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Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Amendment Bill
This is a bill being introduced to parliament in 2007 which will have serious implications for genealogists and others who are researching people in New Zealand.
At the time of creating this page (31 March 2007) submissions have been called for, and the closing date for submissions is Friday 4 May 2007. Full details about submissions can be seen here at parliament's web site. The bill itself can be seen here or here.
As you may imagine, there is discussion going on amongst interested groups. Some of it is on lists that are publicly available - see the Rootsweb New Zealand list, and a New Zealand Herald story from 25 March 2007.
The New Zealand Society of Genealogists has said that it will be making a submission to the bill. While that has not been written yet, there is some initial feedback included in its Keeping In Touch February 2007 newsletter.
Consumer magazine, the publication of the Consumers' Institute of New Zealand, has an article in issue #467 (March 2007) about identity theft. If you're not a subscriber, see if your local library carries the title, or if a friend or neighbour can loan it to you. The article is available on their web site, but you need to be subscribed to their online services to read it. Essentially, Consumer points out that birth certificates are not intended to be used as a form of identification - so why are they used as such, and by government agencies at that?
Through a library list, I have received a copy of a commentary on the bill by Graeme Hunt, the title page of which can be viewed below. The full document is available, with the permission of the author, here.
Births, Deaths, Marriages and
Relationships Registration Amendment
Why this proposed legislation is bad for historians
29 March 2007
If you have an interest in genealogy or history in New Zealand - and given that you have found yourself at this page I have to assume you do - please educate yourself (using the links provided on this page at least) and give serious consideration to making your own submission and/or contacting your local Members of Parliament (remember, there are local list MPs as well as your electorate MP) as well as the MP responsible for this bill, the Hon. Rick Barker.
(this page last updated 02 April 2007)
Thank you to Rootsweb for making this free web space available.