New Zealand Law Society - Go-ahead for Births, Deaths, Marriages registration bill

Go-ahead for Births, Deaths, Marriages registration bill

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The Governance and Administration Committee has released a report on the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill with a recommendation that it be passed with amendments.

The bill seeks to repeal and replace the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 1995.

The bill would re-enact the majority of the 1995 Act but in a modernised and more accessible form. It would remove some redundant provisions and also make a small number of policy changes. Some of these changes would give effect to recommendations from the Minister of Internal Affairs’ review of the access provisions in the 1995 Act. Other changes respond to recommendations in the Law Commission’s review of burial and cremation law.

In its comments on the provisions for changing registered sex on the birth record, the committee says it recommends replacing the current Family Court process with an administrative process based on self-identification. A right of appeal to the Family Court would be retained, and the Minister of Internal Affairs would be required to review the self-identification process five years after it becomes law.

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