The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


New marriage forms released

12 August 2013

Births, Deaths and Marriages has released new notice of intended marriage forms which all couples should use from 16 August, including same sex couples.

Couples will use the forms for marriages occurring from 19 August, the first day same sex couples can get married says Registrar-General of Births Deaths and Marriages, Jeff Montgomery.

“The new notification of marriage form includes the terms ‘bride’, ‘bridegroom’ and ‘partner’. Couples need to fill out the 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. Three days later we will issue the couple a marriage licence.”

Mr Montgomery anticipates a strong level of demand from same-sex couples to get married.

“We think there will be a lot of interest from same-sex couples in New Zealand and also from overseas, to get married. Same-sex couples in a civil union may also decide to change their civil union to a marriage. It’s really important that same-sex couples read up on the process so they know what they have to do.”

“From this Friday evening, we will be able to say how many same sex couples are intending to get married on the 19th and how many marriage licences we will issue to same sex couples.

“The Department is on track to deliver all the changes required to support the requirements of the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013. We are confident everything will be ready.”

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 and this will be updated on 19 August.

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 will define 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.

For more 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