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Appendices

Index to the Appendices

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STATEMENT ON PEACE (made by Yearly Meeting in 1987)

We the Friends in Aotearoa-New Zealand send loving greetings to all the people in this country, and ask you to consider this statement, addressed to you, to which we all agree as one.

The time has come for us to take an unequivocal public stand on the question of violence.

We totally oppose all wars, all preparation for war, all use of weapons and coercion by force, and all military alliances; no end could ever justify such means.

We equally and actively oppose all that leads to violence among people and nations, and violence to other species and to our planet.

This has been our testimony to the whole world for over three centuries.

We are not naive or ignorant about the complexity of our modern world and the impact of sophisticated technologies — but we see no reason whatsoever to change or weaken our vision of the peace that everyone needs in order to survive and flourish on a healthy, abundant earth.

The primary reason for this stand is our conviction that there is that of God in every one which makes each person too precious to damage or destroy.

While someone lives there is always the hope of reaching that of God within them: such hope motivates our search to find non-violent resolution of conflict.

Peacemakers are also empowered by that of God in them. Our individual human skills, courage, endurance, and wisdom are vastly augmented by the power of the loving Spirit that connects all people.

Refusal to fight with weapons is not surrender. We are not passive when threatened by the greedy, the cruel, the tyrant, the unjust.

We will struggle to remove the causes of impasse and confrontation by every means of nonviolent resistance available.

There is no guarantee that our resistance will be any more successful or any less risky than military tactics. At least our means will be suited to our end.

If we seemed to fail finally, we would still rather suffer and die than inflict evil in order to save ourselves and what we hold dear.

If we succeed, there is no loser or winner, for the problem that led to conflict will have been resolved in a spirit of justice and tolerance.

Such a resolution is the only guarantee that there will be no further outbreak of war when each side has regained strength.

The context in which we take this stand at this time is the increasing level of violence around us: child abuse; rape; wife battering; street assaults; riots; video and television sadism; silent economic and institutional violence; the prevalence of torture; the loss of freedoms; sexism; racism and colonialism; the terrorism of both guerillas and government soldiers; and the diversion of vast resources of funds and labour from food and welfare to military purposes.

But above and beyond all this, is the insane stockpiling of nuclear weapons which could in a matter of hours destroy everyone and everything that we value on our planet.   

To contemplate such horror can leave us feeling despairing or apathetic, hardened or blasé. 

We urge all New Zealanders to have the courage to face up to the mess humans are making of our world and to have the faith and diligence to cleanse it and restore  the order intended by God.

We must start with our own hearts and minds. Wars will stop only when each of us is convinced that war is never the way.

The places to begin acquiring the skills and maturity and generosity to avoid or to resolve conflicts are in our own homes, our personal relationships, our schools, our workplaces, and wherever decisions are made.

We must relinquish the desire to own other people, to have power over them, and to force our views on them. We must own up to our own negative side and not look for scapegoats to blame, punish, or exclude. We must resist the urge towards waste and the accumulation of possessions.

Conflicts are inevitable and must not be repressed or ignored but worked through painfully and carefully. We must develop the skills of being sensitive to oppression and grievances, sharing power in decision-making, creating consensus, and making reparation.

In speaking out, we acknowledge that we ourselves are as limited and as erring as anyone else. When put to the test, we each may fall short.

We do not have a blueprint for peace that spells out every stepping stone towards the goal that we share. In any particular situation, a variety of personal decisions could be made with integrity.

We may disagree with the views and actions of the politician or the soldier who opts for a military solution, but we still respect and cherish the person.

What we call for in this statement is a commitment to make the building of peace a priority and to make opposition to war absolute.

What we advocate is not uniquely Quaker but human and, we believe, the will of God. Our stand does not belong to Friends alone — it is yours by birthright.

We challenge New Zealanders to stand up and be counted on what is no less than the affirmation of life and the destiny of humankind. 

Together, let us reject the clamour of fear and listen to the whisperings of hope.

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BICULTURAL ISSUES (Yearly Meeting Minute of 1988-89)

In considering our response as a religious body to Maori calls for justice, and to rethinking of the Pakeha place in this country, we reaffirm our commitment to social justice based on the belief that there is that of God in every one. This compels us to acknowledge the rights of the indigenous people, the Maori, as tangata whenua.

We are conscious that it has taken us a considerable time to come to this understanding, but our traditions require us to be in unity before making statements in the name of the Religious Society of Friends as a whole. We are now satisfied, after discussions locally and in our Yearly Meeting, that we are ready to make this commitment.

