NSI Authorised Information Matching Programme

This page provides information relating to the National Student Index (NSI) Information Matching Agreement (IMA) for Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM). The current matching concerns Births (Birth Dates), Citizenship Status and Names held on the NSI (maintained by the Ministry of Education) with the information held on the New Zealand Birth Register (maintained by the Department of Internal Affairs). This page provides more details on Information Matching, the purpose of the Programme, legal implications for privacy matters and links to learn more.

Information for Students

What is an 'information matching programme'?

An information matching programme is where one government agency compares the information it holds about you with information another government agency holds.

Who's doing it?

The Ministry of Education (MoE) is going to match data held on the National Student Index (NSI) with that on the New Zealand Birth Register held by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA).

The NSI is a system in which every tertiary student and NCEA candidate in New Zealand is allocated a unique identifier called a National Student Number (NSN). For more information about the NSI please visit National Student Index (NSI).

What are we doing?

In this information matching programme we will firstly check to see if a person is on both databases. If we find that they are, and that the details on the NSI match the details on the birth register, a note will be put on the matched NSI record to indicate that the name and date of birth details have been verified by the birth register.

Why are we doing it?

The purpose of this information matching programme is to lessen the chances of a student who already has an NSN being allocated a second one. If a student is allocated more than one NSN it adversely affects the quality of the data on the NSI. As the NSI data is used to verify a student's enrolment for reporting and/or funding purposes and to analyse trends and set policy we want to make sure that the data is as accurate as possible.

Is it legal?

Section 78A and Schedule 1A of the Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Act 1995 allow us to carry out this information matching programme.

An agreement between MoE and DIA sets out how the programme will be run. This agreement has to be lodged with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, and will be reviewed as part of their normal function.

Pursuant to Rule 1 of the Information Matching Rules (Schedule 5, Privacy Act 2020) we have to try and let everyone who might be affected know what's going on. This page is one of the ways that we are letting you know.

How will this affect you?

The MoE receives a data return from your tertiary institution every four months. Part of this process involves the inclusion of an NSN for each student enrolment. Through your institution's access to the NSI they will be informed of any match made between your NSI record and the Birth Register.

This information matching programme will not affect where you can study, what you can study or any money you might get or have to pay.

Can you check the information we have on you?

We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the data that is held on the NSI. You can request a copy of your student information, and corrections to your information, through the school or education provider you're currently enrolled with.

Where can you find out more?

For more information about the Department of Internal Affairs' Information Matching Programmes, visit the Department of Internal Affairs website.(external link)

If you would like to find out more about information matching generally, see the Office of the Privacy Commissioner Fact Sheet No 5 at http://www.privacy.org.nz/data-matching/overview/(external link).

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