Sophie and Hayley’s Civil Union

  • Post category:NZ

A key part of our trip to NZ was to attend Sophie and Hayley’s civil union celebration on Friday 9th March in the Wairarapa. Nine months earlier Sophie had phoned me in Laos and told me of their plans. Plenty of planning took place by many family and friends around the world to be there and contribute to the celebration.

The legal part was done the day before in Wellington, by a personable young man from Internal affairs, in front of few friends and me. It was a short and snappy process.  Then the focus turned to the Wairarapa venue.


On the evening before the event, Paula and I enjoyed having dinner with my parents, brother, sister, Sue and Ron at the Wendy Campbell bistro in Martinborough. Plenty of laughter and good food.

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Meanwhile all my daughters were out working at the Pounui Homestead to help set up for the next day.

Friday was ‘Celebration day” and at 3pm buses left from the Martinborough Square for the 30 minute journey out to Pounui.  Naturally a number of people related to the Jacksons congregated beforehand in the local pub and got reacquainted.  We nearly got on a set of wedding buses waiting for another party, before being directed to the correct vehicles…who would have thought there would be 2 events leaving the square at 3pm on a Friday?

What made this celebration so successful was the attendance of Sophie’s 3 God parents, 3 grand parents, two sisters, several aunts and uncles, Marsden school friends as well as several of their parents and many old family friends. Hayley had many family and friends attending, a number having travelled quite some distance.


Sophie and Hayley were escorted by their fathers and were supported by attendants: Will, Dan, Sarah and Lucinda, to a spot in the garden. Aidan officiated a delightful ceremony where vows were exchanged and readings were delivered by Albinia (Sophie’s Grandmother) and Angela (Hayley’’s mother).



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Following photos in the garden, there was a meal and speeches and a great band provided good music for dancing. A photo booth was in action which delivered some great results for review the following day. Two buses returned the party goers to Martinborough in the early hours of Saturday morning. 

The Saturday barbecue at the same venue, started at noon and much chatting took place. It was a great day, with some excellent whitebait & venison (sourced and cooked by Hayley’s father Dayal & crew) as part of the lunch. The ice-creams also went down a treat.  The catering had been superbly managed and executed by my sister-in-law, Rosalba.  A huge thanks to her (and her helpers) for all her splendid work.

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A most successful celebration.

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