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How did you get baby names from the 30s?

I don't understand how name data was available before the 60s.

The truth

Explaining how the data is received

Response from
Department of Internal Affairs


The requirement to register births came into effect in 1848. I note that there are also some birth records dating back to 1840. In case it is of interest to you, here is the link to a timeline which shows how and when birth information was recorded; The current birth registration system, LifeData, was introduced in 1998 and all birth registrations received from 1 January 1998 onwards are entered into this system at the time of registration. Registrations that occurred prior to 1998 have been backcaptured into LifeData. This means that all New Zealand birth records are in the system and therefore name data can be pulled from that system, including from historical records. As this information may be of interest to other members of the public, the Department has decided to proactively release a copy of this response on the DIA website. All requestor data, including your name and contact details, will be removed prior to release. The released response will be made available here: You have the right to seek an investigation and review by the Ombudsman of this decision. Information about how to make a complaint is available at or freephone 0800 802 602.

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