The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


DIA pilots new Identity Check service to provide Kiwis with easier, more secure access to services

20 September 2022

Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs is partnering with Hospitality New Zealand to pilot Identity Check, a new online identity verification service.

Identity Check is a safe and secure online identity verification service, developed to make it easier for New Zealanders to securely access the services they need and to combat fraud and identity theft. The service allows people to confirm their identity by comparing information they provide against their official records.

Identity Check does not provide partner organisations access to people’s identity records; it only checks that the information provided by an applicant matches their relevant New Zealand driver licence or New Zealand passport record.

The checks are performed using facial recognition technology that Te Tari Taiwhenua already uses to make it easier for New Zealanders to safely apply for passports, citizenship, and RealMe verified identity. This technology is proven, secure and designed to keep New Zealanders’ information safe, and complies with all New Zealand data protection requirements.

“Our technology works so well, other public and private organisations have approached Te Tari Taiwhenua to find out how the process works and whether they could benefit from it,” says Maria Robertson, Te Tari Taiwhenua Deputy Chief Executive Service Delivery and Operations.

“We’ve spent some years developing a model that would allow us to make this technology available as a service to other organisations while ensuring we are keeping New Zealanders’ data safe and not sharing it with third parties. The result of this work is the Identity Check service, which we’re now excited to pilot with Hospitality New Zealand.”

As part of the pilot, people will use Identity Check to confirm their identity when applying online for Hospitality New Zealand’s Kiwi Access Card. Kiwi Access card, previously known as the 18+ Card, is an approved evidence of age document under the sale and supply of alcohol legislation.

The application process for a Kiwi Access card currently involves printing a form and taking it in to a participating location. With the help of Identity Check, Hospitality New Zealand will be able to create an online application process, making it easier for Kiwis to access the service.

The pilot will begin with Hospitality New Zealand on Tuesday 27 September and will run for 12 months, during which Te Tari Taiwhenua will review the service with Hospitality New Zealand and other pilot partners, conduct user surveys and engage in consultation with iwi and other stakeholders. These reviews and consultations will assist and inform the development and further uses of the service.

For more information about Identity Check and the pilot being announced, visit the Department of Internal Affairs website.


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