The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Services › Births Deaths and Marriages › Marriages

Births, Deaths and Marriages is responsible for the registration of all marriages that take place in New Zealand, and for the upkeep of, and access to those records. Through Births, Deaths and Marriages you can:

Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013

The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act will come into force on 19 August 2013.

Summary of changes within the Amendment Act:
  • The Amendment Act specifies that a marriage is between two people regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
  • As a result of this change, it is expected that same-sex married couples will be eligible, under the Adoption Act 1955, to apply jointly to adopt a child.
  • The Amendment Act clarifies that no marriage celebrant of a religious body or an approved organisation is obliged to solemnise a marriage would contravene the religious beliefs of the religious body or the religious beliefs or philosophical or humanitarian convictions of the approved organisation.
  • The Amendment Act enables transgender people to continue to be married regardless of their gender identity.
Note: A marriage licence is not issued before the 3rd day after the day notice was given. Similarly, a Registry Office marriage could not occur before the 3rd day after the day notice was given.

For more information see our Marriage Amendment Act - Questions & Answers.

Changes to network of Registry Offices

In March 2013, there were a number of changes to the network of Registry Offices that provide marriage and civil union-related registry services. Futher information is provided in this '
Notice of March 2013 changes to marriage and civil union Registry Offices' (PDF, 3 pages, 903kb)

Registry Office ceremonies are now available in Henderson

A Registrar is now available in Henderson to perform marriage and civil union Registry Office ceremonies on Fridays between 10.00am and 3.30pm at our new location at the Hubwest in Henderson, Auckland.

For bookings you will need to make prior arrangements at one of our Auckland offices when giving notice of your intended marriage or civil union.