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Privacy for agencies

Annual Report

Purpose: To improve the quality and integrity of data held on the National Student Index (NSI) and reduce compliance costs for students by verifying their details for tertiary education organisations. 

BDM disclose to MoE: Births, Deaths and Marriages provides records of New Zealand-born citizens who were born during the period requested. The records include full name, date of birth, and gender.

Compliance: Compliant.

Technical information

Information matching provision Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Act 1995, s.78A
Year authorised 2002
Year commenced 2004
Programme type Confirming eligibility
Updating data

System description
MoE are working through historical data as resources permit. They limit their request for data by specifying a date range. Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) extract the data from the Births Register of New Zealand births. The file is provided to MoE on an encrypted compact disc.

Matching of the data is performed using the NSI system. A matching run passes BDM data through a series of four progressively looser matching algorithms. For each BDM record received, the matching process can have one of the following four possible outcomes:

1. no match - no NSI records match with the BDM record
2. unique and exact match - one NSI record exactly matches with the BDM record
3. unique and non-exact match - one NSI record matches with almost all components of the BDM record (eg. name and gender exactly match but date of birth is different) or
4. multiple results returned - more than one NSI record matches exactly, or almost exactly, with the BDM record.

Where a match is exact and unique, these records are automatically updated into the NSI database. Where a match is not exact, or more than one match has been found for a particular record, manual verification processes are used to determine whether a partial match can be accepted and updated into the NSI database. Any birth records that remain unmatched at the completion of this process are deleted.

This match does not result in any adverse action against individuals. Records that are verified by this process are flagged as ‘'verified' in the NSI and no further action is taken. Records that are not verified by this process are flagged as ‘'partial' in the NSI and educational institutions will need to complete the verification if claiming full domestic funding for that student.

MoE have provided forms online for individuals to request their NSI details from the MoE and to request correction of any errors.

To ensure continued integrity of the NSI, no name held on the NSI and verified by matching with a BDM file entry may be changed unless a formal challenge is submitted to MoE for validation. An audit trail is maintained within the NSI system that shows all changes to records, including the change to the verification status, the source of the verification, the date the match took place and the level of match the algorithm achieved.

MoE's website and student publications notify students that they may check their details held on the NSI and whether the information has been verified by matching with a BDM file entry. They do this by either accessing the NSI via the MoE website or through their Tertiary Education Provider.

Recent activity

  2006/07 2009/10 2012/13   2012/13 2013/14  2014/15
Birth records from the period: 01/01/1987-31/12/1991 01/01/1992-31/12/2004 01/01/2005-30/06/2007 05/09/2008-31/01/2013 01/07/2007-31/01/2013 01/02/2013-31/08/2014
Received for matching 292,360 754,480 152,194 276,580 353,439 87,760
Matched exactly with NSI record (automatically) 187,932 411,923 109,189 22,846 174,350 29,420
Matched after manual intervention 2,145 11,325 1,056 0 Not attempted 7,203
Total birth records matched 190,077 423,248 110,509 22,846 174,350 36,623
Percentage matched 65% 56%  73%  8%*  49%* 42%

No batches of birth records were matched during 2007/08 or 2008/09 due to high staff turnover in the MoE.  The match was also not operated during 2010/11 and 2011/2012.

Birth records for the period 1 July 2007 to 31 January 2013 were received in March 2013.  To help with changes in the early childhood education sector a sub-set of that file covering 5 September 2008 to 31 January 2013 were processed in 2012/2013 to clean up records for people up to four and a half years old.  The entire data set was then matched against the NSI twice in 2013/2014 to clean early childhood records.

*Overall, 58% of this entire batch of records was matched over the various runs.

MoE have developed their system and replaced this match with real-time access to DIA birth records under the Identity Information Confirmation Act 2012.