The Department of Internal Affairs welcomes applications for the grant of New Zealand citizenship and for registration of New Zealand citizenship by descent.
Our citizenship is valuable. While many of the benefits of citizenship
are available to permanent residents, there are some benefits that are
only available to citizens, including:
In addition, some educational scholarships and some public sector jobs are only open to New Zealand citizens, and only citizens can represent New Zealand in some international sport.
As well as the benefits above, New Zealand citizenship can bring more intangible benefits. For example, many people feel that citizenship is an important part of their identity and gives them a sense that they truly belong to New Zealand.
All births in New Zealand must be registered at the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. For people born before 1 January 2006 a birth certificate showing their birth in New Zealand is generally proof that they are citizens by birth. For people born on or after 1 January 2006 their birth record and any birth certificates will show whether they are citizens by birth.
New citizens are generally required to attend a citizenship ceremony to take the oath or affirmation of allegiance. Citizenship ceremonies are important occasions and are generally conducted by local authorities. At the ceremony new citizens make a public commitment to New Zealand by swearing allegiance to the Queen, and receive their citizenship certificates. Once they receive their certificates they are New Zealand citizens.
Find out more!The Citizenship Office in the Department of Internal Affairs administers citizenship applications. For more information on New Zealand citizenship, application processes, or the requirements for a grant, contact the Citizenship Office on 0800 22 51 51 or visit the website: www.citizenship.govt.nz
Updated May 2005
Kenneth Wong MP, on the right, arrived in New Zealand as a refugee.. He has been a businessman, and because he was 10th on Act's party list, became an MP between general elections when a former ACT MP left a vacancy.
At citizenship ceremonies new citizens make a public commitment to New Zealand.