Tourism New Zealand announced on July 19 that they have found their ideal couple to become the first Australian same-sex partners to marry in New Zealand. The couple, who gladly accepted the invitation, are Paul McCarthy and Trent Kandler of Newcastle.
The excited duo will fly to Wellington for their ceremony, August 19, which is the first day same-sex marriage will be officially recognized by the Marriage Amendment Act of New Zealand.
The happy couple expressed that they are more than thrilled to be a part of a historic moment, as reported by news.com.au.
“We feel really honored, we’ve been discussing it for years,” McCarthy said. “I hope our own government can step up and realize that same-sex couples are the same as everyone else, we just want to spend the rest of our lives together.”
Regardless, New Zealand is a special place for the two of them; he added, “It was important for us to have our family and friends there and we wanted to spend it with all our loved ones so to be able to do it in New Zealand, which is where we had our first overseas holiday together, is really special to us.”
Positively Wellington Tourism chief executive David Perks said that Wellington “has been at the forefront of progressive law change and is absolutely positively proud to host the country’s first same-sex marriage by an Australian couple.”
The ceremony itself will be held at the country’s famous national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa.
Tourism New Zealand’s general manager, Tim Burgess, said of the couple, “Their affection for New Zealand shone through [in their contest entry] and we immediately knew that we had the perfect Australian couple to come and tie the knot in New Zealand. We’re looking forward to helping Trent and Paul ‘Make History’ in Wellington next month, it’s going to be a wonderful celebration.”
Tourism New Zealand will provide eight family and friends roundtrip tickets so that they can join McCarthy and Kandler on their special day. In addition, ten of the couple’s closest friends are expected to fly to New Zealand to attend the festivities.
“We’ve been amazed at how much support we’ve had, in such short notice and distance of travel. Everyone has been so excited for us. The reception is full!” Perks also shared that the city has the finest “gourmet food producers, winemakers, and craft beer brands so we’re confident it’ll be a great party.”
With New Zealand being the closest country to Australia that has legalized same-sex marriage, Tourism New Zealand is expecting a high increase in couples tying the knot.
With the new law taking affect next month, Air New Zealand has announced that it will offer one couple from New Zealand the chance to be the first same-sex couple to marry at 30,000 feet in the air—securing another historical mark for New Zealand.