There are three sections of our Crimes Act 1961 which you need to read in relation to the crime of bigamy.
We set them out in full below and provide you with some other commentary about this topic.
205. Bigamy defined --- (1) Bigamy is ---
(a) The act of a person who, being married, goes through a form of
marriage in New Zealand with a third person; or
(b) The act of a person who goes through a form of marriage in New
Zealand with any other person whom he or she knows to be
(c) The act of a New Zealand citizen, or a person ordinarily resident
in New Zealand, who, being married, goes through a form of
marriage with a third person anywhere outside New Zealand; or
(d) The act of a New Zealand citizen, or a person ordinarily resident
in New Zealand, who goes through a form of marriage anywhere
outside New Zealand with any other person whom he or she knows
to be married.
(2) For the purposes of this section, ---
(a) A form of marriage is any form of marriage recognised by the law
of New Zealand, or by the law of the place where it is
solemnised, as a valid form of marriage:
(b) No form of marriage shall be held to be an invalid form of
marriage by reason of any act or omission of the person charged
with bigamy, if it is otherwise a valid form.
(3) It shall not be a defence to a charge of bigamy to prove that if
the parties were unmarried they would have been incompetent to contract
(4) No person commits bigamy by going through a form of marriage if
(a) Has been continuously absent from his or her spouse for 7 years
then last past; and
(b) Is not proved to have known that his or her spouse was alive at
any time during those 7 years.
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