The news comes as Merriam Webster declares the pronoun ‘they’ to be 2019’s word of the year.   

In a win for gender diverse New Zealanders, MSD will allow a 3rd gender option on forms. 

Work and Income and Studylink have updated their systems to allow for a third gender option to be chosen by those using their services. 


The move comes after a period of community consultation carried out by the Ministry. 

The new system will allow for individuals to ‘self-identify’ as either male, female or gender diverse, with no requirement for supporting documentation. 

Birth certificates and other ID will not need to be changed to reflect the decision and it will be free for people to update their details. 

Those wishing to update their details can do so either in person or by calling WINZ 0800 559 009 or StudyLink 0800 88 99 00.

The announcement form MSD comes as the Marriam Webster dictionary announce the personal pronoun ‘they’ as the word of the year. 

Merriam-Webster decided to declare the personal pronoun their word of the year based on a 313% increase in look-ups on the company’s search site,, in 2019, compared to 2018.