Tourism NZ runs competition for first gay Aussies to be married here

Paul McCarthy and Trent Kandler from Speers Point, near Newcastle, were married in front of 20 family members and friends in Wellington on Monday after winning a competition run by Tourism New Zealand to be the first Australian gay couple to be wed under New Zealand’s same-sex marriage laws.

The competition aimed to capitalise on the tourism potential of New Zealand’s same-sex marriage law, said Tim Burgess, Australian general manager of Tourism New Zealand. He said gay marriage gave New Zealand a ”unique point of difference” over Australia.

The chief executive of the Tourism and Transport Forum, Ken Morrison, said there was a significant market in this area that countries which permitted same-sex marriage were exploiting.

Although it was difficult to calculate how much this market was worth, Mr Morrison said a recent US survey found gay and lesbian travellers spent as much as 60 per cent more than heterosexual tourists.

At least three other competitions for same-sex couples to marry in New Zealand are being run.

Air New Zealand  running a competition to give a same-sex couple a wedding in the sky.

The couple were married on a flight from Queenstown to Auckland on 19 August, the day marriage equality legislation comes into force.

The national carrier says it’s immensely proud of the “giant step for our country” in “embracing all types of love”.

The Registrar General received notice that  31 same sex couples from main centres intended to marry on Monday; Auckland (14), Manukau (1), Wellington (6), Christchurch (6) and Rotorua (4)


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News category: New Zealand.

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