Government Confirms Gender Self ID Bill Remains “On Pause”

Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin

Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin has confirmed that the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill will not be reintroduced before this year’s election.

In news which will dismay many transgender Kiwis, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin says the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill more commonly known as the ‘Gender Self ID’ bill will not be reintroduced during this parliamentary term.

Speaking to the NZ Herald, Minister Martin says the bill is on “pause.”

“It’s still on pause. Due to Covid and the complications around it, it’s very unlikely it is going to move forward prior to the election” Martin says.

The bill was initially introduced last year but was deferred so it could be worked on further.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told express in February that the bill needed to be reworked so the legislation wouldn’t be challenged in courts resulting in individuals being made into test cases.

A working group was established which included Georgina Beyer to oversee changes to the bill’s wording.

That working group has now found that is possible, although not widely known, that New Zealanders can change their birth certificate without attending court or undergoing medical procedures.

Gender Minorities Aotearoa national co-ordinator Te Ahi Wi-Hongi told the NZ Herald, that while they were welcoming of the finding, they were disappointed there wouldn’t be any legislative changes this side of the election.

“It’s hard to say what will happen after an election and who will be making the decisions. We are aware that things might remain how they are now.”