Paul McCarthy and Trent Kandler from Newcastle, NSW have made history today, exchanging vows in picturesque Te Papa, Wellington’s iconic national museum, in front of friends and family.
A waterfront reception will follow later today at award winning New Zealand chef Martin Bosley’s Yacht Club Restaurant.
“We have been together for 11 years and have been waiting for the chance to make our commitment official,” said Paul McCarthy of his recent marriage. “We feel extremely fortunate to have been the very first Australian same-sex couple to be legally allowed to marry in New Zealand. Wellington has welcomed us with open arms, and we have been blown away by the vibrancy of the city – this is definitely New Zealand’s capital of cool.”
Paul and Trent beat more than 300 Aussie couples to win Tourism New Zealand’s Make History Competition, which was held in partnership with Positively Wellington Tourism and Star Observer. As part of their spoils, they won return flights to Wellington, and an all expenses paid wedding, including a bespoke LEGO© wedding cake.
New Zealand is the 15th country to legalise same sex marriages, passing the bill in April by 77 votes to 44 in the New Zealand House of Representatives.
Paul and Trent are the first of dozens of same-sex Kiwi and Aussie couples who will follow suit now that April’s law comes into effect.
Over 1000 same sex couples in Australia have contacted Australian Marriage Equality (AME) with their intent to marry in New Zealand.