Media release

Independent MP Dr Elizabeth Kerekere Acknowledges ‘bitter-sweet’ Day For Trans, Intersex And Non-binary People

Independent MP Dr Elizabeth Kerekere acknowledges ‘bitter-sweet’ day as self-ID for trans, intersex and non-binary people excludes people born overseas

The amendments to the BDMRR (Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationship Registration Act) come into effect today, allowing trans, intersex and non-binary people to change the sex marker on their birth certificate.

“Today is a day of celebration with another milestone for Rainbow communities. Trans, intersex and non-binary people can now self-identify (self-ID) their sex marker on their birth certificate by choosing between ‘female’, ‘male’, ‘non-binary’ and ‘other’.

“I acknowledge Rainbow Greens and all the community organisations who encouraged people to make submissions at the time. Gender Minorities Aotearoa was the community lead for this for several years and Rainbow Path advocated directly to the Minister for refugees, asylum seekers, and recent migrants. Tīwhanawhana, Te Ngākau Kahukura, InsideOUT, OutLine, RainbowYOUTH, F’INE, the parents of transgender and gender-diverse children, and the Counting Ourselves and Identify research teams were all actively involved.”

“I acknowledge Hon Jan Tinetti who led this legislation as the former Minister of Internal Affairs, to remove unnecessary and discriminatory barriers. I appreciate the trust she had in me to work directly with her officials to develop additional sex/gender markers, particularly in te reo Māori, and start the work of including trans, intersex and non-binary people born overseas.”

“But today is bitter-sweet. People who hold birth certificates from other countries will not have access to the self-ID process, including residents, recent migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Community advocates consistently raised this issue through their written and oral submissions to the Governance and Administration Committee. It is unacceptable that after 18 months the Government stopped trying to come up with a solution.”

“The work is not over until every person who makes their home in this country, can have birth certificates and documents of identity that reflect who they are, no matter where they were born or what sex they were assigned at birth.