NZ gets its first Flying Spaghetti Monster marriage celebrant
Kiwi couples wanting to "tie the gnocchi", rejoice - New Zealand now has its first Pastafarian marriage celebrant.
The Department of Internal Affairs has given its seal of approval to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti's first marriage celebrant - or "ministeroni" - Karen Martyn, after the church won the right to marry people last December.
A post on the church's Facebook page announced the news, saying plans for the first Pastafarian wedding fell through after the couple decided against "tying the noodley knot".
"A wise decision noted the Ministeroni: 'Tis always better to be alone, wishing you were knotted, than to be knotted and wishing you weren't.' R'Amen!"
The church says the Wellington-based celebrant is able to travel and perform ceremonies anywhere in New Zealand, putting penne to paper for the official marriage registration documents.
She can also attend the after-function, with a traditional pasta feast recommended.
There's no word whether it will be mandatory to dance the Macaroni, or sing along to Beyonce's "If you liked it then you should have put a ringatoni on it".
AHOY Mateys - we have an officially approved marriage celebrant - the first FSM Church celebrant in NZ! R'Amen!...Posted by Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster - New Zealand on Saturday, February 13, 2016
The ministeroni will donate her time, with couples only required to cover travel expenses and make a donation to the church of between $150 and $800.
The application from the church was approved by the registrar-general of births, deaths and marriages last December and listed in the New Zealand Gazette.
Registrar-general of births, deaths and marriages Jeff Montgomery's decision said the application was approved under a sub-section of the Marriages Act, satisfying the registrar-general that the principal object of the organisation was to uphold or promote religious beliefs, philosophical or humanitarian convictions.
Montgomery said the purposes set out by the church were educating and training people, particularly atheists and superstitious people, about Flying Spaghetti.
Those principles covered human rights, cultural and spiritual diversity, ethics, relieving poverty and advancing education.
"A review of media and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster's international website show a consistent presentation of their philosophies. While some claim this is a 'parody organisation', members have rebutted this on a number of occasions."
NO TAX BREAK FOR YOU, YOUNG JEDI
New Zealand law does not define religious, or philosophical, organisations eligible for approval to perform marriages.
Most organisations approved to perform marriages are faith-based and cluster around well-known religious views.
However, alternative philosophies have been granted official licensing capabilities, including yoga, Wicca, Scientology, Heathen, Druidism, Humanism and Reiki spiritual healing.
In 2014, a Christchurch man known by his first name "Russell" appeared on Campbell Live after a driving licence photograph of him wearing a colander on his head went viral.
Russell said he was a member of the Flying Spaghetti Monster movement.
In September 2015, the Department of Internal Affairs rejected an application by the Jedi Society Incorporated to be recognised as a charitable endeavour, including tax breaks.
The society was established in April 2014, with an aim of acting as "guardians of peace" and keeping a particular eye on agents of the dark side of the force.
As well as protecting the galaxy, the society said it would promote the Jedi religion, build a temple and try to grow the number of Jedi adherents in New Zealand.