(a)  We recognise the Treaty of Waitangi / Te Tiriti o Waitangi as a living document fundamental to the life of this nation, and we commit ourselves to the principle of partnership which it embodies. This is in accord with our longstanding commitment to social equality and peaceable co-operation. We accept that honouring the Treaty will have implications for our personal and collective lives. We cannot yet know in detail what this will mean for the Religious Society of Friends, but we acknowledge that it will certainly involve equitable sharing of resources and giving up by Pakeha of exclusive decision-making in the institutions of society.

(b) We call upon all our Meetings and individual members to recognise this commitment by becoming better informed about Maoritanga and the bicultural history of this country, and by seeking ways of expressing this partnership in action.

(c)  On our side of the partnership we recognise the values of the European basis of Pakeha culture, including our Quaker heritage.

(d)  The building of a just partnership between Pakeha and Maori lays a sound foundation for relationships with diverse ethnic groups in this country.

(e)  We welcome the efforts that the Government is making to resolve disputes between Maori and the Crown on the basis of the Treaty. We urge the Government to implement the recommendations of the Waitangi Tribunal. We call upon the Government to carry out in 1989 and 1990 a campaign to educate the community about the Treaty of Waitangi, and to broaden understanding of its implications.

We call upon local communities likewise to recognise the Treaty of Waitangi, and to address sources of Maori grievance in their area, using decision-making methods that include genuine partnership with the local Maori people. We hope these actions will assist in reaffirming the dignity and sense of identity of all New Zealanders.

(f)  We agree to issue publicly and to circulate among other religious bodies in New Zealand and Friends worldwide, a statement embodying sections (a) to (e) of this minute.

(g)  We agree to change the name of New Zealand Yearly Meeting to "Yearly Meeting of Aotearoa / New Zealand".

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STATEMENT OF AFFIRMATION AND RECONCILIATION (made by 1992 Yearly Meeting)

The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Aotearoa New Zealand commits itself to be a community of reconciliation, responding to the love of God in equality of participation and service, and recognising the gifts of God in one another. A cornerstone of Quaker belief is that of God in everyone, which makes each person precious, and of value to God, to the planet, and to her or his community.

Our lives are an expression of our individual selves and also of our common humanity. We each have different gifts and different needs. We need to discover, acknowledge and respond to our own and those of other people.

Each individual's journey through life is unique. Some will make this journey alone, others in loving relationships — maybe in marriage or other forms of commitment. We need to ponder our own choices and try to understand the choices of others. Love has many shapes and colours and is not finite. It cannot be measured or defined in terms of sexual orientation.

In Quaker practice we believe that we all are equally called to ministry, through our worship, our daily lives, our service to others and in the activities and celebrations of our meeting. Lesbian and gay Friends have played and will continue to play a significant part in Quaker life, thought and ministry both locally and nationally. Particular gifts are brought to our religious life from the struggle of gay and lesbian Friends, in the face of oppression, to find and express their faith. We need the spiritual gifts which are unique to each individual's personality and experience. We give thanks for all our gifts and service.

We are now called: to welcome publicly and explicitly the participation and service of lesbian and gay Friends; to help one another develop loving and equal adult relationships and friendships; to explore ways in which we can, through worship and cherishing, mark the joys and sorrows of one another's relationships and life circumstances; to seek formal ways of recognising a variety of commitments, including gay and lesbian partnerships.

Aotearoa/New Zealand society, in which we all participate, still assumes heterosexual models of personal and family relationships. We need to understand the part we each play in continuing to weave this single-pattern fabric, and to look at ways in which other patterns can be interwoven in order to enrich the whole.

We realise that in making this present affirmation we oblige ourselves to face and deal with our own homophobia and unconscious prejudices, together with society's limitations and denials of human rights and justice. We acknowledge that as individuals we are as fallible as anyone else. When put to the test, we may each fall short.

We affirm the beauty and equality of all people as a part of this planet. We will work for reconciliation within ourselves, within our Meetings and within society in general: a reconciliation which knows that the spiritual, the mental, the emotional and the physical are one before God. We ask for God's help.

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STATEMENT ON MAORI-PAKEHA ISSUES (made by 1995 Yearly Meeting)

As members of Te Hahi Tuhauwiri, the Religious Society of Friends, meeting at its annual business meeting in Christchurch at this critical moment in Maori-Pakeha relationships, we affirm our commitment to the promise of a Treaty-based relationship between our peoples, and confidence in the future of our life together.

We recognise the historic wrong done to Maori by the Crown's failure to act in accordance with the Treaty. Pakeha New Zealanders are perhaps better able to begin to appreciate the effects of Maori dispossession after our more recent experience of government action to sell off public assets and restructure health and education. To some of these changes, Maori claims have been the only effective resistance.

