New Zealand Naturalization and Citizenship
In New Zealand, citizenship was a valuable privilege that included:
- Permission to reside in the country without being expelled
- Protections under the law
- The right to vote
- The right to own and inherit property
Naturalization is the process of granting citizenship privileges and responsibilities to residents. Before 1977, anyone living in New Zealand who was not of British or Irish origin was considered an alien. Citizenship was gained only through naturalization. Until 1870, aliens could live in New Zealand but were not allowed to own or inherit land unless they became naturalized. After 1870, they could own or lease property, but they were still not citizens and could not vote.
Before 1866, naturalization required an act of Parliament. From 1866, naturalization was obtained by application which called for name, age, birthplace, abode, occupation, and length of residence in New Zealand.
Lists of naturalized persons have been compiled from various sources including the records of Parliament and the New Zealand Gazette, which listed the names of newly-naturalized persons beginning in 1866. These compilations include The Register of Persons Naturalised in New Zealand to 1948 and Aliens Naturalised in New Zealand 1843-1916. Both sources are available at Archives New Zealand in Wellington. The "Aliens Naturalised in New Zealand 1843-1916" is also available at the Family History Library on microfiche. The library call numbers may be found by looking in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
NEW ZEALAND - NATURALIZATION AND CITIZENSHIP