The New Zealand Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages has released its online index for historical births deaths and marriages. Records are restricted according to their new privacy provisions to births more than 100 years old, still births more than 50 years old, marriages more than 80 years old, and deaths more than 50 years old where the deceased was born more than 80 years ago.
Once you have found a result that you think might be useful you can order a copy online for NZ$26.00 for records before 1874 and NZ$20.00 for records after 1874. This equates to about $21.00 or $16 Australian. If you are given a choice between a certificate and a computer printout make sure you ask for a computer printout – these are like photocopies and contain more information (and are cheaper!).
Birth results give parents’ given names for easier identification. Marriages can be searched by both parties’ names, although if you search by one name you don’t get the other one in the results list.
The website is here: http://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.identityservices.govt.nz/search/.
It’s slow at the moment but that may be because so many people are trying it out, like me! Sometimes it gives up and asks you to try again. I’m sure these problems will be resolved in time.
The days of poring over microfiche a year or a few years at a time and then sending a form and waiting a few weeks are over.