In spite of the rejection by Maori of the Crown's recent unilateral proposals for settling Treaty of Waitangi claims, the process of discussion has had some positive results in the unified articulation of what Maori regard as the real issues, and in the opportunity for them to meet members of the Government face to face to voice their deeply-felt hurt and anger.

For many New Zealanders this has been a disquieting experience. We understand the apprehension. However we also recognise the extreme frustration experienced by Maori tribes and people, especially those of the younger generation, at the lack of real progress towards redressing historical grievances.

This has led some of them to assert dramatically, by their physical presence on disputed land, their claim to the rangatiratanga (uncontested authority) guaranteed by the Treaty which their ancestors signed.

We acknowledge that this guarantee has not yet been honoured in more than 150 years. We believe that now is a most opportune time to start working towards new constitutional arrangements to give effect to the Treaty. These would reflect the status of Maori as tangata whenua in this country, with the same right to self-determination as other indigenous peoples of the world.

We are convinced that there is nothing to fear from the prospect of Maori being empowered to take control of their own affairs and manage them in their own ways. In the words of the United Nations Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, "Indigenous peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development."

It is not surprising that there should be misunderstandings and breakdowns of communication. We are always heartened by evidence from around the country that these barriers can be surmounted, and satisfactory solutions found to apparently intractable disagreements. We call on all people of goodwill to look for reconciliation beyond the confrontations, and on the Government to pursue with sensitivity and vigour its search for the justice in accordance with the Treaty without which there can be no peace.

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STATEMENT OF SOCIAL CONCERN (made by 1998 Yearly Meeting) 

Friends' belief in that of God in everyone leads us to work for a society in which everyone is valued and everyone is enabled to use their gifts to the full.

We are concerned that since 1984 New Zealand society has been moving in the opposite direction. We see policies pursued by successive governments as socially destructive.  We realise that many among those who have initiated and who support these policies have done so in the belief that the ends they seek are good ones.  Present conditions are evidence of failure to achieve desirable outcomes. 

Indicators of social distress are high and have increased on former rates.  This applies to unemployment, crime, depression and suicide, child abuse, domestic violence, broken families and homelessness.  The gap between rich and poor has been increased.  Those who are poorest find it almost impossible to climb out of the poverty trap.

Present policies erode the bonds of trust and respect on which our sense of community is based.  They impoverish our spiritual lives through loss of compassion for others.  They endanger the well-being of present and future generations.

At least as disturbing as the substance of these policies is their spirit.  This spirit is implied in the public discussion document "Towards a Code of Social & Family Responsibility".  It is a spirit of meanness and lack of imagination, which blames the poor for their poverty.  It ignores the fact that economic policy since 1984 has created high unemployment and therefore results in more beneficiaries. Every policy decision needs to be made in the light of its human consequences.

We urge concerned people to speak and act now.   We need to remind government that exercising fiscal responsibility does not imply measuring the success of a country or its government only by economic indicators.  Many of the things we value most in society cannot be measured in that way.

We call for a response from all who see this time as an opportunity to transform an economic and social system based on exclusion into a society which recognises that social justice cannot be achieved at the expense of other people.

We also call on our own community to look within our hearts, for as Friends we believe that the seeds of the present policies have nourishment in our attachment to possessions, our collusion with consumerism, our complacency, and even in our unrecognised elitism and monoculturalism.

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STATEMENT ON ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY (issued by Yearly Meeting in 2000)

Many Friends in Aotearoa / New Zealand have had a long and deeply-held understanding that the whole of creation is sacred. We have experienced personally the beauty and inter-connectedness of creation.

The time has come for our Yearly Meeting to affirm these leadings of the Spirit as a testimony. We need to recognise the spiritual nature of our responsibility to live with reverence for life. We want to extend our compassion for each other to compassion for all of life.

Each of us is part of the whole of  life. All of life is in each of us.

We grieve for the parts of our greater being that have been lost. We are driving thousands of species to extinction, causing deforestation, erosion and floods, polluting our rivers, soil, oceans and atmosphere.

Let us recognise the diversity of life, its interdependence and balance. The inherent wisdom of life astounds us. From cells to ecosystems we see a self-organising, self-repairing, co-operative whole. Our human focus needs to be widened to encompass the whole web of life. We need to change from domination to participation. The process will not be easy.

Our belief in simplicity will help us to live full and joyful lives without devouring the earth's resources. We can cheerfully do more with less.

We affirm that we are able to make a difference. Now is the time to act together trusting that the inner Light will open our eyes to the Light within the whole of creation and will lead us to our right place.

