NewstalkZB (Auckland, NZ), Jan. 1, 2006
From today on, not every baby born in this country will automatically be a New Zealand citizen.
Changes to the Citizenship Act mean there are tighter rules on children acquiring citizenship at birth.
It will only happen now if at least one of their parents is a New Zealand citizen or is entitled to be in New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Tokelau or Niue indefinitely.
The changes have been brought in to recognise the value of citizenship.
Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Brian Clarke, says very few babies born in New Zealand will be affected by the changes.
The Department of Internal Affairs says the changes have been brought in to ensure the benefits of citizenship only go to those with a genuine and ongoing link to the country.
Meanwhile there has been a call to speed up the process of acquiring the right to live in New Zealand permanently.
Dr Nagalingham Rasalingham of the Refugee Council says the new rule delays the citizenship process for asylum seekers, which can be a very stressful time.
He says he will be writing to the Immigration Service to get some pace to the process.