Under the provisions of the Marriage Act 1955, a couple wishing to marry in New Zealand must complete a Notice of Intended Marriage (BDM60) at least three days before the marriage.
The BDM60 (or marriage licence) includes a statutory declaration which must be made in the presence of a Registrar of Marriages. The marriage must take place within 3 months of the licence being issued. The details from the BDM60 are transferred to two copies of the form BDM45 (Copy of Particulars of Marriage). Both copies of the BDM45 are signed by the parties at the wedding. The BDM45 confirms the details and legal validity of the marriage. Within ten days of the ceremony the celebrant must send one copy back to the Registrar who prepared it, the other copy is given to the couple as a record of their marriage. The BDM45s are marked against the BDM60s then forwarded to Births, Deaths and Marriages (a division of the Department of Internal Affairs) in Wellington where the marriage is registered.
Marriage data are derived from information provided on the BDM60 and BDM45. Statistics New Zealand receives a monthly electronic file of marriage registrations from Births, Deaths and Marriages. Statistics NZ is responsible for processing and publishing marriage statistics derived from the marriage registrations. Marriage data are published annually and unless otherwise stated refer to marriages by date of registration not date of marriage. If sex is not stated or is indeterminant, sex is imputed, however the original response is retained.