This country has become one of the most popular in the world for same-sex weddings

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New Zealand has become one of the most popular destinations for overseas same-sex couples to tie the knot.

Almost half of the same-sex marriages and civil unions last year were among people coming from overseas countries, Statistics New Zealand revealed.

Out of the total of 954 same-sex marriages registered in 2016, 471 were from people living overseas.

This country has become one of the most popular in the world for same-sex weddings

Of these, more than half of the couples came from Australia.

Peter Dolan, population statistics senior manager said: “Couples from Australia accounted for 58 per cent of overseas same-sex couples coming here to marry.”

This follows the fact that same-sex marriage is not legally recognised in Australia even if polls showed that it is supported by 70 percent of the general public.

Julie Lassen, Christchurch celebrant, told Stuff that many couples “got fed up waiting” for the Australian laws to change, and crossed the ditch to get married.

A further 17 per cent came from China making it the country of origin of the second highest number of couples.

China does not recognise same-sex marriage or civil union despite many protests going on to push for a legal recognition.

Female couples were almost twice as many as their male counterparts, 309 compared to 174.

Only 20 per cent of the overseas same-sex couples who married in New Zealand had one or both partners born in the country.

Same-sex marriage became legal in New Zealand in 2013 and since then 2118 same-sex couples were married, Statistics New Zealand reported in August 2016.

In total, considering both same-sex and opposite-sex marriage and civil unions, statistics show that marriage was significantly more popular.

In 2016, 23,136 marriages were registered compared with only 60 civil unions.

Among the most famous couples to tie the knot in New Zealand there are Andy John and Craig Roach, Married at First Sight first gay couple.

The two fled to New Zealand for their on-air television wedding, although they decided for a non-binding ceremony.