Legal Name Change (by Statutory Declaration)
Legal name change was once done via Deed Poll, however this changed in 1995 when the process of name change was streamlined. Legal name change now occurs via Statutory Declaration and is administrated by Births, Deaths and Marriages.
When changing your name, you have two options:
1) Name change by association. Notify your family, friends and colleagues of your new name and start using it immediately. Your name change will have taken effect by reputation in the community and you can use your new name without taking any formal steps. Certain organisations will not issue official documentation under your new name (such as the passport office and banks), so you will still have your old name on legal documentation but have a new name in the community by association.
A common example of name change by association is when people are commonly known by their middle name, or a nick name (ie: Robert is Bob). It is legal to be commonly known by any name, but it will not be officially recognised on legal documents.
2) Undertake a legal name change via Births, Deaths and Marriages. This process is best if you want to have your identity documents such as your passport, drivers license and bank accounts changed into your new name.
Any New Zealand citizen or permanent resident aged 18 years or over can apply for a Name Change by Statutory Declaration at Births, Deaths and Marriages. If you are an Australian living in New Zealand and are considering a legal name change, read our special section here.
Once you have legally changed your name you will typically need to notify around 15-20 companies of your new name. The Easy Name Change kit takes the hassle out of knowing what steps to take to register your name change, and to start notifying companies of your new name. We also send you some of the popular forms you need. Save yourself hours of research in knowing what your options are and how you go about changing your name. The less time you spend chasing information, the sooner you can get on with life!