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Civil Union Services Available From Tuesday

22 April 2005

Civil Union Services Available From Tuesday

From Tuesday next week customers will be able to access civil union services throughout New Zealand, the Department of Internal Affairs said today.

The Civil Union Act comes into effect on Tuesday 26 April, allowing couples to apply for and enter into civil unions.

Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages Brian Clarke says the Department has been working towards this “go live” date since the legislation was passed at the end of last year.

“From Tuesday, our offices and agencies across New Zealand can accept applications for civil union licences. Applicants will need to attend in person when seeking a licence, as a statutory declaration is required. It is a legislative requirement that licences cannot be issued earlier than the third day after application, so we don’t expect any ceremonies to take place until 29 April.

“With the recent appointment and publication of a national network of over 600 civil union celebrants, customers can be confident of accessing celebrant services nationwide for a private or registry office ceremony,” says Brian Clarke.

He says information about civil unions, including downloadable forms, have been available on the website www.bdm.govt.nz for several weeks, together with a customer brochure that provides information about civil unions and includes how to apply for a licence and an outline of the ceremony.

“We are pleased that we have the people, systems, processes and agency arrangements in place for the introduction of civil unions next week. We will continue the process of appointing civil union celebrants as applications are received and we will be closely monitoring the delivery of our services to ensure we are meeting our customers’ expectations while honouring our responsibilities under the Civil Union Act,” concludes Brian Clarke.

The approved list of civil union celebrants is available on our website and also in the New Zealand Gazette dated 21 April. Customers requiring further information about civil unions can access the website on www.bdm.govt.nz or call Freephone number 0800 22 52 52.

ENDS

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