Document certification by trusted referee

As part of our identity requirements if a face to face (eg. video call) is not possible to verify customer they must supply certified ID document. Certified documents are a copy of your original documents witnessed by a trusted referee.

This article will describe who a trusted referee is in New Zealand and overseas. There are exclusions to who cannot be a trusted referee. And finally what the procedure the trusted referee must perform in order to have the documents accepted. 

In New Zealand

In New Zealand a trusted referee must be at least 16 years of age and one of the following:

  1. Commonwealth representative (as defined in the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957)
  2. Member of the police
  3. Justice of the peace
  4. Registered medical doctor
  5. Kaumātua (as verified through a reputable source)
  6. Registered teacher
  7. Minister of religion
  8. Lawyer (as defined in the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006)
  9. Notary public
  10. New Zealand Honorary consul
  11. Member of Parliament
  12. Chartered accountant (within the meaning of section 19 of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants Act 1996)
  13. A person who has the legal authority to take statutory declarations or the equivalent in New Zealand


Certification when overseas

When certification occurs overseas, copies of international identification provided by a customer resident overseas must be certified by a person authorised by law in that country to take statutory declarations or equivalent in the customer’s country.



In addition, the trusted referee must not be:

  1. related to the customer; for example, a trusted referee cannot be their parent, child, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or cousin
  2. the spouse or partner of the customer
  3. a person who lives at the same address as the customer
  4. a person involved in the transaction or business requiring the certification.



  1. The trusted referee must sight the original documentary identification, and make statement to the effect that the documents provided are a true copy and represent the identity of the named individual (eg. they need to link the documents to the presenter).
  2. Certification must include the name, signature, and the date of certification. The trusted referee must specify their capacity to act as a trusted referee (eg. doctor, public notary etc).
  3. Certification must have been carried out in the three months preceding the presentation of the copied documents.



Have more questions? Submit a request


Powered by Zendesk