The Department of Internal Affairs is working with the Human Rights Commission to simplify the process for trans and intersex people to change sex details on their passport.
The announcement follows recommendations that came out of the groundbreaking To Be Who I Am report, which sought to outline the main issues faced by the trans community in New Zealand.
Internal Affairs’ review will look at how trans and intersex people apply for passports and will likely result in a more flexible policy. The department’s current thoughts are that applicants would need to provide a witnessed Statutory Declaration with their passport application, outlining their circumstances, and advising the gender identity they wish to be displayed in their passport.
It is intended that the new gender identity would be displayed in the passport only and will not alter a person’s birth or citizenship record. This change will have no effect on the Births. Deaths and Marriages and Relationships Registration Act 1995 which allows for an adult or guardian of an eligible child to apply to the New Zealand Family Court for a declaration to have their birth record reflect their nominated gender.
The Department has been consulting with communities across New Zealand with an expectation of being able to implement a new flexible policy in September 2012. Internal Affairs attended the recent Agender national conference in Christchurch. The Human Rights Commission has also invited them to speak at community meetings in Wellington and Auckland, as part of a general discussion about progress on the Transgender Inquiry recommendations.
A meeting is being held tomorrow at the Human Rights Commission in Wellington. It is a chance to reflect on work that has been done by the Human Rights Commission, government agencies and community groups, and The Department of Internal Affairs will be there to ask trans people for their views about proposed changes to the steps needed to change sex details on a passport.
An Auckland meeting will be held in late July. The date is still to be confirmed. If you would like to be sent an invitation please email Jack on firstname.lastname@example.org.