The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


82 same sex marriages since law change

19 September 2013

Eighty-two same sex couples have got married since 19 August 2013, the first day same sex couples could get married in New Zealand.

Twenty-four couples came from six countries (Australia, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, United States) to marry in New Zealand. The total figure of 82 includes 58 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."

"Couples 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. We expect the number of same sex weddings to increase as we move into spring.”


Same-sex marriage statistics since 19 August 2013. Country is based on usual residential address of each party

  • Female-Female = 42 (of these 20 were a change of relationship from civil union)
    • 7 couples from Australia
    • 2 couples from China
    • 1 couple from Hong Kong
    • 1 couple from United Kingdom
  • Male-Male = 40 (of these 18 were a change of relationship from civil union)
    • 6 couples from Australia
    • 4 couples from Thailand
    • 1 couple from USA
    • 1 couple from China
    • One marriage where only one of the couple was from overseas (Australia)
    • 1 couple were from the Philippines and the USA

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 enables couples to marry regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. The new definition of marriage in the Marriage 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.

Further information: Marriage Amendment Act - Questions and Answers

Media Contact:

Michael Mead
Communications Account Manager, Service Delivery and Operations
The Department of Internal Affairs Te Tari Taiwhenua
Phone 64 4 382 3437; mobile 64 21 245 7451