New Zealand is continuously making civil registration more accessible to its population. One of the key aspects of this increased accessibility is the provision of registration services online, allowing easy and fast delivery to the population and quick access to data for statistical purposes. The provision of registration services online must take into account inequalities in access to the Internet to ensure it does not create new barriers in access to registration. Accessibility is supported by free registration, in line with international standards and the Regional Action Framework.
While registration is free for individuals, the Office of the Registrar General is almost entirely self-dependent for its funding, through value added services and data sales. This includes the sale of special birth certificates, with an added value for decorative or multiple certificates. An example is the “All Blacks” certificate which features the country’s famous rugby team. Other services include the translation of official documents or apostilles.
The Registrar-General also sells registration data to other government agencies and to select private sector entities. The accuracy, completeness and timeliness of the registration data makes it extremely valuable to many other service providers. The Office of the Registrar General has developed partnerships with other government services or banks to provide them with secure and up-to-date data, while also ensuring that the privacy of everyone is respected. Another innovation is the establishment of contacts with ancestry websites. Patrons of ancestry websites may be interested in the services offered by the Office of the Registrar General, resulting in more certificates sales that generate revenue.
By leveraging the high completeness and accuracy of their registration data, New Zealand has been able to continually invest in their civil registration.