In the last 12 months……
Heterosexual Civil unions: 81
Same-sex Civil unions: 377
Marriages: approx. 21,690
(Source: Department of Internal Affairs)
What we heard…….
Associate Justice Minister David Benson-Pope, who is in charge of the bill, said it would strengthen human rights and support the choices of the 300,000 people who were not married but lived in stable relationships – NZPA 9 March 2005
“The 25% of couples in New Zealand who live together without being married are deserving of protection by most of the laws which also cover married couples.” –Tim Barnett – NZ Herald 1 March 2005
“Marriage has a lot of inappropriate connotations. It carries associations with religion, belief etc. My personal interest is in a secular society and I think a civil unions bill is very important….” – Helen Clark – Express Magazine 11 February 2004
“It is quite clear from these comments by the political proponents of the Civil Union legislation, and now the release of the actual figures, that they totally misrepresented the demand and need for this legislation,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First Lobby. “NZ’ers didn’t feel discriminated against, and they didn’t have a problem with the religious connotations of marriage, which are not compulsory anyway!”
“Before this legislation there were only 8 complaints to the Human Rights Commission regarding discrimination,” says Bob McCoskrie.
“Civil Unions represent 2% of total marriages / civil unions! Quite obviously, there never was and is still no significant demand or need for this legislation.”