To each person life has given a unique being. We call on everyone to use that uniqueness to serve the whole.

We encourage individual Friends of all ages and all meetings to consider and amend our life-styles and to support each other in making the changes necessary as our witness to this testimony.

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COMPLAINTS PROCEDURES FOR CASES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND SEXUAL ABUSE (1999)

This appendix does not attempt to cover ground already written in Section 6 of the Handbook. The spirit of Section 6 prevails throughout the processing of the guidelines outlined.

Components and Roles

1. The Yearly Meeting Sexual Harassment and Sexual Abuse Committee will be available

• to Oversight Committees:

1.1  for consultation advice and support,

1.2  to assist with training and awareness-raising,

1.3  to distribute educational material;

• to Yearly Meeting:

1.4  to promote awareness-raising and training,

1.5  to assist with the implementation of all Complaints Procedures at Quaker gatherings including the appointment of Contact Friends;

1.6 • to provide feedback from Monthly Meetings, Yearly Meetings, Summer Gatherings, Young Friends' & Junior Young Friends' camps and Quaker events at the Settlement; and

1.7 • to evaluate and report on the effectiveness of the Complaints Procedures and to record suggestions for change to be considered at a future date.

Oversight Committee.

2.  Each Monthly Meeting Oversight Committee has the responsibility for:

2.1 ensuring that the existence of the Complaints Procedures is  made known to all people in their Monthly Meeting,

2.2 overseeing the implementation of the Complaints  Procedures,

2.3 appointing at least two appropriate persons, one female and  one male, as Contact Friends,

2.4 supporting Contact Friends in their role and ensuring that  they receive appropriate training and supervision,

2.5 promoting the protection of children within its Meeting,

2.6 ensuring that the respondent is visited by a Contact Friend  when a formal complaint (see section 5 below ) has been  made and that s/he informs the respondent of the  complaint either orally or in writing,

2.7 ensuring that both the complainant and the respondent  have support from people other than the Contact Friends,

2.8 arranging for an Overseer to check the well-being of the  complainant and of the respondent and to receive from  them completed evaluation forms as appropriate,

2.9 (a) receiving from the Contact Friend(s) the evaluation form(s) for each complaint,

     (b) providing statistical information and feedback regarding the effectiveness of the Procedures to the Yearly Meeting Committee once a year. (see 4.2 re confidentiality ).

Contact Friends

3. At least one Contact Friend must be a member of the Oversight Committee identified by that group to receive Complaints and/or requests for assistance. If possible there should be one female and one male Contact Friend. A Contact Friend will consult either the other Contact Friend or the Clerk of the Oversight Committee when s/he has been approached about sexual harassment or sexual abuse issues. It is important that a Contact Friend does not work in isolation.

The Role of Contact Friend

3.1 to be available to  people in the Meeting for information, advice and awareness-raising around issues of sexual harassment and sexual abuse;

3.2 to accept the complainant's experience and to ensure that s/he has a support person of her/his choosing;

3.3 to establish with the complainant her/his preferred option within the Complaints Procedure (see section 5 below );

3.4 to ensure that the complainant's wishes for confidentiality are adhered to, to the extent that this does not compromise the safety of others;

3.5 in the event of a Formal Complaint, to visit the respondent, to provide information about the complaint and the Procedures (the complaint can be in written form if either the complainant or the respondent so wishes — if the complaint is written this must be approved by the complainant);

3.6 to arrange and possibly to facilitate any meeting that ensues;

3.7 to provide information about legal, welfare and counselling services available to both the complainant and the respondent;

3.8 to inform the Oversight Committee of all incidents including those with informal resolution;

It is expected that Contact Friends will work together to fulfil their roles.  The support that Contact Friends offer to people in the Meeting when the respondent is not a person in the Meeting is likely to be as advocates in empowering the complainant to pursue her/his resolution options.

Confidentiality.

4.1 The complainant should have control over who information is released to provided that this does not compromise the safety of others. Contact Friends and Oversight Committees only disclose information which is necessary to fulfil the requirements of the Procedures. 

(See Quaker Handbook: Elders, Overseers, Pastoral Care 6.1.2 )

4.2 Consultation with and reports to the Yearly Meeting Committee will not include the names of the complainant and the respondent, only the nature of the complaint, and the outcome.

Procedures.

5  The following are procedures for Dealing with Complaints of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Abuse (by adults) within the Quaker community and activities.

Informal Procedure.

5.1 If a f/Friend believes that s/he has been sexually harassed or sexually abused s/he may choose to discuss it first with a trusted f/Friend. A complainant may decide to act on the support given and feel empowered to deal with the matter her/himself or to let the matter rest.

