NZ’s same-sex honeymoon at risk
New Zealand wedding destinations could lose business if Australia votes ‘‘yes’’ to same-sex marriages, industry experts say.
A final result in national referendum on November 15.
However, New Zealand has to date been happily cashing in on Australia’s conservatism. Since legalising same-sex marriage in 2013, New Zealand’s same-sex tourism industry has exploded as couples travelled from overseas to tie the knot.
Statistics New Zealand figures for 2016 show 471 same-sex marriages or civil unions were registered to overseas residents, almost the same as the total number of same-sex Kiwi couples who tied the knot: 483.
Dan Jarvis and Allen Broad travelled from Brisbane to Queenstown for their September wedding.
The couple had been together 15 years and had wanted to get married ‘‘for quite a while’’, Jarvis said. ‘‘The Australian Government were too slow to get with reality and with the rest of the world.’’
More than 50 family and friends made the trip.
There would be a big drop in the number of Aussies coming to New Australia’s is expected
Zealand to get married, should Australia make gay marriage legal, he said.
One of Sydney’s leading civil wedding celebrants, Stephen Lee, said New Zealand would always be a place for destination weddings, but agreed that the number of
same-sex ceremonies would if Australia voted ‘‘yes’’.
Lee specialises in ceremonies for same-sex couples who marry in New Zealand, and he also holds a ceremony back in Australia so that the couple’s family and friends can celebrate with them.
‘‘Many of those couples would have preferred to have married at home, but were forced to go overseas,’’ Lee said.
Australia’s wedding industry had already begun preparing to cash in on same-sex marriage.
Auckland marriage celebrant
Sheryl Mungall says reform in Australia would have a big impact on her business and tourism generally.
‘‘Most couples also honeymoon before or after their wedding here so that can bring in a lot of spending.’’
Allen Broad and Dan Jarvis of Brisbane married in Queenstown in early September rather than wait for Australia to ‘‘get with reality’’.