Australia’s same-sex ‘Yes’ vote ‘a shame for us in New Zealand’?

Experienced celebrant Sheryl Mungal, who has married more than 50 same-sex couples during over 20 years in the business, insists Australia’s recent vote in favour of same-sex marriage will have a “huge impact” on New Zealand’s booming same-sex marriage industry.


Wednesday saw 61.6 percent of participants in the governmental referendum say yes to marriage equality. Australia are the 24th nation to legalise same-sex marriage. New Zealand did so four years ago.

“Why would they come to New Zealand to get married now unless they were wanting to get away? It’s a shame for us in New Zealand but we had a good run and it had to happen. I am pleased for them,” Stuff quoted Mungal as saying.

“We do need the overseas couples. I personally have found that not that many New Zealanders are taking it up, for whatever reasons.”

Motueka-based celebrant Terri Everett agreed with her Auckland counterpart, stating the the outcome of Malcolm Turnbull government’s postal survey would “definitely” impact the local same-sex wedding industry.

“The issue with Australia is that it still has a very strong negative feeling attached to gay marriage. If we work hard to be totally accepting then people are still going to come here,” said Everett.

A Tourism New Zealand spokesperson added: “While Tourism New Zealand markets to the wedding and honeymoon sectors, it does not generally specifically target the gay and lesbian community. New Zealand is a great destination for a wedding, honeymoon or romantic getaway – for all travellers.”