Prime Minister John Key coming out saying he isn't personally opposed to same-sex marriage has prompted a lobby group to question the state's right to re-invent marriage.
Mr Key was asked about the issue after US president Barack Obama said he supports same-sex marriage, ending a period of equivocation on a divisive issue.
"I am not personally opposed to gay marriage," Mr Key said.
"It's possible that parliament may consider a member's bill at some stage, but it is not on the government's agenda."
Mr Key's position has triggered a response from lobby group Family First, which says the state didn't invent marriage and has no authority to re-invent it.
"A homosexual cannot now legally marry. But neither can a whole lot of other people," the group's national director, Bob McCoskrie, said.
"A five-year-old boy cannot marry. Three people cannot get married to each other. A married man can't marry another person. Two old aunties living together cannot marry. A father cannot marry his adult daughter. A football team cannot enact group marriage - the list is endless."
Being pro-marriage and wanting to maintain its definition as being between a man and a woman was not "anti-gay", Mr McCoskrie said.
Mr Key earlier said he didn't think there was any clamour for gay marriage in New Zealand.
Labour leader David Shearer says he personally supported marriage equality.Civil unions between same-sex couples have been allowed in New Zealand since 2005.
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