Government to remove birth certificate gender change fee

Stuff 2 August 2019
Family First Comment: Aiding and abetting confusion.

Changing the sex marker on a birth certificate has become easier for transgender and non-binary Kiwis after the removal of fees from Wednesday this week.

The decision was made by Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin who said it was important to make “long called-for practical improvements” to the current system while legal issues with the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration (BDMRR) Bill were being worked through.

An advisory group has also been set up to assist more changes that can be made to “further reduce barriers” to changing registered sex.

The group will consist of representatives from the transgender and intersex community as well as medical and legal experts and will meet from August to December this year, providing recommendations to the Minister “early next year”.

Both announcements are likely in part in response to the deferral in February of changes to the BDMRR Bill, which would make it easier for transgender people to change the gender on their birth certificates by changing the process to a statutory declaration model, also known as “self-identification”.