Guidelines for University support for trans and gender-diverse students’ legal name change
'Trans' and 'gender-diverse' staff and students prefer these terms, which are used here.
The University of Auckland is committed to achieving an inclusive and equitable study and work environment.
- a diverse student body of the highest possible academic potential (Objective 4)
- a high quality learning environment that maximises the opportunity for all our students to succeed and provides them with an inclusive, intellectually challenging and transformative educational experience (Objective 7)
- a safe and healthy environment (Objective 17).
Issue for trans and gender-diverse students
LGBTQITakatapui+ staff and students are an equity group within the University of Auckland's Equity Policy. Trans and gender-diverse students’ experiences and University of Auckland research have identified that use of preferred rather than legal names is key to the provision of a safe and inclusive environment for trans and gender-diverse students. Inappropriate use of legal names can lead to “outing” and associated negative consequences including to health, safety and wellbeing.
Consistent use of preferred names in a range of University settings is not currently possible with existing systems.
Changing legal names would be a solution for many trans and gender-diverse students. However, the cost of a legal name change and associated documentation is a barrier for a number of trans and gender-diverse students. The University of Auckland will therefore cover the cost of legal name changes for trans and gender-diverse students who meet eligibility criteria as assessed by the Equity Office - Te Ara Tautika.
Application for legal name change support
The Equity Office Te Ara Tautika is responsible for the implementation of legal name-change support for trans and gender-diverse students who are enrolled at the University of Auckland. Applicants will make a request (by email or mail) to the Pro Vice-Chancellor Equity identifying their eligibility for legal name change support and details of the payments requested. The Equity Office will arrange a meeting between the applicant and the Pro Vice-Chancellor Equity or her nominee on receipt of the application. Applicants are welcome to bring support people with them to the meeting.
Trans and gender-diverse students who are enrolled at the University of Auckland from November 2014 are eligible for payment for costs associated with one legal name change.
Approval for legal name change support payment will be given by the Pro Vice-Chancellor Equity, or nominee, based on the application and following the meeting with the applicant.
All applicants’ personal information supplied to the University is protected by the Privacy Act, which places strict requirements on the use and disclosure of personal information. For more information please visit Privacy at the University of Auckland.
Eligible students will be reimbursed for:
- the cost of the legal name change through the Department of Internal Affairs (visit Services-Births-Deaths-and-Marriages-Forms)
- a birth certificate or a name change certificate if born outside NZ (visit Services-Births-Deaths-and-Marriages-Changing-a-Name)
- a new passport (standard service fee) (visit www.passports.govt.nz/Transgender-applicants) Note: applicants can change their gender marker on their passport at the same time as it is reissued for no additional cost, without going through the Family Court.
- replacement degree certificate (visit Change Name on your official record)
- University of Auckland student ID card.
Once an application has been approved by the Pro Vice-Chancellor Equity, or nominee, the University of Auckland will transfer the required funds into the applicant’s bank account prior to their name change application, allowing the applicant to then use those funds to pay for the required changes.
The applicant will provide the Pro Vice-Chancellor Equity with documentary confirmation within two months that the name change has been made and with copies of receipts for the payments.
- Trans and gender-diverse students and staff are encouraged to join Trans on Campus (firstname.lastname@example.org), which is a support network, social group and advocacy group for gender diverse students and staff.
- To join the LGBTQITakatāpui+ Student and Staff Network, which is coordinated by the Equity Office, contact Dr Terry O’Neill (email@example.com), Director - Student Equity.
The Pro Vice-Chancellor Equity and the Equity Office are committed to on-going responsiveness to and support for trans and gender-diverse students and staff. We welcome feedback on how this support may be enhanced.
Dr Terry O’Neill, Director - Student Equity
Phone: 09 373 73599 ext 88211