Single, mobile New Zealand blokes take note: The shortage of Mr Rights in Australia is so bad that women are being urged by a Catholic Church leader to grab and keep hold of any they can find.

Father Tony Kerin, episcopal vicar for justice and social service in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, told the Herald Sun that women needed to be less fussy and would "miss out" on eligible husbands if they tried to "have it all".

"Are women getting too choosy? I'd say yes," said Father Kerin, speaking on behalf of the archdiocese.

"I think many are setting aside their aspirations for later, but by the time they get around to it, they've missed their chance.


"In trying to have it all, they end up missing out."

In Australia, there are just 86,000 single Mr Rights from the country's 1.3 million 25- to 34-year-old men.

While there is a gender imbalance in New Zealand, the Catholic Church does not endorse the priest's advice.

The Catholic Diocese of Auckland said it does not promote the concept of telling "girls to just grab a guy and get married".

In New Zealand, there are almost 49,000 more women than men aged 25-49, with the greatest imbalance in the prime relationship-forming and child-rearing age group of 30-44, according to Statistics New Zealand estimates from December last year.

It is not known how many single people are in each age bracket as last year's Census was postponed because of the February 22 earthquake tragedy in Christchurch.

But the Australian Catholic Church's Kiwi counterpart does not agree.

The Marriage Preparation co-ordinator at the Diocese of Auckland, Tonny Flapper, said its standing on tackling the man drought was "on the contrary".


"The New Zealand Catholic Church encourages couples to be well prepared before making the decision to get married and make sure that they are well suited.

"The church offers comprehensive programmes to couples, helping them to become aware of the life-time commitment that they are entering into."

Mrs Flapper said its programme offered a wide range of topics to to-be-married couples, such as Exploring Origins, Intimate Communication, Conflict Resolution, Financial Management and Roles and Expectations.