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(http://www.republic.org.nz/node/452)
Passport process to become more flexible

in NEW ZEALAND, 29/06/2012

Internal Affairs is hoping to introduce a more flexible passport policy for transgender and intersex people in September, and has teamed up with the Human Rights Commission in order to get feedback on the issue.

The department’s plan is for applicants 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,” Internal Affairs says in a letter to the HRC.

“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 proposed policy would also allow intersex people to choose whether they want to have M, F or X on their passport.

Internal Affairs attended the recent Agender national conference  in Christchurch, to talk with trans people there.

The Human Rights Commission has also invited it to speak at community meetings in Wellington and Auckland, as part of a general discussion about progress on the Transgender Inquiry recommendations.

The Wellington meeting will be held tomorrow at the Human Rights Commission offices from 5.30PM and anyone who plans to attend is asked to RSVP to jackb@hrc.co.nz.

A meeting is also being planned for Auckland, and is likely to be in late July.

People are also encouraged to ask questions or give their feedback to the Department directly by email (ispassportsbusinesssupport@dia.govt.nz).

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