Marriage celebrant Bill drafted by MP

  • 23/10/2015
(File)
(File)

A Bill that makes it easier to become a marriage celebrant has been drafted by a National Party MP.

Chris Bishop says his Member's Bill ensures that if applicants meet the current good character test, they'll be approved as independent celebrants.

"Every year people are turned down from becoming celebrants because their applications don't meet the statutory test that it's `in the interest of the public generally'," he said.

"The demand for independent celebrants is steadily rising and it is right that we proactively respond by making it easier to become a celebrant."

Mr Bishop says more than 60 percent of marriages and funerals are now officiated by independent celebrants.

"The Bill won't allow a free for all," he said.

"Applicants will need to demonstrate that they are of good character and that they will conscientiously perform the duties of a marriage celebrant."

The Bill is in the members' ballot, and has to be drawn before it comes up for a first reading in Parliament.

There are about 70 other bills in the ballot.

Two or three are usually drawn every second Wednesday Parliament sits.

NZN