Half of all same-sex couples getting hitched in New Zealand were living overseas, Statistics New Zealand has revealed.

The number of same-sex marriages and civil unions registered in 2016 was compared with just 11 per cent of opposite-sex couples coming from overseas.

Population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said of the 954 same-sex marriages or civil unions, 471 came from overseas.

"Couples from Australia accounted for 58 per cent of overseas same-sex couples coming here to marry.

Advertisement

"A further 17 per cent came from China."

Around 20 per cent of same-sex couples from overseas had one or both partners born in New Zealand, compared with 56 per cent of opposite-sex couples.

A further 19,752 New Zealand resident couples and 2490 overseas resident couples celebrated opposite-sex marriages or civil unions.

In total, marriage was the most popular with 23,136 marriages compared with 60 civil unions.