Skip to main content

Become an organisational celebrant

Organisational celebrants can legally perform marriages in New Zealand for an approved church or organisation.


What it costs

The application fee to become an organisational celebrant is $150. 

Before you apply

If you want to be a celebrant in one of the following churches, you must contact the central contract or head of your church:

  • Anglican
  • Baptist
  • Greek Orthodox Church
  • Hebrew Congregations
  • Lutheran Church of New Zealand
  • Methodist
  • Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Roman Catholic
  • Salvation Army

If you want to be a celebrant in another church or organisation, you need to apply online.

Documents you need

As part of your application, you must provide supporting documents and take an online test.

Your supporting documents need to show that you:

  • are supported by your organisation
  • are of good character, and
  • will conscientiously perform the duties of a celebrant.

Your supporting documents must be:

  • dated
  • less than 6 months old.

Statutory declaration

You need 10 members of your organisation to fill in the statutory declaration form.

Another person must declare it in front of an authorised person – for example, a Justice of the Peace, solicitor or Registrar of Marriages.

Statutory declaration nomination of marriage celebrant by approved organisation (PDF 50KB)

Statutory declaration nomination of marriage celebrant by approved organisation accessible alternative (txt 3KB)

Good character referees

You need 2 referees to fill in the good character form.

Good character form (PDF 25KB)

Good character form accessible alternative (txt 1KB)

Criminal conviction history

You must include a copy of your criminal record from the Ministry of Justice.

Get a copy of your criminal record

How to apply

Prepare for the online test

The online application includes a test. You can prepare for this test by completing our short training course – allow roughly 1 hour.

Becoming a celebrant — training course

Get a verified RealMe identity

You need a verified RealMe identity to apply to become an independent celebrant.

Apply for your RealMe verified identity

Apply online and pay

You apply online using your verified RealMe account.

  1. Make sure you have a scan or photo of each of your supporting documents. Save them to the computer, phone or device you're using to apply.
  2. Fill in the application form and complete the test.
  3. Attach your supporting documents to your application.
  4. Pay the fee of $150 with a credit or debit card.

Apply online to be an organisational celebrant

What happens next

You usually find out if your application has been approved within 3 to 4 weeks. There is no urgent service.

Expect delays if you apply between October and January:

Celebrant renewals are processed between October and January, so if you apply at this time it can take up to 3 months for your application to be processed.

If your application is approved

We will email you to let you know if your application is has been approved. You will be able to legally marry people as soon as you receive the email.

Your name will also be added to the list of celebrants so people can find your details online.

Locating a celebrant

Renew your celebrant registration

Once you are registered as a celebrant, your organisation must renew your registration at the end of each year. The Registrar-General will email the central contact of your organisation with instructions for them to complete this on your behalf.

Renew your celebrant registration

Utility links and page information

Was this page helpful?
Thanks, do you want to tell us more?

Do not enter personal information. All fields are optional.

Last updated