5.2 Should the complainant decide to consult one of the Contact Friends that person would offer suggestions regarding Informal and Formal Procedures.  The complainant may decide to have a Clearness Meeting for her/himself to discern the way forward.

Formal Procedure.

5.3  Should the complainant decide to take the matter further and to request that a Contact Friend approach the respondent it would then become a Formal Complaint involving different options.

Options for Resolution.

5.4 The goal is to resolve difficulties; however this may not be possible.

(a) The Contact Friend may visit the respondent to tell her/him the effects of her/his behaviour.

(b) The respondent may wish to make an apology.  If that is acceptable to the complainant, the matter could be resolved.

(c) Face-to-face mediation — involving complainant, respondent and their support people and Contact Friends.  Both the complainant and respondent would know the names of the support people involved.  The process would be facilitated by the two Contact Friends or by two other members of Meeting as delegated by the Oversight Committee.  All present at the meeting, with the help of the facilitators, would work toward agreement on a solution outcome which could settle the matter and offer assurance of no further occurrences.

(d) Separate meetings — if face-to-face mediation is not acceptable, the facilitators could meet with the complainant and respondent separately.

The matter could be resolved if the outcome was satisfactory to both the complainant and the respondent.

Formal Meeting.

5.5 If a satisfactory outcome is not achieved through the above, a formal meeting could be convened. 

The complainant and respondent could elect to be present with their support persons. Also present would be the two Contact Friends, two other Overseers and two Elders. One of these people would clerk the meeting. The Contact Friends would inform this meeting of the complaint, what has been done and the current situation. The formal meeting would decide what action seemed to be in right ordering.

Sexual Abuse of Children or Young Persons in the Meeting.

6. If a young person (14 to 16 years of age, but not 17) or a child discloses sexual abuse to any adult in the Meeting:

6.1  keep calm;

6.2 listen but don't ask questions in order to avoid affecting potential evidence;

6.3 take note of what the child/young person says and record it as soon as possible;

6.4 remember that the safety and well-being of the child/young person comes before the interests of any other person;

6.5 reassure her/him that s/he did the right thing in telling;

6.6 stay with the child or young person until her/his parent or  caregiver arrives;

6.7 discuss concerns with the Contact Friend as soon as possible.

Additional aspects of the role of Contact Friend

with regard to children and young persons.

7. A Contact Friend would:

7.1 inform a parent or caregiver of the reported incident(s) and  notify a statutory agency if the child is at risk,

7.2  provide information regarding resources and agencies available,

7.3 see that processes are engaged that ensure that the child or young person is safe,

7.4 engage the support of the person that the child or young person talked to initially,

7.5 ensure that a young person complainant is given as much information about the process as possible,

7.6 ensure that ongoing support and information is provided for the complainant and responsible parent or caregiver,

7.7 assist the parent or caregiver and/or young person to deal with the sexual  abuse/sexual harassment according to the Procedures for dealing with Complaints (see 5.1 to 5.5. ).

It should be remembered that an abuser could be a family member or someone known to and trusted by the parent/caregiver. If that is the case such information should be given to statutory child protection agencies and the safety of the child given extra attention.

Planning a Quaker Event.

8. Procedure re events in the life of the Society, e.g. seminars, workshops, family camps, Young Friends' and Junior Young Friends' camps, Summer Gatherings, Yearly Meeting.

8.1 Prior to each event the planning group should appoint two Contact Friends (one female, one male) who preferably have been trained and identified in that role by their Monthly Meetings.

8.2 Each of the Contact Friends should become members of the Pastoral Care/Steering Committee for the event and should be provided with a copy of the Procedures.

8.3 The Contact Friend appointments should be made known to all participants at the commencement of the event and their names should be displayed on a noticeboard.

8.4  A copy of the Complaints Procedures should be available at each event.

8.5  Wherever possible a complaint should be dealt with during the event at which it occurred.

8.6 When that is not possible the Contact Friends at the event will consult the planning group/Pastoral Care/Steering Committee for the event to discern the way forward.

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QUAKER MARRIAGES AND CIVIL UNIONS

This appendix is designed to be read in conjunction with Section 4.10 of the Handbook.

As requirements may change over time, it is prudent for registering officers and couples to check with the Department of Internal Affairs, locally or at www.dia.govt.nz/births-deaths-and-marriages .

Legal requirements as at 15.12.2015

MARRIAGES

Requirements of the New Zealand Marriage Act, 1955, with its subsequent amendments, together with the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013:

QM 1   No marriage may be solemnised which is not authorised by the laws of New Zealand.  Section 32 of the Marriage Act 1955 and amendments, and section 55(2) of  the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act,  specifically refer to marriages in accordance with Friends' usage.   Any two people free to marry may do so legally, irrespective of gender or sexual orientation.

