Relationships, Marriage, & Family Life in New Zealand
Dating in New Zealand may begin at school, through friends,
or in any number of other settings. However, it seems relationships tend to progress
during the dating process, which may involve going out to a movie, a restaurant,
a party, or a pub. As relationships progress and become more serious, many kiwis
marry; the average age for marriage tends to be in their late 20s or early 30s.
Weddings in New Zealand usually take place in a church
and the wedding couple does not see each other that day prior to the wedding itself.
Weddings are very similar to church weddings in Australia,
North America, or Europe as
many details are altered, but the ceremony is similar depending on the church and
religion of the couple. Weddings also take place in other settings, such as in a
temple for some people and for many Maori couples it is officiated by a Maori tribal
elder. Most couples also exchange rings with metal being the ring of choice for
most couples, but the Maori tend to prefer bone or stone rings. Many weddings also
include a couple Maori traditions, no matter the couple's ethnicity, including
a ceremonial welcome called a powhiri and an "infinity loop,"
which is placed around the necks of the bride and groom.