You need to apply for leave in writing to your employer, and you must submit this at least three months before your due date.
Include in the written document what type of leave you want to take (for example, paid parental leave plus unpaid leave) and you need to state when you want your leave to start and how long it will be for.
You must also attach a certificate, or copy of a certificate, from your LMC (find one here!)stating when your baby is due.
Once your employer receives your letter applying for leave, they have seven days to ask for any required information which you may not have previously given them.
When your employer has received all the extra information (which you must provide within 14 days of their requesting it), they must reply to you within 21 days, stating whether you are entitled to take parental leave, your legal rights and obligations, and whether your job can be kept open.
Once you and your employer have agreed on your leave arrangements, you will need to apply to Inland Revenue for parental leave payments. It's a good idea to fill out and submit this form at the same time you submit your letter requesting leave to your employer.
If your employer says that your job cannot be kept open for you, you are able to dispute that, and you will also have preference for similar jobs for six months after the end of your parental leave.
It's rare that an employer can decline leave, and if you disagree with your employer's decision, you can ask Employment New Zealand to investigate the decision on your behalf.