I've long argued that the de facto marriage concept introduced in New Zealand's Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (PRA), which was passed in 2001, is a disaster. The short version of that argument is here:
The full version of that argument, which includes a general discussion of a philosophy of law I call de facto-ism, is here:
The place of de facto-ism in NZ law has been in the spotlight for the last few days because of the extraordinary, The Hobbit-induced wrangling over another piece of de facto-ist NZ legislation, the Employment Relations Act (ERA) 2000. I discuss that development in a pair of footnotes which are perhaps best seen in a book manuscript-context here (opening at p. 204):
The provocative bottom line for me is that Warner Brothers effectively freed the film industry in NZ from one aspect of (Margaret) Wilson-ian de facto-ism. Perhaps an exceedingly glamorous, foreign, married couple (e.g., Ellen de Generes and her de jure partner Portia de Rossi), could strike a similar blow against the de facto marriage regime that Wilson inflicted on NZ, i.e., by very publicly conditioning a move to NZ on PRA S 2D(1)(c) being amended (and not just for the film and entertainment industry!). Well, we can dream.