Recognising gender on birth certificates and exploring a gender registration process for people born overseas

Consultation is now open on:

  • key details that will underpin the self-identification process to recognise gender on birth certificates; and
  • a gender registration process for people born overseas, who do not have a New Zealand birth certificate.

Submissions due: 25 July 2022, 5.00pm

About the consultation

Self-identification process to recognise gender on birth certificates

To recognise gender, a self-identification process for people to amend the sex on their New Zealand birth certificate was enacted in December 2021.

The self-identification process will be available from mid-2023, and is especially important to transgender, intersex and takatāpui people. This self-identification process will replace the Family Court process for amending sex on birth certificates.

What we want to know

We are seeking feedback on a range of options for three key details that need to be considered before the self-identification process goes live, including:

  • the sex and gender markers, other than male and female, to be available when amending birth certificates;
  • who can be a third party to support applications for youth and children; and
  • if any additional requirements should apply when a person applies to change their name and sex more than once.

Any submissions revisiting the self-identification provisions will not be considered. The decision to have a self-identification process is already enacted in law.

Process for people born overseas to register their gender

The self-identification process to amend New Zealand birth certificates will not be available to people born overseas.

Earlier this year, the Government committed to pursuing solutions for people born overseas (see Government Response to the Report of the Governance and Administrative Committee).

Te Tari Taiwhenua is working to understand more about gender registration for people born overseas, ahead of exploring potential solutions. What we learn about the issues faced by transgender, intersex and takatāpui people born overseas will help us to develop solutions which work in the context of New Zealand’s identity system. In New Zealand’s identity system people use a range of documents as evidence of their identity since New Zealand has no national identity document.

What we want to know

We are seeking feedback on the scope of the problem. We want to know:

  • who will access a process for registering their gender;
  • why it is important to register a gender as a standalone process; and
  • how people anticipate using evidence of their registered gender.

Targeted engagement meetings

In addition to seeking written feedback, we are hosting a series of online meetings with the intended users of the self-identification process, and those who are the intended users of a process for people born overseas to register a gender.

Further information about our approach to engagement is set out in our engagement strategy [PDF, 263KB]

Consultation documents

The self-identification regulations and registering gender for people born overseas - A public discussion document

Full Discussion Document [PDF, 723KB]
Quick read – sex markers other than male and female [PDF, 147KB]
Quick read – suitably qualified third parties [PDF, 146KB]
Quick read – additional requirements for multiple applications [PDF, 145KB]
Quick read – registering gender for people born overseas [PDF, 143KB]

How to make a submission

The discussion document has questions throughout on options and proposals. You can download and fill in the submission form below.

Submission form 1 – self-identification regulations [PDF, 405KB]
Submission form 2 – registering gender for people born overseas [PDF, 346KB]

If you cannot use the template, you can write your submission on a blank document. If you do this, please clearly indicate which question number you are responding to.

You do not need to answer all questions and can provide more comments on issues you believe are relevant outside of the questions.

You can email your submission to or post it to:

Identity Policy Team
Department of Internal Affairs
PO Box 805
Wellington 6140

Next steps

What happens after you have sent your submission?

The Department of Internal Affairs will collect all submissions sent by the closing date.

These submissions will be analysed and will help to inform final policy decisions for the self-identification process.

Your feedback will also support the development of options for people born overseas, which we plan to consult on in 2023.

We may contact submitters directly if we require clarification on their submission or would like further information from them, if they have provided contact details.

Release of information

A summary of submissions will be published on the Department’s website.

Information from personal submissions will be published in aggregate or summary form. Submissions from organisations may be published individually.

Submissions may be requested under the Official Information Act 1982. Personal details can be withheld under the Act, including your name, address, and medical information.

If you do not want any information you provide to be released, please indicate this clearly and explain why. For example, you may wish for some information to be kept confidential because it is sensitive personal information.

The Department of Internal Affairs will take your views into account when responding to such requests.

Indicative timing of each project

The self-identification process and registering gender for people born overseas projects are following different timelines. Below is an indicative timeline for developing the details of the self-identification process:

Mid 2022: Seek views by engaging on details for the self-identification process and to understand gender recognition for people born overseas; Mid to late 2022: Consider views from engagement and refine details for self-identification process; Early 2023: Finalise details for self-identification process; Mid 2023: Sef-identification process to amend sex on New Zealand birth certificate goes live.

A timeline for work on a gender registration process for people born overseas will be published in due course. A second round of engagement is intended in 2023, providing an opportunity for people to share their views on options for people born overseas.


If you have any questions about the consultation process or the options and proposals in the discussion document, please email us at