"I said in my maiden speech we're proof that it pays not to stereotype," Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson said.
The gay Labour politician and former No 8 is swapping vows and rings with his sweetheart of 10 years, Alf Kaiwai, a former halfback, this afternoon in a civil union ceremony at Old St Paul's in Wellington.
Mr Robertson, 36, who saw off National's Stephen Franks by 1571 votes in the November election, said at least 200 friends and family would be on hand to witness the ceremony and share the joyous day with the two men.
"I'll be in a suit and Alf will be in something similar," Mr Robertson said - adding: "We're trying not to clash."
A friend who was a Presbyterian minister and civil union celebrant was officiating for the couple, who planned to throw a party at an undisclosed Wellington nightclub tonight.
"It feels remarkably traditional, if there's such a thing for civil unions. It's the usual story. We're going to have some readings from relatives and songs by some friends.
"We've been together for 10 years, which is publicly recorded. We felt that we wanted to have a kind of public show of our commitment to each other and a chance for family and friends to share in that."
Mr Robertson was more excited than nervous, and adamant about his choice of life partner. "He's a great guy. He's really supportive, he's caring and kind. He's got a great sense of humour.
"He's fun and I love him. I hope the feeling's mutual after 10 years. If he wanted to get out, he should have got out by now."