The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Changes to birth, death, marriage and civil union fees

21 April 2017

The Department of Internal Affairs (the Department) has today confirmed changes to fees for birth, death, marriage and civil union (BDMCU) products and services. This follows public consultation in late 2016. After consideration of feedback received, Cabinet has approved new fees for BDMCU products and services which will come into effect on 22 May 2017.

Current prices were last set in 2003. However, the actual cost to provide these products and services has increased over the last 13 years. This was acknowledged by a number of parties who provided submissions as part of the consultation process, where it was noted that fees need to reflect the cost of providing a particular product or service.

As part of the changes, new fees are being introduced relating to the registration and renewal of marriage and/or civil union celebrants. As with all BDMCU fees, these have been set at a level which ensures that customers pay a fair price for the product or service they require.

Examples of fee changes (GST incl.) include:

  • The cost of a standard birth certificate will increase from $26.50 to $33.00;
  • The cost of a printout will change from $20.40 - $26.50, depending on the year of the event on the record, to a standardised fee of $25.00; and
  • An application for a name change (for a person over two years old) will increase from $127.70 to $170.00.

The Department recently launched SmartStart, an online service providing information and support where parents can also register the birth of their child.
As at 31 March 2017, more than 2,800 customers have used SmartStart to notify the Ministry of Social Development of the birth, removing the need to purchase a birth certificate. Overtime, more services will be provided online, further reducing the need to purchase certificates required to access services.

A full list of the new fees that come into effect on 22 May 2017 will be available at

Thank you to all who engaged in the consultation process. A full analysis of the feedback received during this time is available here:

A copy of papers considered by Cabinet can be found here: