Polygamy existed in traditional Māori society to a limited extent, mostly practiced by rangatira (tribal chiefs).When New Zealand was annexed into the British Empire in 1840, British law took effect that prohibited polygamous marriage. Colonial law permitted Māori to marry under their own marriage customs, which continued until 1888 (although polygamy was practiced in Māori society – legally or otherwise – well into the 20th century).But in general, polygamy has remained prohibited in New Zealand law.
Polygamy New Zealand law:
Polygamous marriages may not be performed in New Zealand. A married person who enters into another marriage in New Zealand is guilty of the crime of bigamy. Similar rules apply for civil unions, which have been legal in New Zealand since 2005. However, polygamous marriages legally performed in another country have limited recognition in New Zealand law, provided that no person involved was living in New Zealand at the time of the union.
Advocacy for full legalisation of polygamy in New Zealand has come from some libertarian individuals and from individual members of non-Christian religious groups. However, polygamy has little public support among New Zealanders, and no major political party has endorsed its legalisation.
Larry Pickering, an Australian political cartoonist, caricaturist and illustrator of books and calendars at blogspot.co.nz has an answer to ex-JAFA’s question and it has nothing to do with morals and everything to do with money. He uses as an example what is happening in Australia. His post was written in 2014 but is still relevant two years later. His example shows us what happens when a Muslim man who has multiple wives and children arrives in Australia and applies for welfare support.