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Improvements to information sharing

(Headline abbreviated, original headline: Improvements to information sharing between Police and the Registrar-General, Births, Deaths and Marriages)

A new agreement that enables the Registrar-General, Births, Deaths and Marriages to proactively share information with New Zealand Police has come into force.

Under the agreement, the Registrar-General will be able to proactively supply to Police details relating to registered deaths, registered name changes, and non-disclosure directions.

The agreement is one of the initiatives being implemented as part of the Progressive Steps Project, which is part of the response to the Government Inquiry into the escape of Phillip Smith/Traynor.

Having more accurate identity information will make it easier to identify members of the public Police is engaging with.

For example, Police will be better able to link multiple identities to one individual, and to detect and correct false identity information.

This is particularly valuable when Police have arrested a person, or suspects that a person has breached a court order.

Having accurate information on whether a non-disclosure direction is in force will help Police to better manage the use of that person’s information.

Non-disclosure directions enable individuals who apply for them to protect access to their registered information.

“This ability to receive registered deaths, registered name changes and non-disclosure direction information will improve Police’s ability to better manage the identities of people entering the criminal justice system, and to protect the identity of people with non-disclosure directions in force,” says Andy Coster, Acting Deputy Commissioner Strategy and Partnerships.

The improvements build on recent automated access for Police to passport and birth information from the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) and the Registrar-General, and driver licence images held by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), as well as immigration data and photos from Immigration New Zealand (INZ).

Jeff Montgomery, Registrar-General Births, Deaths and Marriages says, “Sharing information enables government agencies, such as Police, to proactively maintain accurate identity records that paint a single, joined-up picture of a person’s identity.

“The privacy of individuals is our top priority, and there are protections through this agreement to ensure this personal information is dealt with securely and appropriately,” says Mr Montgomery.

The information sharing is enabled by the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationship Registration Act 1995 and the Privacy Act 1993.

A copy of the Agreement is available at the Police National Headquarters and on its website at https://www.police.govt.nz/about-us/publication/approved-information-sharing-agreement-between-police-and-registrar-general

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