2006-01-24

New Zealand Birth, Deaths and Marriages

The Births, Deaths and Marriages office is where you need to go to get certificates for New Zealand citizens. There is no online ordering method so you need to either call them on the phone or visit their offices (Note that ordering online is now available).

The price is currently $20.00 if the event took place after 1874 and $26.00 if it occurred before then. Make sure they charge you correctly. Recently I ordered the certificate of someone born in 1859 and I was only charged $20.00. Unfortunately a week later I got a letter in the mail telling me I had to pay the extra $6.00 before they would send me the certificate. It’s a shame they couldn’t ring or email me since my contact details were part of the request.

Apart from that glitch I’ve always found the service very fast and efficient. Make sure you ask for an electronic printout and not a certificate. The electronic copy of the record has more information and is in the original writing. This helps to prevent transcription errors from someone typing onto a certificate or missing information (like marriage witnesses).

It helps to look up the particular person you are looking for in the birth, death and marriage indexes first. This will give you a folio number you can use to reference the record when making your request. It will also ensure that there is actually something for them to find without them having to do a search. The indexes are available at the birth, deaths and marriage office and some local libraries also have a copy.

On the birth certificate you’ll often get the parents names, ages and birth locations. You’ll get the mothers maiden name and if you are lucky their dates of births as well.

The marriage certificate often contains the parents names (or the fathers at least) of the bride and groom.

The death certificate will give cause of death, where they died, age at death, where they were buried and details on living offspring, spouse and parents.

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