National to support BDMRR Bill to Select Committee

National welcomes the opportunity for the public to have input on a proposed law change that will allow people to change their designated sex on their birth certificates according to how they self-identify, National’s spokesperson for Women Nicola Grigg says.

“One of the proposed changes to the Births Deaths Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill would allow any person to change the sex recorded on their birth certificate (usually M or F) through an administrative process according to the gender they choose to identify with.

“This amendment was added to the Bill after the original public consultation in 2019, without public knowledge or input.

“To be clear, National is committed to advancing the rights and protections of transgender people, and agrees with Crown Law's assessment that ‘the fast-paced social recognition of a diversity of genders and of self-identification has outstripped the legal framework to accommodate it’.

“This amendment was, however, added to the legislation after public consultation had already occurred. National supports Labour’s proposal to send this back to Select Committee so New Zealanders can have a say on it.

“I have spent many months speaking with a number of groups and organisations – including trans people and the wider LGBT+ community – on this issue. I recognise the concerns held by some that these changes could have implications on the spaces and services reserved for women for their protection.

“Equally, those who identify as another gender strongly feel the current system is too cumbersome and complex.

“National believes it is imperative that these sections of this Bill go out for public consultation and, as a member of the Governance and Administration Select Committee, I look forward to hearing the views of all New Zealanders to help shape this law.”