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926 same sex marriages since law change

MEDIA RELEASE 18 August 2014

926 same sex marriages since law change

Nine hundred and twenty six same sex couples were married in New Zealand in the year since the successful implementation of changes to the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act.

The provisional figures show one quarter of the same-sex couples (237) are Australian. The total figure of 926 includes 532 New Zealand couples, says Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Jeff Montgomery.

“We are seeing continued national and international interest by same sex couples in getting married in New Zealand. Almost 400 overseas couples have come to New Zealand to get married, which is great for our tourism industry.

“More than 200 of the 532 kiwi same sex couples to marry have changed the form of their relationship from a civil union to a marriage, since 19 August 2013.

Civil unions are still an option for same sex and male/female couples.

“There has been a drop in the number of same sex civil unions, to 20 per cent of the number before the law change took effect. A number of male/female couples continue to choose civil unions.

“Overall, we are really pleased the implementation of the changes to the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act has gone so well.

"Couples intending to get married, need to fill out a notice of intended marriage form and then one of the couple needs to bring the form to a Registry Office, make a statutory declaration in front of a Registrar of Marriages and pay the fee. Births, Deaths and Marriages, and our agents have issued a number of marriage licences for same sex couples which are valid for three months.”

Same sex couples have been able to get married in New Zealand since 19 August 2013.

Same-sex marriage provisional statistics for the year since the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act took effect on 19 August 2013 (19 August 2013 to 18 August 2014 inclusive). Country is based on usual residential address of each party:

Female-Female = 520 (of these 119 were a change of relationship from civil union)
o 333 couples from New Zealand
o 118 couples from Australia
o 11 couples from China
o nine couples from Singapore
o seven couples from United Kingdom

Male-Male = 406 (of these 95 were a change of relationship from civil union)
o 199 couples from New Zealand
o 120 couples from Australia
o 17 couples from China
o six couples from Thailand
o six couples from the United Kingdom

Civil Unions = 66 (equivalent period 2012/13 = 331)

o 15 were female couples
o 13 were male couples
o 38 were male/female couples

Notes for journalists
• Marriage forms record the date of the marriage but not the time of day the marriage occurred
• The number of marriage licences does not necessarily relate to the number of marriages. Marriage licences are valid for three months and some couples may decide not to get married during that time.
• Information on how to get married is currently available on the Department of Internal Affairs website

• The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act defines marriage as "the union of two people, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity".

• All couples getting married in New Zealand must follow the correct process, including being married by an approved marriage celebrant or a Registrar of Marriages. The Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages within the Department appoints marriage celebrants, registers marriages and produces marriage certificates.

© Scoop Media

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