1848 Birth and Death Registrations Introduced (Colonial Secretary's Office).
1854 Marriage Registration Act Introduced.
Registry Office Marriages Introduced.
1875 Marriage details/age and birthplace of Parents recorded on birth registrations.
Death registrations include occupation, parental details, where born, when and where buried, marriage details, ages of children of deceased, length of time in NZ.
Marriage registrations include parental details and the residence of each party to the marriage.
1911 Separate Registration of Māori Marriages introduced.
1912 Death registrations include age of widow and degree of Māori blood.
Official registration of stillborn births provided for, however some stillborn births were registered prior to this date.
1913 Separate Registration of Māori Births and Deaths introduced.
Death registrations include age and sex of live siblings recorded on Birth registration plus number and sex of deceased siblings.
1914 Recording of First World War deaths.
1915 Re-registration of the birth of any child "subject to an adoption order" introduced. Original birth entry closed. New entry registered stating adoptive details.
1920 Marriage registrations include dissolution endorsements.
1924 Registration of births not registered within 2 years. No set time after 2 years to allow the Register-General the authority to register birth.
Prior to this there were other Acts allowing the Registrar-General to register a late birth, however there were specific times set e.g. within one year. Acts were called Extension or Amendment Acts.
1930 Word “Illegitimate” to be omitted from birth registration.
Registering Deaths of Naval forces.
Amendment to the Coroners Act by permitting inquests to be held in cases where the body is irrecoverable and the deaths able to be registered.
1933 Minimum Age of Marriage raised to 16 years.
Prior to this it was -
14 years for males
12 years for females.
1935 Births, Deaths & Marriages transferred from the Department of Internal Affairs to the Department of Justice.
Change made to information registered on Māori Births and Deaths.
1943 Registration of children born overseas and adopted in New Zealand introduced.
1944 Recording of Marriage relating to a Service person solemnised outside New Zealand introduced.
Cause of death could be amended if error disclosed by post mortem examination.
1945 Recording of Second World War plus any future Service personnel death e.g. Korean, Vietnam.
1952 Separate Māori marriage registration now combined into General Register.
1954 Deed poll Endorsements recorded on Birth Registrations.
Prior to the above Deed Polls were lodged at the nearest Supreme Court to where the applicant lived. No provision to notate the relevant birth registration.
1955 Certificate of No Impediment to New Zealand citizen wishing to marry in a foreign country issued.
Introduction of the Marriage Act 1955 which is still in force today.
1962 Separate Māori Birth and Death registrations combined into the General register.
Adoptions made in the Māori land court ceased. All adoptions became processed by the Magistrates Court.
1972 Birth and Death registrations now in A4 loose leaf form (previously recorded in large registers).
1985 Adult Adoption act provided for requests of Pre Adoptive birth certificate by adoptee. Vetoes on disclosure able to be lodged by either adoptee or birth parents.
1990 NZ Post Office agencies withdrawn. Local authorised agencies established.
Commemorative birth certificates available for the year marking 150 years of the Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.
1995 Births, Deaths and Marriages transferred from the Department of Justice to Department of Internal Affairs.
Became known as the Central Registry.
Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995 came into force.
The associated Registration Regulations included prescribed information and forms.
1998 Centralisation of registration processes.
1999 Computerisation / Imaging of Pre 1998 Birth, Death and Marriage registrations commenced.
2000 Commemorative millennium birth certificates available for children born in 2000.
All birth and Death agency work withdrawn from the courts and local authorisation agencies.
All register books archived.
2001 Computer imaging of registrations completed.
2004 Bilingual birth certificates introduced.
Addresses printed on back of certificates.
2005 Civil unions introduced.
Status of children legislation allowing for ‘other parent’ to be included on a birth registration.
Human Assisted Reproduction Technology legislation introduced allowing registration of donors & donor offspring through fertility clinics.
2006 Citizenship status determined for children born in New Zealand after 1 January 2006.
2008 Decorative birth certificates introduced and available for all births.
2009 Amendments leading to the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registrations came into force on 25 January 2009 changing access requirements.
Allows for internet services to be introduced.
Name change register was established to record name changes processed after this date for overseas born persons.
2013 Amendments to the Marriage Act allowing same sex marriages.
2023 Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registrations Act 2021 largely came into force on 15 June 2023. The Act introduced: A Statutory Declaration process for change of registered sex, Overseas death information to be recorded in the registry and indicated on a New Zealand birth record, Overseas dissolution and divorce information to be recorded in the registry and endorsed on a New Zealand Marriage or Civil Union certificate, Changes to the historic record thresholds.
2024 Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registrations Act 2021 fully in force. The Act will introduce: Parents can specify whether they want to appear as mother, father or parent on a birth certificate, A preliminary notice of death will be required from the medical or nurse practitioner certifying a death, When BDM information is accessed by a third party on behalf of someone else, information about both of the parties seeking access will be recorded in the Access Register.
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Photograph of a wedding group, circa 1926.
Photograph of a group of Karitane nurses holding babies and toddlers.
Photograph of babies at a baby show.