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No Civil Union Licence Appplications Before April

25 February 2005

No Civil Union Licence Appplications To Be Accepted Before 26 April

Applications for civil union licences will not be accepted until 26 April 2005 the Department of Internal Affairs confirmed today.

Brian Clarke, Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages, says the Civil Union Act does not allow early acceptance of licence applications. “The Act is quite specific that civil union licence applications can only be accepted from the effective date of the legislation which is 26 April. Generally people applying for civil union licences must wait at least three days after applying. This is the same requirement that applies to marriage licences.

“However, in exceptional circumstances the local Registrar may exercise their discretion and issue the licence within the three day period. Such decisions are made on very rare occasions and on a case-by case basis,” says Brian Clarke.

He says customers attempting to lodge applications early will be requested to resubmit them on or after 26 April.

An application form will be provided on the www.bdm.govt.nz website in the week prior to 26 April.

Meanwhile, the Department of Internal Affairs says the processing of celebrant applications is progressing well. Brian Clarke says approximately 600 applications have been received from around New Zealand.

“We expect to have a good number of appointments confirmed and announced early in April. Appointments reflect the needs of communities and we will ensure there is as good a geographical coverage of celebrants as possible. We will also have in place public registry services through a network of registry offices,” says Brian Clarke.

Information about civil unions can be obtained through the Freephone number 0800 22 52 52 or on the website at www.bdm.govt.nz

ENDS

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