600 civil union celebrants - with 1200 people to find
The first licenses for civil unions were handed out today. The first available day to have a civil union ceremony is Friday as the registration process takes three days. There are currently 600 people who are able to conduct a civil union ceremony. Some of these celebrants are civil union only celebrants. this site will shortly have a list of all 600. Problem is that many of them will not be conducting civil unions for a while. Demand is slow.
Labour MP Tim Barnett is surprised at the slow uptake of civil unions. He shouldn’t be. Many of the people who campaigned for civil unions are married, unpartnered - or heterosexual and would prefer to get married. Some couples split up during the campaign. Others got together. Of course same sex couples cannot get married, hence civil unions. But those who campaigned for civil unions, on the whole, are in no hurry to get one.
The first civil union will be on Saturday, and it will be a heterosexual couple. The following day will be the big occasion for Des Smith and John Joliffe, who are my former next-door neighbours and have been together for 19 years. They are having a big event at the Wellington Town Hall, presided over by Wellington Mayor Kery Prendergast, a party at the Boatshed and then they are off to Paris, who ironically, as far as I am aware, do not recognise civil unions. Congratulations John and Des, I know what this event means to you. Don't cry when you say your vows.
They have been bombarded with the media all day today ( well, yesterday actually, as it is past midnight as at the time of posting) and had a bit of a gathering at their house with a few friends to celebrate their application for a civil union license.
I'm sure they`ll be busy right up until Sunday night when they will be able to consummate their civil union.
(is that the right thing to say?)