Parliament

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 The longer a passport has been in circulation, the greater the chance that its security features will become outdated and easily altered or duplicated.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

Gordon Campbell: On Yesterday’s Big Parliamentary Air Kiss To China

In order to obtain support from the two major parties, Act Party deputy leader Brooke Van Velden twice had to soften the language of her parliamentary motion yesterday condemning China’s persecution of the Uighurs. The key word “genocide” was deleted. Evidently, the kind of resolution passed by a conservative government in the UK proved to be far too tough for a centre-left Labour government and a centre-right National opposition to countenance. Yesterday, the two major parties were united in their fear of retribution from China... More>>

 

Government: Fair Pay Agreements To Improve Pay And Conditions For Essential Workers

The Government is delivering on its pre-election commitment to implement Fair Pay Agreements which will improve wages and conditions, as well as help support our economic recovery, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Public Services: Government Sets Pay And Workforce Expectations For The Public Sector

The Government’s Workforce Policy Statement issued today sets out its expectations for pay and employment relations in the Public Sector, the Minister of Finance and Minister for the Public Service say. “New Zealand has had an exceptionally successful ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Budget 2021 Reprioritises Nearly $1 Billion

Hon Grant Robertson Deputy Prime Minister Minister of Finance The Government’s strong pandemic response and the better than expected economic recovery means not all the money allocated in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund has been spent, ... More>>

ALSO:


PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>

ALSO:

PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels