Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa Go to Te Ao Hou homepage
No. 1 (Winter 1952)
– 51 –

Maori Marriages
No longer Legal without Licences


Mai atu i te tahi o nga ra o Aperira, 1952 ka taka nga marena Maori ki raro i te ture penei ano i nga marena Pakeha nei. Ko te aronga tenei o Tekiona 8 o Te Ture Mo Nga Mea Maori i whakataua ra i te tuunga o te Paremata i tera tau, a ka whakakorea nga whakarereketaga o Te Ture mo nga marena Maori.

I raro i te ture tawhito, kaore noaiho he tikanga o te raihana ka mutu ano ta te tokorua e hiahia ana kia marenatia raua he haere ki te aroaro o tetahi Minita kua whakamana ki te marena tangata.

Otira mai atu i te tahi o nga ra o te Aperira kua mahui ake nei me haere marika tetahi o te hunga e marenatia ana ki te Tari o Te Kai-Rehita Marena—i nga taone pakupaku ki te Tari o Te Kooti whakawa—ki te whakaatu e marena ana ia a ki te tango raihana mai ma konei anake hoki ka mana te marena a te Minita. Ko te utu o taua raihana inaianei £1 2s. 6d. engari tera e piki tenei utu i roto o enei ra tata.

Ina nga korero hei whakamaramatanga ki taua Kai-Rehita.

Ko te katoa o nga ingoa o te hunga e marenatia ana, to raua pakeke, a raua mahi, mehemea kua marenatia i mua ake nei, o raua kainga a ko te ingoa o te wahi e marenatia ai raua.

E tika ana i noho te kaitono mo te raihana marena i te rohe raihana mo te toru ra i mua o te tukunga i taua raihana. Mehemea kei raro iho i te 21 tau te pakeke o te hunga e marenatia ana a ehara i te pouaru


Marriages of Maoris will in all respects come under the general law as from the 1st of April, 1952. This is the purport of Section 8 of the Maori Purposes Act, passed during the last Session of Parliament, removing the special provisions of the law as regards the marriage of Maoris.

Under the old law, the position has been and now is that Maoris intending marriage do not require a marriage license but can be married by simply presenting themselves before a Minister authorised to perform marriages.

As from 1st April last, however, one of the parties intending to be married must go to the Office of the Registrar of Marriages (in small towns this is usually the Magistrate's Court office) to give notice of the intended marriage and obtain a marriage license without which a Minister cannot perfrom the ceremony. Fees payable to the Registrar are at present £1 2s. 6d., but some increases in these fees are shortly to be made.

The following information must be given to the Registrar:

Full names of the parties to be married, their ages, occupations, whether previously married, dwelling place and name of the place where the marriage is to be performed.

One of the parties must have lived for at least three days in the registration district before the license can be issued. If either of the parties is under 21 and is not a window or widower, the written consent of the parents or guardian must be obtained on a special form and produced.

The party applying must make a solemn declaration that the information supplied is correct and that the he or she believes that no

– 52 –

me matua whakaae a tuhituhi o raua matua, o raua kai-tieki ranei, katahi ano ka tuku raihana marena ai.

Me ata oati te kaitono raihana ko ana korero he pono a kaore he take hei arai i to raua marena, ki te pohehe nga korero a taua kaitono ka whiua ia e te ture.

E kore e taea te tuku tetahi raihana mehemea te hunga e marenatia ana kei raro iho i te 16 tau te pakehe. Ana tukua taua raihana me marena taua tokorua i roto o te toru marama ki te wahi i whakaingoatia ra ki taua raihana. He hara te marena kore raihana i tetahi tokorua.

Kei nga Tari o Nga Kai-Rehita Marena nga ata whakamarama.

Tera atu ano tetahi whakarereketanga o te Ture mo nga moe Maori. Inaianei kei te whakaae te ture mo etahi mea e pa ana ki te hunga moe penei ara ki te mate te tane e ahei ana te pouaru ki te tono mo tetahi whangai i nga taonga a taua tane ana me ake nei ka mutu ano nga moe Maori e aro atu te ture ko nga mea i moe penei i mua atu o te I o nga ra o Aperira, 1952 a ko nga mea e moe penei a muri ake nei kaore he awhina a te Ture.

Otira ahakoa penei te aronga o te Ture e ahei ana te tangata ki te tuku i etahi o ana taonga i roto i tana Wira ki te tangata ke.


lawful reason exists why the marriage should not take place. The supply of false information is an offence punishable by law.

No license can be issued where either of the parties is under 16 years of age. The license when issued must be acted upon, that is the marriage must take place, within three months of issue, at the place named in the license. The performance of a marriage ceremony without a license is an offence.

Full information can always be obtained from the office of any Registrar of Marriages.

A further change has also been made in the law, as regards Maori customary marriages. At present such marriages are recognised by the law for certain purposes, as for example, the widow of such a customary marriage has the right to make a claim for support from the estate of her deceased husband. In future such marriages will only be recognised if they were entered into before 1st April, 1952, so that so far as the law is concerned, no notice will be taken for any purpose of any marriage entered into after 31st March, 1952, other than a legal marriage under the Marriage Act.

These changes in the law do not affect the normal right of any person to make a will leaving a share in his estate to any other person.

Picture icon

Gathering crayfish.