A same-sex New South Wales couple were joined in holy matrimony this week in a ceremony held in Wellington.
Trent Kandler and Paul McCarthy from Speers Point, near Newcastle have been dating for a decade and were wedded in front of family and friends, many of whom were flown to New Zealand as part of a major promotion by Tourism New Zealand.
A further 31 couples were planning to marry this week, with Tourism New Zealand expressing a desire to hold similar contests in the future.
Australian Marriage Equality deputy national director Ivan Hinton extolled the virtues of the promotion in fostering better relations between Australian and New Zealand.
“I think the competition was a fantastic way of creating a relationship between New Zealand and Australia,” he said.
“It was a very logical way of Tourism New Zealand to promote New Zealand as a destination for people to celebrate their relationships as we aspire to do here.”
Around one thousand Australians have shown interest in travelling to New Zealand to be wed, according to the Australian Marriage Equality lobby group.
This is despite the fact that many marriages would not be legally recognised in their home country.
There has also been major interest from citizens of other countries including Belgium, Britain, Hong Kong, Russia, Singapore and the United States.
New Zealand is the first Asian Pacific state to legalise same-sex marriage and only the 14th nation in the world to do so.