Mar­riage equal­ity in Aus­tralia not ex­pected to have large im­pact on re­sort

Otago Daily Times - - REGIONS - GUY WIL­LIAMS

A LUX­URY su­per yacht op­er­a­tor says a move towards mar­riage equal­ity across the Tas­man will only make a slight dent in Queen­stown’s boom­ing mar­riage in­dus­try.

Af­ter Aus­tralians over­whelm­ingly voted in favour of same­sex mar­riage in a postal sur­vey, Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull said yes­ter­day he wanted the fed­eral Par­lia­ment to ap­prove same­sex mar­riage laws be­fore Christ­mas.

Pa­cific Jemm man­ager Blair Payne said Queen­stown’s wed­ding in­dus­try had al­ways known it was a ‘‘mat­ter of time’’ be­fore Aus­tralia fol­lowed New Zealand in mak­ing the change.

He es­ti­mated the seg­ment made up 3% of the re­sort’s wed­ding in­dus­try, which ben­e­fited busi­nesses such as cater­ers, pho­tog­ra­phers, limou­sine ser­vices, cel­e­brants and wed­ding co­or­di­na­tors.

‘‘It was nice to have, but you don’t rely on it. It’s not like it’s go­ing to shut down any busi­ness.

‘‘We treat it as a cou­ple of years of a bonus, al­ways know­ing that some­thing would hap­pen in Aus­tralia.’’

Mr Payne said the re­sort would con­tinue to be a mag­net for mar­riages, in­clud­ing same­sex cou­ples, par­tic­u­larly from Aus­tralia.

‘‘Prob­a­bly 90% of my clien­tele who had their wed­dings on the boat were from Aus­tralia.

‘‘Not only do you have the cou­ple, you have 40 rel­a­tives who come over and visit Queen­stown as well.

‘‘Re­gard­less of any law change, we’re still a bril­liant venue to come to.’’

Of the more than 12 mil­lion Aus­tralians who par­tic­i­pated in the sur­vey, 61.6% voted in sup­port of mar­riage equal­ity. The re­sponse rate was 79.5%.

New Zealand le­galised same­sex mar­riage in 2013.

The Otago Daily re­ported in March the re­sort’s wed­ding in­dus­try had boomed, with a huge in­crease in wed­dings with Aus­tralians — es­pe­cially gay cou­ples — since then.

It is es­ti­mated the re­sort hosts more than 1000 wed­dings a year, as well as bless­ing cer­e­monies for Ja­panese and Chi­nese vis­i­tors.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.