992 for the issue or renewal of a New Zealand passport.” For the purposes of:
        • “(a) identifying persons who are qualified to apply to register as an elector but who have not yet registered; and
        • “(b) encouraging those persons identified to register as an elector; and
        • “(c) updating and ensuring the accuracy of the particulars of persons whose names are on the roll”

        The information that is entitled to be disclosed:”is the following information relating to any person of or over the age of 17 years:
        • “(a) the person’s full name:
        • “(b) the person’s date of birth:
        • “(c) the person’s address of residence (if known):
        • “(d) the person’s postal address (if known and if different from the address of residence in paragraph (c)):
        • “(e) the person’s preferred honorific (if known):
        • “(f) the date at which the information in paragraphs (a) to (e) held by the agency was last provided to the agency.”

        In addition, section 36 of the Passports Act 1992, states that Secretary of Internal Affairs, may disclose New Zealand travel document information to any appropriate agencies. For details of this, please go to What Travel Document information can be disclosed. For details of the specific agencies and purposes of these disclosures please go to Purposes for whichTravel Document information can be disclosed.

        Conditions
        The disclosure of the information must be in accordance with an agreement in writing between the Secretary and the other party that states:
          (a) the purpose of the agreement; and
          (b) the information that can be disclosed; and
          (c) the method and form of the disclosure; and
          (d) the use the other party will make of the information; and
          (e) the conditions under which the other party may disclose the information.

          What Travel Document information can be disclosed
          Section 37 of the Passports Act 1992 states the following information about a New Zealand travel document can be disclosed:
          • The holder's full name
          • The holder's date of birth
          • The holder's sex
          • The holder's eye colour
          • The holder's height
          • The holder's endorsements (if any)
          • The photograph of the holder
          • The place of birth of the holder
          • The document type
          • The passports database key number
          • The passport or document number
          • The date of issue of the passport or document
          • The date of expiry of the passport or document
          • The place of issue of the passport or document
          • The status of the passport or document
          • Any other information relating to a New Zealand travel document
          Purposes for which Travel Document information may be disclosed
          Travel document information may be disclosed to:
          • aid border security
          • facilitate the processing of passengers
          • verify the identity of a holder of a travel document
          • determine whether a person is a New Zealand citizen
          • as otherwise required or authorised by law.

          While section 36 of the Passports Act 1992 permits the Secretary of Internal Affairs to disclose to “any appropriate agency, body, or person”, actual disclosure arrangements exist with the following:
          • New Zealand Customs Service
          • New Zealand Department of Labour
          • Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship
          • Australian Customs Service
          • US Department of Homeland Security (only when a person travels to the United States)
          • New Zealand Police for Interpol (only details of documents reported lost, stolen or otherwise invalid)
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          Requesting personal information

          Entitlement
          Requesting Information or Information Correction

          Entitlement

          Information Privacy Principle 6 allows an individual, or their duly appointed agent, to:
          • obtain confirmation whether or not an agency holds personal information about them
          • obtain access to that information
          Where an individual is given access to personal information held about them, they must be advised that, under Privacy Principle 7 they have the right to request the correction of that information.

          NOTE: Information Privacy Principle 6 does NOT generally cover information we hold in public registers. Access to information held in public registers is regulated by the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 1995.

          For a sample personal information request letter for requests made under the Privacy Act 1993, see: Requesting Information or Information Correction.

          Releasing Material
          We are obliged to respond to a request for access to personal information within 20 working days of getting the request. We try to do better than this.

          We may extend the time allowed for a reply because of the volume or complexity of an individual request. If such an extension is required, we will tell you within 20 days of getting your application.

          Refusing Access
          The Privacy Act provides for the Department of Internal Affairs to not disclose material in certain circumstances. If this is done we will tell you why.

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            Requesting Information or Information Correction

            Who is entitled to make a Privacy Act Request?

            Any individual can make a Privacy Act request.

            Sample information/correction template letter below for requests made under the Privacy Act 1993 (See also NOTE above)
            We may contact you if we need any further clarification regarding this request.
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              Data Protection Methods

              Registrar-General’s Data Protection Methods
              Citizenship Data Protection Methods
              Passport Data Protection Methods

              Registrar-General’s Data Protection Methods

              THE RULES
              Retention
              An agency that holds personal information shall not keep that information for longer than is required for the purposes for which the information may lawfully be used. In the case of public registers the information is kept indefinitely.

