In the last 12 months……
Heterosexual Civil unions: 78
Same-sex Civil unions: 319
(Source: Statistics New Zealand)
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
“The demand and need for the Civil Unions legislation has proved to be unwarranted,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “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.”
“Where are the 300,000 people who were lining up to be civil-unioned?” asks Mr McCoskrie.
“Civil Unions represent less than 2% of total marriages and civil unions. Yet huge resources and time and energy were spent by politicians enacting this legislation. Quite obviously, there never was and is still no significant demand or need for this legislation.”
“According to the latest Census, more than 2/3’rds of NZ’ers in a partnership has chosen marriage. Politicians should be supporting and enacting policies and legislation which supports this choice and strengthens these marriages.”