New Zealand has made its historical birth, marriage and death index available online.
You can search the index free of charge at the new Birth, Death and Marriage Historical Records website.
Information available includes:
- Births that occurred at least 100 years ago;
- Stillbirths that occurred at least 50 years ago;
- Marriages and eventually Civil Unions that occurred 80 years ago;
- Deaths that occurred at least 50 years ago, or where the deceased’s date of birth was at least 80 years ago.
There are around 11 million births, deaths, marriage and civil union records. Births and deaths have been officially recorded since 1848, and marriages since 1854.
In 1911, it was required that Māori marriages be recorded, and in 1913, Māori birth and deaths. Separate Māori and General registration systems were kept until 1961 although some Māori are registered in the general system. As registration could not be enforced many Māori births and deaths were not registered.
Registers were also established to record overseas marriages and war deaths covering all wars since WWI.
Once you’ve found the record you’re looking for, you can order a printout (which is cheaper and contains more information) or an official certificate, either of which will be sent to you by post. It will cost you NZ$26 for a printout of one of the later records, which provide more information, and NZ$20 for a printout of an earlier record. Official certificates (either standard or decorative) cost NZ$26 each.