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Privacy for agencies

Annual Report

Purpose: To verify a parent's citizenship status if required for determining an applicant's eligibility for New Zealand citizenship.

BDM disclosure to Citizenship (DIA): Possible matches from the Births, Deaths, and Marriages (relationships) databases are displayed to Citizenship staff as they process each application. These details include full name, gender, birth date, birthplace and parents' full names.

Compliance: Compliant.

Technical information

Information matching provision Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Act 1995, s.78A
Year authorised 2001
Year commenced 2005
Programme type Confirming eligibility
Online transfers Yes

System description
This programme enables DIA Citizenship Office staff to verify information when processing applications involving:

• citizenship by descent;
• 1948 residence claims;
• claims regarding British people married to New Zealanders prior to 1949; and
• denials, renunciations and deprivations of citizenship. 

DIA Citizenship Office staff enter into the Determinations Confirmation System (DCS) searchable information that includes family name, given name, date of birth, country of birth and Citizenship Certificate Number. The DCS searches copies of information from the births, deaths, marriages, and citizenship registers held together in the Data Aggregation Layer (DAL) and displays possible matches, which are verified manually against the information provided on the citizenship application form. If more than one individual’s record matches the selection criteria, the user can enter more selection criteria to narrow down the search results. If a clear match is not found, the applicant will be contacted for further identifying information and the application held pending their response.

Every search conducted using the DCS creates an auditable ‘footprint’ that provides protections against inappropriate browsing of personal information and could also be used in any investigation into a suspect grant of citizenship.


Recent activity

  2011/12  2012/13  2013/14  2014/15 2015/16
Applications for citizenship by descent (may include more than one person) 10,004 10,846 10,998 11,688 13,607
Notice of adverse action (arising from failure to match) 7 9 4 10 0
Successful challenges 6 2 4 10 0
Citizenship by descent registered 9,331 10,587 10,753 11,402 13,286

Notices of adverse action are sent when Citizenship staff cannot satisfactorily match the information supplied to the appropriate birth, death, marriage, or relationship record. Almost all of these are resolved by contacting the applicant for clarification.

The difference between the number of applicants and the number registered is primarily due to the applicants not meeting eligibility criteria, rather than a failure to correctly match the record.