QM 2   The Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages is an official of the Department of Internal Affairs at the national level, and the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages at the local level.

QM 3   The couple shall give notice of their intended marriage in the prescribed form (BDM 60, Notice of Intended Marriage application form) to the local Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. They should not name any individual as celebrant, but write that they plan to marry "in accordance with the marriage regulations of the Religious Society of Friends" under section 32 of the Marriage Act. On obtaining from the Registrar the licence  and the accompanying forms (BDM 45 and BDM 45A), the couple should forward these promptly to the registering officer of the Monthly Meeting.   Since the licence is valid for only three months, couples are advised to check the timing of the Friends' process with the Meeting's registering officer before applying for a licence. 

If the couple are already in a civil union together, they should use Form BDM 59, Notice of Intended Marriage change of relationship from civil union, rather than BDM 60.  There is no requirement to dissolve their current civil union.  Evidence of the current civil union needs to be produced when they apply for the form.

It is not necessary to be resident in the town in which the marriage is to take place and application may be made to any Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, provided at least three clear working days are given between the application and the completion of the licence.

QM 4   Legal forms: During or immediately after the meeting for worship for marriage, the forms BDM 45 and BDM 45A (having been previously prepared by the registering officer) shall be signed by the couple who have married, witnessed by two people present and signed by the registering officer.  Where the form requires “[Signature of] Marriage Celebrant or Registrar of Marriages”, the registering officer should cross these out and write, “Registering Officer, Religious Society of Friends”.

Within 10 days  after the ceremony the registering officer must return to the issuing Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages the form BDM 45, together with a covering letter clearly stating the registering officer’s name and address.  A photocopy of the form BDM 45 should be kept in the meeting’s records.  Form BDM 45A is given to the couple. 

Many Meetings hold a "Marriage Register Book". It is no longer a legal requirement to keep this register.

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CIVIL UNIONS                                                       

QCU 1   The Religious Society of Friends in Aotearoa / New Zealand has been approved as a body exempt from the requirement for a celebrant, under the provisions of Schedule 1 of the Civil Union Act 2004.

QCU 2   The Registrar General of Civil Unions is an official of the Department of Internal Affairs at the national level, and the Registrar of Civil Unions at the local level.

QCU 3   The couple shall give notice of their intended civil union in the prescribed form (BDM 360) to the local Registrar of Civil Unions.  They should not name any individual as celebrant, but write that they wish to join in civil union “in accordance with the civil union regulations of the Religious Society of Friends”, an exempt body under schedule 1 of the Civil Union Act 2004. On obtaining from the Registrar the licence and the accompanying forms (BDM 345 and 345A), the couple should forward these promptly to the registering officer of the Monthly Meeting.   Since the licence is valid for only three months, couples are advised to check the timing of the Friends' process with the Meeting's registering officer before applying for a licence.

It is not necessary to be resident in the town in which the civil union is to take place and application may be made to any Registrar of Civil Unions, provided at least three clear working days are given between the application and the completion of the licence.

QCU 4 Legal forms: During or immediately after the meeting for worship for civil union, the Forms BDM 345 and BDM 345A (having been previously prepared by the registering officer) shall be signed by the couple who have joined in the civil union and witnessed by two people present and signed by the registering officer.  Where the form requires “[Signature of] Civil Union Celebrant or Registrar of Civil Unions”, the registering officer should cross these out and write, “Registering Officer, Religious Society of Friends”.

Within 10 daysafter the ceremony the registering officer must return to the issuing Registrar of Civil Unions the form BDM 345, together with a covering letter clearly stating the registering officer’s name and address. A photocopy of the form BDM 345 should be kept in the meeting’s records.  Form BDM 345A is given to the couple. 

Many Meetings hold a "Marriage Register Book", which may now become a “Marriage and Civil Union Register Book”. It is no longer a legal requirement to keep this register.

Quaker Procedure for both Marriages and Civil Unions (including responsibilities of Registering Officer and Clerk)

The Yearly Meeting of Aotearoa New Zealand, Quakers, Te Hāhi Tūhauwiri, makes no discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation in its marriage and civil union procedures.  Monthly meetings are the Quaker bodies with responsibility for marriages and civil unions. Each monthly meeting appoints a registering officer, by its usual processes.

The registering officer and clerk are responsible for completing the Record of Procedure (Form B) during the process.  If the registering officer is unable to serve, the meeting appoints an acting registering officer.

