Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Identity Bill to be introduced shortly


Identity Bill to be introduced shortly


The new Identity (Citizenship and Travel Documents) Bill to be introduced this month will not contain any reference to citizenship by birth issues, Internal Affairs Minister George Hawkins says.

"The issue of citizenship by birth, for instance of babies born in this country to mothers who are not New Zealand nationals, is an issue separate to matters covered in the Identity Bill," Mr Hawkins said.

Issues around this aspect of New Zealand citizenship were still being worked on by a number of government agencies and no decisions had yet been made, Mr Hawkins said.

The Identity (Citizenship and Travel Documents) Bill will amend the Citizenship Act 1977 and the Passports Act 1992. The Bill rectifies problems with the grant of citizenship, will improve border security, and reduce the likelihood of successful forgery and misuse of New Zealand travel documents.

Under the Citizenship Act 1977 migrants can acquire a grant of citizenship after settling permanently in New Zealand and meeting a number of specified requirements.

The Bill will increase the standard period of residence in New Zealand that applicants must meet from three years to five years. In addition, time spent in the country on temporary permits, such as work or visitor’s permits, will no longer count as a period of residence for citizenship proposes. This will ensure consistency with New Zealand’s Immigration policy and provide a sufficient basis for assessments of applicant’s suitability for citizenship.

The Bill creates new offences of unlawfully issuing a citizenship document and unlawfully altering citizenship records. These offences will carry a maximum penalty of a term of imprisonment of ten years and/or a fine of $50,000.

The Bill also amends the Passports Act 1992, which provides for the issue, renewal and cancellation of New Zealand travel documents. In general, New Zealand passports are valid for ten years from the date of issue, or five years if the holder is under 16 years of age.

However, international experience shows that the ten-year period is now too long because counterfeiting techniques have become more and more sophisticated. The longer a passport has been in circulation, the greater the chance that its security features will become outdated and easily altered or duplicated. To reduce the likelihood of successful forgery of New Zealand passports, the Bill will reduce the maximum validity of new passports from ten years to five years.

The Bill will provide for the disclosure of New Zealand travel document information for the border security system known as Advance Passenger Processing (APP). APP identifies unauthorised passengers before they can depart for New Zealand by enabling airlines to check the validity of a passenger’s travel document details against an up-to-date electronic record of passport, visa and alert information.

The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 requires States to prevent the movement of terrorists by having controls on the issue of travel documents. The Bill amends the Passports Act to provide for the Minister of Internal Affairs to cancel or refuse to issue, a New Zealand travel document in cases where national security is threatened.

This provision contains a number of procedural safeguards. For example, the decline period will be restricted to 12 months, and the person denied the travel document may appeal the Minister’s decision to the High Court. The 12-month decline period may only be renewed by the High Court, and the Court must be satisfied that the grounds for refusal to issue the travel document still apply.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news