TODAY |

NZ tourism boosted by same-sex marriage

The tourism industry has been given a boost by the legislation of gay marriage with new figures revealing a quarter of same-sex couples married have been Australian.

A same-sex wedding cake

Nearly 1,000 same-sex couples have been married since the passing of the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act one year ago.

The Department of Internal Affairs says provisional figures show 532 of the couples were New Zealanders while 237 were Australian.

"We are seeing continued national and international interest by same sex couples in getting married in New Zealand," says Registrar-General Jeff Montgomery.

"Almost 400 overseas couples have come to New Zealand to get married, which is great for our tourism industry."

New South Wales couple Paul McCarthy and Trent Kandler have returned to Wellington to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.

They were the first same-sex Australian couple to marry in New Zealand after winning Positively Wellington Tourism and Tourism New Zealand's 'Make History' competition.

"I remember walking through the city on our way to the reception and having complete strangers cheer us and come up and wish us well. A whole table of people at an outdoor cafe clapped us," Mr McCarthy says.

The legislation of gay marriage has seen also seen same sex civil unions drop to 20% of the number before the law change took effect.