DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change
without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed to practice in the relevant
New Zealand and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Convention (Hague Abduction Convention) since October 1, 1991.
For information concerning travel to New Zealand, including information about the location of the U.S. Consulate General, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for New Zealand.
The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention. In this capacity, the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizen Services, Office of Children's Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including New Zealand. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
The New Zealand Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention is located in the Ministry of Justice. The Central Authority has an administrative role in processing Hague Abduction Convention applications by reviewing applications received and, if complete, forwarding to the nearest District Court. They can be reached at:
New Zealand Central Authority
Ministry of Justice
Level 3 Vogel Centre
19 Aitken Street
To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in New Zealand, the left-behind parent or the relevant Central Authority must submit a Hague application along with supporting documentation to the New Zealand Central Authority. The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the New Zealand Central Authority, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes.
There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or New Zealand central authorities. Court costs and attorney fees are covered by New Zealand's legal assistance program. The left-behind parent may be required to cover additional costs, including travel arrangements for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.
A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, New Zealand. The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.
A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in New Zealand. The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country. The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.
Retaining a private attorney is not required in order to submit a Hague Convention application to a court in New Zealand. The New Zealand Central Authority will appoint an attorney for left-behind parents who are pursuing the return of or access to a child who was habitually resident in a Convention country. The New Zealand Central Authority provides legal assistance to applicants regardless of their financial situation.
The U.S. Consulate General in Auckland, New Zealand, posts list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law.
This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers..
The New Zealand Central Authority strongly promotes mediation in abduction cases and will attempt to initiate mediation in all Hague Abduction Convention cases. Counsel appointed to represent the left-behind parent will investigate mediation options for the parents.
The U.S. Consulate General in New Zealand can be contacted at:
U.S. Consulate General Auckland
Street Address: 3rd Floor,
23 Customs St, (cnr. Commerce St)
Ph: +64 9 303 2724 ext: 2800 *
Fax: +64 9 366 0870 *
Website: U.S. Consulate General Auckland
The Embassy of New Zealand is located in Washington, D.C. at:
Embassy of New Zealand
Street Address: 37 Observatory Circle NW,
Washington, DC 20008,
United States of America
Telephone +1 202 328 4800
Facsimile +1 202 667 5227
Website: New Zealand Embassy Washington
Office hours Mon - Fri 0830 - 1230, 1330 -1700 hrs