Declaration of Intention to Marry or to Contract a Civil Union and Request for the Appointment of a Meeting for Worship: The couple intending to marry or to contract a civil union applies to the registering officer of the monthly meeting for a copy of Form A,  Declaration of Intention to Marry or to Contract a Civil Union and Request for the Appointment of a Meeting for Worship.  The couple complete and sign the form and return it to the registering officer preferably three months before the date of the intended meeting for worship. If necessary the date and time (but not the place) of the marriage or civil union may be omitted, provided that these particulars are given to the registering officer as soon as possible.

If the couple are already in a civil union, and wish to change their relationship to marriage, they complete a different legal form to request a licence (see Legal Requirements above).  Then the Quaker procedure for marriage is followed.  

The Declaration of Intention to Marry or to Contract a Civil Union and Request for the Appointment of a Meeting for Worship form A is printed below.

The registering officer receives form A and informs the clerk of the intention of marriage or civil union.  This intention is announced after Meeting for Worship in the place where or near where it is proposed to hold the marriage or civil union.

The registering officer or clerk brings to the next monthly meeting a request to appoint a meeting for worship to celebrate the marriage or civil union. If the details of date and time are not known at the time they are brought to a later monthly meeting.  If the monthly meeting agrees to the request, it minutes to that effect, and the registering officer informs the couple.  The minute includes details of the membership of the couple.  The meeting may arrange for a Friend or Friends to meet with the couple for a clearness process in preparation for the meeting for worship.  (See section 6.4 of this Handbook, and sections 16.19, 16.20 and 16.21 of Britain Yearly Meeting’s Quaker Faith and Practice.)

If the monthly meeting believes it is not able to agree to the request, the registering officer (preferably with other Friends) discusses with the couple any difficulties raised.  After clarification the couple may decide either to withdraw their request, or to ask for it to be repeated at a future monthly meeting.

In cases where serious inconvenience would be caused if the appointment of a meeting for worship were delayed until the next monthly meeting, if time allows a special monthly meeting may be appointed.  Otherwise the clerk, in consultation with the registering officer, may make the appointment on its behalf. Such action is to be minuted at the next monthly meeting.

If the monthly meeting has agreed to celebrate the marriage or civil union, Friends appointed by the monthly meeting work with the couple to ensure right ordering for the meeting for worship. This is often the role of elders or their equivalent, and/or the registering officer.  If the meeting for worship is not to be held in the regular place of worship, these Friends should visit the proposed site to check its suitability for this meeting for worship.

On receiving the licence the couple show it to the registering officer. Before the day the registering officer prepares the appropriate forms (BDM 45 and BDM 45A for marriage or BDM 345 and BDM 345A for civil union). Where the form requires “[Signature of] Marriage Celebrant or Registrar of Marriages”, the registering officer should cross these out and write, “Registering Officer, Religious Society of Friends”.

The registering officer or clerk arranges for notice of the appointed meeting for worship for the celebration of marriage or civil union to be given after a meeting for worship in the place where (or in the area of which) the meeting for worship is to take place.

The registering officer arranges for the Quaker certificate to be signed and witnessed during the meeting for worship.  After the signing of the certificate or at the end of the meeting for worship, it is read audibly by the registering officer or other suitable person. 

The registering officer also arranges for the appropriate forms (BDM 45 and BDM 45A for marriage or BDM 345 and BDM 345A for civil union) to be signed and witnessed either during or at the close of the meeting for worship. ( see 4.10.8)  The registering officer sends form BDM 45 or BDM 345 within 10 days to the local Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages or Registrar of Civil Unions, together with a covering letter clearly stating the registering officer’s name and address. The registering officer also informs the clerk of the accomplishment of the meeting for worship and gives form B to the clerk..   Form BDM 45A or BDM 345A  is given to the couple, and a copy of BDM45 or BDM345 is kept with the meeting's records, together with a copy of Form B.  The clerk arranges for the accomplishment of the meeting for worship to be recorded in the minutes of the monthly meeting, with the date and place of the meeting. In cases where either person being married or contracting a civil union is a member or attender of a monthly meeting other than the one where the meeting for worship has taken place, the registering officer reports it to the clerk of each such meeting, which similarly records the details of the occasion by minute. 