              Storage
              An agency that holds information shall ensure that the information is protected, by such security safeguards as it is reasonable in the circumstances to take, against:
              • loss
              • access
              • use
              • modification
              • disclosure (except with the authority of the agency that holds the information)
              • other misuse.

              Registrar-General’s Physical Records
              (1) Applications for the various registrations that are currently being processed are held by the Department of Internal Affairs in secure areas ,
              (2) The Registrar-General’s physical registers are stored at either Archives New Zealand or the Department of Internal Affairs in secure premises.

              Registrar-General’s Source Documents
              All source documentation since 1 September 1995 is retained and sent to Archives New Zealand. Source documents prior to 1995 may have been kept, but, as individual registry offices (there were at one time about 200) did not operate consistently there will be gaps.

              Registrar-General’s Electronic Records
              Since 1998 electronic files have been held within the bounds of the Department of Internal Affairs secure network. Electronic versions of the various registers are also held.

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              Citizenship Data Protection Methods

              THE RULES
              Retention
              An agency that holds personal information shall not keep that information for longer than is required for the purposes for which the information may lawfully be used.

              Storage
              An agency that holds information shall ensure that the information is protected, by such security safeguards as it is reasonable in the circumstances to take, against:
              • loss
              • access
              • use
              • modification
              • disclosure (except with the authority of the agency that holds the information)
              • other misuse.

              Citizenship Physical Records
              (1) Citizenship application files currently being processed are held by the Department of Internal Affairs in secure areas;
              (2) The citizenship related registers are stored at the Department of Internal Affairs in secure premises.

              Archived Citizenship Records
              All paper based citizenship application files from 1948 to 1988 are held by Archives New Zealand. Applications received since 1988 are stored in a secure off site location. There are no plans to destroy any of these records.

              Electronic Citizenship Records
              Since 1998 electronic application files have been held within the Citizenship Computerised System and since 2005 in the Determinations Computerised System (for citizenships by descent, 1948 residence claims, claims for Britons married to New Zealanders prior to 1949 and denials and renunciations). Both systems are operated within the bounds of the Department of Internal Affairs secure network. Citizenship registers from 1948 to the present are also held in computerised form.

              How to Contact Us
              For more information about our privacy policy follow the links provided or Contact Us.

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              Passport Data Protection Methods

              THE RULES
              Retention
              An agency that holds personal information shall not keep that information for longer than is required for the purposes for which the information may lawfully be used.

              Storage
              An agency that holds information shall ensure that the information is protected, by such security safeguards as it is reasonable in the circumstances to take, against:
              • loss
              • access
              • use
              • modification
              • disclosure (except with the authority of the agency that holds the information)
              • other misuse

              Passport Physical Records
              Passport application files currently being processed are held by the Department of Internal Affairs in secure areas.

              Archived Passport Records
              All paper-based passport application files from 1948 to 1988 are held by Archives New Zealand. Applications received since 1988 are stored in a secure off site location. There are no plans to destroy any of these records

              Electronic Passport Records
              Since 1998 electronic application files have been held within Passport’s Computerised System that is operated within the bounds of the Department of Internal Affairs secure network.

              How to Contact Us
              For more information about our privacy policy follow the links provided or Contact Us.
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              Making a Privacy Act Complaint

              Who can make a Privacy Act complaint?

              Any person who has made a request under the Privacy Act and believes that the organisation in responding to that request has breached their privacy by a failure to disclose or a failure to adhere to the requirements of the Act in preparing their response.

              Complain about what
              You can make a complaint to the Department of Internal Affairs if:
              • you have not received a decision about your request (but you need to allow 20 working days);
              • your request has been declined in full or in part;
              • you have not been given access in the manner you preferred;
              • you disagree with a charge which has been imposed by the agency;
              • the agency has imposed conditions on how you may use, communicate or publish the information you requested;
              • the agency has extended the time limit for responding to you;
              • the agency has refused to correct personal information.

              Complain to who
              You can complain by writing to:

              The Privacy Officer
              Department of Internal Affairs
              PO Box 805
              Wellington 6140

              Or Email: Privacy@dia.govt.nz

              You also have the right to make a complaint to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

              You can complain by writing to:

              The Privacy Commissioner
              P O Box 10-094 The Terrace
              WELLINGTON 6143

              What you should say
              You need to provide:
              • your name and contact details
              • a brief description of the action complained about;
              • relevant dates;
              • the name and address of the agency complained about (and the names of any people within the agency who have been involved with your complaint); and
              • copies of relevant correspondence.
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