New Zealand Births, Deaths and Marriages Available Online

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Powell, Kimberly. "New Zealand Births, Deaths and Marriages Available Online." ThoughtCo, Mar. 4, 2017, thoughtco.com/new-zealand-records-available-online-3972348. Powell, Kimberly. (2017, March 4). New Zealand Births, Deaths and Marriages Available Online. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/new-zealand-records-available-online-3972348 Powell, Kimberly. "New Zealand Births, Deaths and Marriages Available Online." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/new-zealand-records-available-online-3972348 (accessed September 20, 2017).
New Zealand birth register
Births, Deaths and Marriages, The Department of Internal Affairs, New Zealand

For individuals researching their New Zealand whakapapa (genealogy), the New Zealand Ministry of Internal Affairs offers online access to New Zealand's historical birth, death and marriage records. To protect the privacy of living people, the following historic data is available:

  • Births that occurred at least 100 years ago
  • Stillbirths that occurred at least 50 years ago (officially recorded since 1912)
  • Marriages that occurred at least 80 years ago
  • Deaths that occurred at least 50 years ago, or the deceased's date of birth was at least 80 years ago
     

Information Available Via Free Search

Searches are free and generally provide enough information to help you ascertain that you have the correct individual, although information collected prior to 1875 is fairly minimal. Search results typically provide:

  • Births - registration number, given name(s), family name, mother's given name (not maiden name), father's given name, and whether a the birth was a stillbirth. Expect to find a large number of births with no given name recorded for the child. Births were required to be registered within 42 days, yet children were often not named until they were baptized. 
  • Deaths - registration number, given name(s), family name, date of birth (since 1972) or age at death
  • Marriages - registration number, bride's given name(s) and family name, and groom's given name(s) and family name. Parents for the bride and groom can often be found after late 1880/early 1881.

    You can sort search results by clicking on any of the headings.
     

    What to Expect from a Purchased Printout or Certificate

    Once you find a search result of interest, you can either purchase a "printout" to be sent via email, or an official paper certificate sent through postal mail. The printout is recommended for non-official research purposes (especially for registrations after 1875) because there is room for more information on a printout than can be included on a certificate.

    The "printout" is typically a scanned image of the original record, so will contain all the information that was provided at the time the event was registered. Older records which have been since updated or corrected may be sent as a typed printout instead.

    A printout will include additional information that is not available through search:

    • Births 1847–1875: when and where born; given name (if provided); sex; name and surname of father; name and maiden surname of mother; rank or profession of father; signature, description and residence of the informant; date registered; and signature of the deputy registrar 
    • Births post 1875: when and where born; given name (if provided); whether child was present at the time of registration; sex; name and surname of father; rank or profession of father; age and birthplace of father; name and maiden surname of mother; age and birthplace of mother; when and where parents were married; signature, description and residence of the informant; date registered; and signature of the deputy registrar. Information available for births recorded in the Māori Registers (1913 – 1961) may be slightly different.
    • Deaths 1847–1875: when and were died; name and surname; sex; age; rank or profession; cause of death; signature, description and residence of the informant; date registered; and signature of the deputy registrar 
    • Deaths post 1875: when and were died; name and surname; sex; age; rank or profession; cause of death; duration of last illness; medical attendant who certified the cause of death and when they last saw the deceased; name and surname of father; name and maiden name (if known) of the mother; rank or occupation of the father; when and where buried; name and religion of minister or name of witness to the burial; where born; how long in New Zealand; where married; age at marriage; name of spouse; children (including number, age and sex of living children); signature, description and residence of the informant; date registered; and signature of the deputy registrar. Information available for deaths recorded in the Māori Registers (1913 – 1961) and War Deaths from WWI and WWII may be slightly different.
    • Marriages 1854–1880: when and where married; name, surname, age, rank or profession, and marital condition of the groom; name, surname, age, rank or profession, and marital condition of the bride; name and signature of officiating minister (or Registrar); date of registration; signatures of bride and groom; and signatures of the witnesses.
    • Marriages post 1880: when and where married; name, surname, age, rank or profession, and marital condition of the groom; name, surname, age, rank or profession, and marital condition of the bride; if widow/widower, the name of former wife or husband; birthplace of bride and groom, residence (present and usual) of the bride and groom; father's name and surname; father's rank or profession; mother's name and maiden surname; name and signature of officiating minister (or Registrar); date of registration; signatures of bride and groom; and signatures of the witnesses. Information available for marriages recorded in the Māori Registers (1911 – 1952) may be slightly different.
       

    How Far Back are New Zealand Births, Marriages and Deaths Available?

    Official registrations of births and deaths began in New Zealand in 1848, while marriage registration began in 1856. The website also has some earlier records, such as church and place registers, dating back as early as 1840. Dates for some of these early registrations may be misleading (e.g marriages from 1840–1854 may appear with a registration year of 1840).
     

    How Can I Access More Recent Birth, Death or Marriage Records?

    Non-historical (recent) records of New Zealand births, deaths and marriages can be ordered by individuals with a verified RealMe identity, a verification service available to New Zealand citizens and immigrants. They can also be ordered by members of organizations approved by the New Zealand Registrar-General. 

     

    For a fascinating historical overview of the keeping of New Zealand's registers of births, deaths and marriages, see the free PDF version of Little Histories, by Megan Hutching of the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage.