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Marriages, civil unions and divorces in New Zealand

A recent release from Statistics New Zealand has revealed that there were 20,231 marriages registered to New Zealand residents in 2011. This is the lowest number of marriages since 2001 when 19,972 weddings were celebrated. The number of divorces also dropped, down from 8,874 in 2010 to 8,551 in 2011.

In New Zealand, an application for divorce can be made by either partner on the grounds that the marriage has broken down irreconcilably, provided a two-year separation requirement is satisfied. However, couples may be separated for longer than two years before dissolving their marriage or may separate and never formally dissolve their marriage.

The statistics also revealed that 301 civil unions were registered to New Zealand residents, of which 23% were opposite-sex unions. Seventy-six of these civil unions were registered to overseas residents.


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