The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) tracks, provides public information on, and manages the country’s births, deaths, passports, citizenship, and marriages.

Applying to become a celebrant in New Zealand was a paper-based process that resulted in a significant manual overhead for the Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) team. An applicant would need to fill out a large paper form, attach multiple support letters and documentation, and then send this off to the BDM team in the post. Once received, this application, and all emails and communications, would then have to be manually processed – a difficult task when the team received thousands of renewal applications at once.


“Moving thousands of marriage celebrants online is an important step in modernising New Zealand’s marriage processes. We were thrilled to work with Datacom to deliver a truly exceptional experience for those wanting to apply to become a celebrant or renew their annual licence. By using AWS and RealMe, celebrants can now manage all their licencing processes online – applying, attaching documents, amending contact details and even uploading their photo to our public facing website. Processing and approval of applications is fully digital, with connections to 40 locations across New Zealand.”

Jeff Montgomery, registrar general (Births, Deaths, Marriages and Citizenship), New Zealand Government


An online process where applicants could apply, renew and update their details, was clearly needed. The solution: ‘Celebrants Online’.

Starting with an Agile MVP (minimum viable product) approach, Celebrants Online was built on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and used RealMe, the DIA’s identity management service, which was also built in conjunction with Datacom.

Now thousands of new and current applicants can apply for and manage their licences online.


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