58% of the same-sex couples were from Australia and 17% were from China
Same-sex couples from across the Asia Pacific are flocking to New Zealand to get married.
New Zealand is the only country in the region to legally recognize same-sex marriages.
Stats NZ today revealed that almost half of all of the same-sex marriages and civil unions were couples from overseas.
Last year 954 same-sex weddings or civil unions were performed in New Zealand in 2016. 483 of those were couples living in New Zealand. The other 471 were couples who had come from overseas to marry in the country.
‘Couples from Australia accounted for 58% of overseas same-sex couples coming here to marry,’ population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said.
‘A further 17% came from China.’
The case was different for straight weddings with only 11% of people coming from overseas to get married in New Zealand.
There was also another key difference between overseas same-sex and heterosexual marriages in New Zealand. Only 21% of same-sex couples had one or both members of the couple born in New Zealand and it was 56% for straight couples.
Same-sex marriages are a long way off for many countries in the region with Australia and Taiwan the closest to changing their laws.
In most Australian states, same-sex couples married overseas can have their union recognized in the country.