New Zealand announces citizenship changes

02 January 2006


From Dec. 31, 2005, not every baby born in New Zealand will automatically be a New Zealand citizen. Changes to the Citizenship Act include amendments that say that a child will only be given automatic citizenship if at least one of the parents is a New Zealand citizen or is entitled to be in New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Tokelau or Niue indefinitely.

The changes have been brought in "to recognise the value of citizenship".

Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Brian Clarke, says very few babies born in New Zealand will be affected by the changes.

The Department of Internal Affairs says the changes have been brought in to ensure the benefits of citizenship only go to those with a genuine and ongoing link to the country.