Department of Internal Affairs

Also known as:

  • Te Tari Taiwhenua

Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs "is the public service department of New Zealand charged with issuing passports; administering applications for citizenship and lottery grants; enforcing censorship and gambling laws; registering births, deaths, marriages and civil unions; supplying support services to ministers; and advising the government on a range of relevant policies and issues." (wikipedia)

It has its origins in the "Colonial Secretary's Office, which from the time New Zealand became a British colony, in 1840, was responsible for almost all central government duties." Michael Bassett, Minister for Internal Affairs (1987-1990), has written a history of the department: The Mother of All Departments (1997).

Initially responsible for the government's support for public art and arts funding, in 1975 these passed to an independent ministerial portfolio and then a separate Ministry of Cultural Affairs (now Ministry for Culture and Heritage) in 1991.

Archives New Zealand and the National Library are both sections of the Department within Te Haumi – Enterprise Partnerships.

See also:

Fred Graham (Ngāti Koroki Kahukura), ‘Four Winds and Seven Seas’ (1985), Archives New Zealand, Thorndon, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington

Image: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2022