Marriage Act 1955

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Reprint as at 16 December 2017

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Marriage Act 1955

Public Act
1955 No 92
Date of assent
27 October 1955
see section 1(2)

Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Justice.


1Short Title and commencement
3Application of Act
4Registrar-General and Deputy Registrar-General
5Appointment of Registrars and Deputy Registrars [Repealed]
6Fact of deputies acting conclusive evidence of authority to do so [Repealed]
7List of marriage celebrants
8Marriage celebrants of specified religious bodies
9Approval of organisations
10Marriage celebrants from approved organisations
11Other persons may be marriage celebrants
12Renewal of list
13Removal of names from list
14Evidence of list or correction to list
14AThis Part not to limit sections 32 and 32A
15Marriage of persons within prohibited degrees of relationship void
16Validation of certain marriages already solemnised
17Marriage of persons under 16 years of age
18Consent to marriage of minors
19Application to Family Court Judge where consent refused
20General provisions relating to consents
21Marriages without licence or marriage celebrant void
22Marriages not to be void because of defects in procedure
23Notice of marriage
24Issue of marriage licence and information return
25Caveats may be lodged
26Discharge of caveat
27Vexatious caveat
28Registrar to issue licence unless satisfied marriage unlawful
29Licence authorises but not obliges marriage celebrant to solemnise marriage
30When marriage may be solemnised
31Place and form of marriage before marriage celebrant
32Marriage of Quakers
32AMarriage in accordance with rules and procedures of exempt religious bodies
32BApplication to become exempt religious body
32CDeclaration of religious body as exempt religious body
32DChange in beliefs or objects of exempt religious bodies
32EList of exempt religious bodies
33Marriages before Registrar
33ARegistrar-General may solemnise marriage
34Proxy marriages
35Marriage registers
36Particulars of marriage to be entered in register book [Repealed]
37Penalty for failing to register marriage [Repealed]
37AMarriage celebrant to comply with directions of the Registrar-General with respect to registration [Repealed]
38Registrar-General to keep register [Repealed]
39Foreign marriages of British subjects
40Marriages abroad of Commonwealth citizens and citizens of Ireland
41Certificate of no impediment to person intending foreign marriage
42Notice of intended marriage outside New Zealand
43New Zealand representative may attend marriage abroad of New Zealand citizen and give certificate
44Validity of service marriages
45Record of service marriages solemnised outside New Zealand [Repealed]
46Special register of service marriages [Repealed]
47Correction of errors in register books or records [Repealed]
48Search of records of Registrar [Repealed]
49Search of records of Registrar-General [Repealed]
49ADisclosure of information to Department of Social Welfare [Repealed]
49BRegistrar-General may authorise access to information [Repealed]
49CLimitations on access [Repealed]
49DHealth or demographic research or collection of statistics [Repealed]
50Shortened form of marriage certificates [Repealed]
50ASearches of Registrar-General’s indexes [Repealed]
51Certified copies to be evidence [Repealed]
52Officers may take statutory declarations [Repealed]
53Records to be made of dissolution of marriages [Repealed]
54Convictions for bigamy to be recorded [Repealed]
55Records of dissolution of marriage or bigamy to be made in record book [Repealed]
55ARecording of changes of name in marriage record book [Repealed]
56Offence to deny or impugn validity of lawful marriage [Repealed]
57Offence to alter register book without authority
58Offence to solemnise marriage contrary to provisions of this Act
59Offence to solemnise marriage falsely pretending to be marriage celebrant
60Offences in connection with false statements and improper solemnisation of marriages
61Offences generally [Repealed]
62Magistrate to have summary jurisdiction [Repealed]
63Limitation on prosecutions
64AARegistrar-General may specify manner of application and verification of information
64ARules of procedure
65Regulations may prescribe fees [Repealed]
66Disposition of fines and fees
67Repeals and savings
Reprint notes

An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to marriage