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New Zealand's Same-Sex Marriage Act; Pre-requisites

Equally Wed - Wednesday, August 14, 2013

 With five days to go until same-sex couples can legally marry, it is worth looking at a few things if you are considering the leap to tie the knot. 

A marriage is still defined as a “formalisation between a man and a woman" but l am sure that will change in the coming weeks on the website. 

If you live in New Zealand it is slightly easier than for an international couple, but it is simply down to a timing issue from what we can see.

It does states on the website “If you do not live in New Zealand, you should check with the authorities in the place where you normally live to see if there are any special steps you must take or rules that apply”.

New Zealand residents simply need to complete a Notice of Intended Marriage (BDM 60) form (three working days in advance), in person as it contains a statutory declaration that you are required to make at the registrar of Marriages


Residents outside of NZ:

International couples or should l say a couple that resides outside of NZ have two options:

  1. Arrive three days working days early and lodge your application as per the above details.
  2. If you cannot arrive three working days early then this is your only option:

    You can send the form (BDM 60) to the New Zealand Registrar of Marriages closest to where you intend to marry once you have completed the form, signed the statutory declaration and had it witnessed by a Commonwealth Representative. If it is convenient, you can have the declaration witnessed by a Commonwealth Representative, at our Sydney office.

       [Births, Deaths & Marriages, Level 10 55 Hunter St, Sydney NSW 1300 559 535]

When applying for a marriage license you are required to provide the date that is at least three days after your completed form reaches the register.

Your payment must accompany the documentation that is to be sent to the closest registrar office to where you intend to marry.

Changing a Civil Union into a Marriage:

If you wish to change your relationship from a civil union to a marriage you will need to complete a Notice of Intended Marriage, change or relationship from a civil union (BDM 59).

In this process you will not need to dissolve your civil union, but this again needs to be signed before a registrar of marriages in New Zealand.

For more information you can take a look at this link below:


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