Proposal to share death information with Government agencies and other organisations

Background

What is being proposed

We want your feedback

Background

DIA holds a lot of personal information

Te Tari Taiwhenua, the Department of Internal Affairs, (DIA) is the caretaker of important collections of personal information about New Zealanders, including records that are considered to be taonga. These include the birth, death, marriage and civil union registers, the citizenship registers and records about travel documents such as passports. We also make products and services available on the basis of this information, such as certificates and passports.

We share certain personal information with other government departments so that they can improve their own services. For example, we provide information about deaths to Inland Revenue so that they can update their records and avoid sending tax demands to bereaved families after someone has died. This is currently limited, and this proposal hopes to expand this service. 

We’re streamlining the legislation around information sharing

DIA is working to simplify the framework of legislation that allows us to share personal information.  We want to replace most of the older agreements with a small number of Approved Information Sharing Agreements (AISAs); a newer type of agreement that is based on legislation (Order in Council). AISAs are much more flexible – one AISA can cover multiple agencies, multiple purposes and multiple information shares.

It will also be much easier for people to see how we’re using their information - AISAs will be published on our website and the Privacy Commissioner’s website.

We’re committed to improving our services 

We’re also interested in helping other government agencies to improve their services for their customers.  We’re aware that many agencies ask their customers to get certificates and other documents from DIA; many services cease or commence on the death of an individual. We would like to make it possible for a customer to give that agency permission to look at the relevant part of their DIA record, and for the agency to be able to do that with the right legal authorisation.

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What is being proposed

DIA is proposing a new Approved Information Sharing Agreement (AISA) which will allow death information to be shared to a range of Government agencies, organisations and other groups such as registered charities. Current law and information sharing provisions allows limited access to registered information about deaths, mainly by specified government agencies. The proposed AISA aims to make it easier for organisations to get access to correct, reliable death information so they can improve the services they provide.

The parties to this proposed agreement are:

  • Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand
  • Department of Internal Affairs
  • Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Fire and Emergency New Zealand
  • Ministry for Pacific Peoples
  • Ministry for Women
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • New Zealand Defence Force (Veterans’ Affairs)
  • Te Tumu Paeroa - The Māori Trustee
  • The Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages
  • WorkSafe New Zealand

We will also seek to share this information with the following groups outside the core public service:

  • Statutory Supervisory Authorities and Independent Advisory Committees
  • Professional Societies
  • Trustee Corporations
  • Independent Statutory Bodies not part of the State Sector
  • Crown Entities
  • Local Authorities
  • Public Tertiary Institutions
  • Registrars
  • Mortality Review Committees
  • Registered charities
  • Iwi and other Māori organisations
  • New Zealand-registered companies, partnerships, registered limited partnerships and incorporated societies

The proposed Death AISA would enable more efficient and effective public services and an improved experience for people accessing these services. It would help to reduce multiple requests for the same information, remove the need to provide physical copies of information, and reduce time delays in the provision of services to the public. It would also improve the quality and consistency of information that agencies hold about an individual and make it easier to detect issues such as identity fraud.

Related Documents

Detailed information about the proposed AISA, the public consultation process and our Privacy Impact Assessment can be found below: 

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We want your feedback

DIA invites the public to provide their views on the proposed AISA.

The proposed AISA will provide the legal basis to enable effective information sharing of death information to approved agencies and organisations.

More information on the proposal can be found here:

Public consultation process (PDF, 555KB)

Give Feedback

Submissions open on 19 April 2021 and close on 11 June 2021.

You can make a submission about the proposed Agreement to share information about deaths by:

  • Writing a submission and emailing it to information.sharing@dia.govt.nz with the subject line ‘Approved information sharing agreement’; or
  • Posting it to:

    Policy & Privacy Team, Te Ara Manaaki
    Department of Internal Affairs
    Level 10, 7 Waterloo Quay
    Wellington 6011

What will we do with your feedback?

Following the submission process, we will prepare a report for the Minister of Internal Affairs to make recommendations about the proposed Customer Nominated Services AISA to Cabinet. Your submissions will be used as input to this report. 

As the lead agency developing the proposed AISA, DIA may include your submission, in whole or in part, when publishing feedback on the discussion process. Your personal details will not be disclosed.

If you do not want your submission published please let us know within your submission.

Release of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982

Your submission may be subject to release under the Official Information Act 1982.

If you want your submission to be withheld under the Official Information Act, please tell us in your submission why you think it should not be released if requested.

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