What is a Marriage?
A marriage is the formalisation of a relationship between a man and a woman, in accordance with the Marriage Act 1955. The Marriage Act 1955 provides the criteria, rules and processes for two people to have their relationship solemnised as a marriage (by way of a formal ceremony) and officially registered in New Zealand.
Anybody can marry in New Zealand, as long as they are legally free to marry. Under New Zealand law this means that:
- A marriage may only be entered into by couples of opposite sexes.
- They are not already married or in a civil union with a person other than the person they will be marrying (or if they have been married, the marriage has been dissolved by a court of law).
- They are old enough (16 or over, although parental consent is required if either party is 16 or 17 years old).
- They are not closely related by blood, marriage, civil union or adoption. Details of these “prohibited” marriages appear on the form ‘Notice of Intended Marriage’, which is used to apply for a marriage licence.
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 when you marry in New Zealand.
Marriages registered in other countries will generally be recognised as marriages in New Zealand. Note, same-sex couples may not be married in New Zealand.
Sourced on 5 August 2013
Marriage Act 1955: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1955/0092/latest/whole.html