Public submissions kick off today for a law change to allow gender diverse people to more easily change the sex recorded on their birth certificates.
The change will allow people to change a birth certificate by self-identification and signing a statutory declaration rather than a court process.
It has been possible to change the sex on a birth certificate since 1995, but only under a Family Court process that can be complicated.
The change has broad political support, but has been controversial among groups who claim it could impact on women's rights.
The measure has had a prolonged road through Parliament: it was introduced into a broader bill to change the Births, Deaths and Marriages Act by a select committee in 2019 after several submissions on the issue.
However, then Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin put the proposal on ice, saying that because it had not been part of the original bill it had not had sufficient chance for public input.
In June this year, new Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti announced it would progress, but would go back to select committee for public submissions. She also changed the provision to allow people to change the recorded sex several times if required.
"The Bill will simplify the confusing, intimidating and time-consuming process for those who wish to self-identify their sex on their birth certificate – so it's similar to the current process for driver's licenses and passports," Tinetti said.
"This change will lessen the likelihood that transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders will experience discrimination in their day-to-day lives, particularly when using a birth certificate to access services like setting up a bank account or enrolling a child in school."
Today's submitters to the governance and administration select committee
Rainbow Wellington 8.20am - 8.30am
Identify Survey 8.30am - 8.40am
Public Service Association Te Pukenga Here Tikanga Mahi 8.40am - 8.50am
Queer Endurance Defiance 8.50am - 9.00am
Māori Women's Welfare League Inc. 9.10am - 9.20am
Quilted Bananas Radio Collective 9.20am - 9.30am
Rainbow Greens 9.30am - 9.40am
Rainbow Support Collective 9.40am - 9.50am
Nelson Pride Inc. 10.00am - 10.10am
Council for Civil Liberties 10.10am - 10.20am
Otago University Students' Association (OUSA) 10.20am - 10.30am
VicLabour 10.40am - 10.50am
Auckland Pride Festival 10.50am - 11.00am
InsideOUT Kōaro 11.00am - 11.10am
Naming New Zealand 11.10am - 11.20am
The Youth Spaces Charitable Trust 11.20am - 11.30am
Women's Liberation Aotearoa 11.30am - 11.40am
Gender Minorities Aotearoa 11.40am - 11.50am
Somewhere Over the Rainbow 11.50am - 12.00pm
Simpson Grierson 12.00pm - 12.10pm
Speak Up For Women 12.40pm - 12.50pm
National Council of Women of New Zealand 12.50pm - 1.00pm
NZ Young Labour 1.00pm - 1.10pm
Feminist Older Women Lobbyists 1.10pm - 1.20pm
Save Women's Sport Australasia 1.20pm - 1.30pm