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CU celebrant register underway

Tue 11 Jan 2005 In: New Zealand Daily News

Internal Affairs are in preparations to assemble a register of civil union celebrants before the Civil Union Act comes into effect on 26 April. Internal Affairs spokesman Tony Wallace says they expect interest will be generated by an advertising campaign run in major daily newspapers at the weekend encouraging people to register as celebrants, and reminding existing marriage celebrants that they will not automatically be civil union celebrants unless they register separately. “We need people to get their applications in, so we can start processing them and appointing people,” he says. “We need to get a register of civil union celebrants up and running before 26 April so that people coming in to get a civil union licence have got people they can choose from.” The president of the Celebrant Guild of New Zealand, Heather Scott-Worsley, said yesterday she believed not many of her members would apply to become civil union celebrants. However, an initial surge of enquiries to Internal Affairs after the Civil Union Bill passed last month showed plenty of interest from others. “We had general enquiries from the public, not just from celebrants,” says Wallace. “Some people who weren't exisiting celebrants were keen to become civil union celebrants, and they wanted to know the process. We've got forms on our website which people can download and send their applications in from, or we can post forms out.” Celebrants will be appointed by the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages. According to the Internal Affairs website, applicants must be people of good character, conscientiously perform the duties of a civil union celebrant, and there must be evidence that an appointment as a civil union celebrant is in the interests of either the public generally, or a particular community (whether defined by geography, interest, belief, or some other factor).    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Tuesday, 11th January 2005 - 12:00pm

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