 

 

Quaker Marriage / Civil Union: Form A

 

DECLARATION OF INTENTION TO MARRY OR TO CONTRACT A CIVIL UNION

and REQUEST FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF A MEETING FOR WORSHIP

 

to be completed and signed by both parties in the presence of an adult witness

 

To ...............................................  Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends

I, .............................................................................................................  (one partner’s name in full)

of .......................................................................................................................................    (address)

age .................................  (years) .......................................................  (occupation)

and I, ....................................................................................................  (other partner’s name in full)

of ........................................................................................................................................    (address)

age .................................  (years) .......................................................  (occupation)

inform you that we intend to marry / contract a civil union / change our relationship from civil union to marriage(delete thosewhich do not apply)

and that we wish, if the Monthly Meeting agrees, to celebrate our marriage / civil union at a meeting for worship

at ....................................................................................................  (place)

on ........................................................................   at ............................   (date and time).

(If necessary the date and time (but not the place) may be left blank, to be completed by the registering officer as soon as possible.)

_____________________________________________________________________________________

I declare that I am clear of any other marriage or civil union commitments, and that

EITHER I have attained legal age

OR I have obtained the consent of my parents or guardians.

I am aware of Friends’ understanding of the nature and character of marriage and civil union as a religious act, and I agree to comply with the marriage regulations of the Religious Society of Friends.

Signed ............................................................        Date ...............................

Witnessed by .................................................          Date

........................................................................       ...........................................................................

........................................................................       (Signature, name and address of adult witness)                                   

 

I declare that I am clear of any other marriage or civil union commitments, and that

EITHER I have attained legal age

OR I have obtained the consent of my parents or guardians.

I am aware of Friends’ understanding of the nature and character of marriage and civil union as a religious act, and I agree to comply with the marriage regulations of the Religious Society of Friends.

Signed ............................................................        Date ...............................

Witnessed by .................................................          Date

........................................................................       ...........................................................................

........................................................................       (Signature, name and address of adult witness)           

 

 

 

Quaker Marriage / Civil Union: Form B

Record of Procedure

 

The Registering Officer of .................. .................................. Monthly Meeting has received

on ................................  (date)  a Declaration of Intention to Marry or to Contract a Civil Union and Request for the Appointment of a Meeting for Worship (Form A) signed by ...............................................................   and ............................................…

 

Notice of this intention was given at the close of Meeting for Worship at ………….. [place] on …….[date].

 

........................................................  Monthly Meeting has received the above request for appointment of a meeting for worship for the celebration of marriage / civil union.  It has appointed this meeting for ......................................  (date & time) at ............................... (place).  This decision is recorded in the Meeting’s minutes dated .................................., number ..............

 

Notice has been given at the close of Meeting for Worship at ............................................ on ............................... (date) of this Meeting for Worship for celebration of marriage / civil union.

 

The marriage / civil union between ............................................ and ......................................... was celebrated at .................................................... on ......................................., and has been recorded in the minutes of ............................................. Monthly Meeting dated ........................ number ........................ 

 [If applicable] Notice of the celebration of this marriage / civil union has been sent to .................................................................................................. Monthly Meeting(s).

 

Signed  ................................................………….                     Clerk                       

Name  ..........................................................…….                               Date    ...............………………….                                             

                                                                                                                                     

 Signed  ................................................………….                    Registering officer   

Name  ..........................................................…….                               Date    ...............………………….

                                                                                                                                   

 

When this record is completed it is lodged in the files of the Monthly Meeting, with a copy held by the Registering Officer.

 

 

 

Marriage / Civil Union: Form C

 

SPECIMEN WORDING FOR A MARRIAGE OR CIVIL UNION CERTIFICATE

 

The wording below is based on traditional language.  It is normal for the wording, especially the promises to be adapted by the couple in consultation with the registering officer.  The certificate includes the full text of the agreed promises.

 

................................................................   and ..................................................... (full names)

brought to .....................................................  Monthly Meeting their intention of taking each other in marriage / civil union.  The Monthly Meeting agreed that the marriage / civil union should be celebrated in the manner of Friends, and appointed a Meeting for Worship for this purpose.

 

This is to certify that for the celebration of their marriage / civil union .......................................  and ........................................................... were present at the Meeting for Worship so appointed at ............................................................  on .............................................................  

 

Taking each other by the hand,                                                          

           

.................................................................   declared:

 

“Friends, I ……………………………. freely take this my Friend .............................................................  to be my husband / wife / partner in marriage / civil union, promising to be with spiritual help a loving and faithful husband / wife / partner.”

 

and ..........................................................  declared:

 

“Friends, I ……………………………… freely take this my Friend .............................................................  to be my husband / wife / partner in marriage / civil union, promising to be with spiritual help a loving and faithful husband / wife / partner.”

They have in this meeting signed this certificate of marriage / civil union.

 

Signed: ...............................................................            ............................................................

 

We were present at and witnessed the ceremony.  (followed by space for the signatures of all present who wish to sign)