In New Zealand, residence and citizenship are different. If you are granted residence, you retain your original citizenship. However, after you've lived here for a certain period of time you may apply for New Zealand citizenship and the right to hold a New Zealand Passport. New Zealand allows its citizens to hold multiple citizenships. However, some other countries do not allow this. You should check with the authorities of the country for which you currently hold citizenship before applying for New Zealand citizenship.Citizenship by birth
Since 1949 most people born in New Zealand have been New Zealand citizens by birth. Exceptions are people whose parents are foreign diplomats in New Zealand. However, people born in New Zealand on or after 1 January 2006 are only New Zealand citizens if one or both of their parents are New Zealand citizens or permanent residents. For citizenship purposes New Zealand includes the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau. All births in New Zealand must be registered at the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. From 1 January 2006, children born in New Zealand will acquire New Zealand citizenship at birth only if at least one of their parents: Is a New Zealand citizen Has permanent residency (ie is entitled to be in New Zealand or Australia indefinitely) Is entitled to reside indefinitely in the Cook Islands, Tokelau or Niue.Citizenship by grant
Migrants to New Zealand and people born here on or after 1 January 2006 who are not citizens at birth can apply for a grant of citizenship. Citizens by grant enjoy all the same rights and privileges as other New Zealand citizens. Adults must meet a number of requirements before they can obtain a grant of citizenship. Generally, they must have lived in New Zealand for at least 5 years, be of good character, have knowledge of the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship, and of the English language, and intend to continue to live in New Zealand. People with certain criminal convictions may not be able to become New Zealand citizens or may have to wait for a certain period after their conviction before they can become citizens.
New citizens are generally required to attend a citizenship ceremony to take the oath or affirmation of allegiance. Citizenship ceremonies are important occasions and are generally conducted by local authorities. At the ceremony new citizens make a public commitment to New Zealand by swearing allegiance to the Queen, and receive their citizenship certificates. Once they receive their certificates they are New Zealand citizens.
People born outside New Zealand whose parents are New Zealand citizens will be citizens by descent unless their parents are themselves citizens by descent. Citizens by descent who have registered their citizenship enjoy all the same rights and privileges as other New Zealand citizens, with one important exception. The exception is that citizens by descent cannot pass on their citizenship to children born outside New Zealand. Citizens by descent can apply for a grant of citizenship.Benefits of Citizenship
Benefits of citizenship are available to permanent residents also but there are some benefits that are only available to citizens, including: The right to enter and remain in New Zealand at any time; The right to travel on a New Zealand passport; The right to obtain assistance from New Zealand embassies and consulates when traveling overseas; The ability to stand as a candidate in local and general elections.
In addition, some educational scholarships and some public sector jobs are only open to New Zealand citizens, and only citizens can represent New Zealand in some international sport.