Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Welfare of children not advanced by bill

Hon Steve Maharey
Minister of Social Services and Employment
Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education)
Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector
MP for Palmerston North

22 March 2000

Welfare of children not advanced by Shared Parenting Bill

The Government has decided not to support the Shared Parenting Bill promoted by ACT's Muriel Newman, Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today.

Mr Maharey said that while the bill's stated objectives to promote fairness in child custody arrangements were laudable, it was unlikely that they would be realised or achievable through its provisions. The Government will be giving detailed consideration to a wide range of family matters later this year and this will provide an opportunity to take a considered view of all relevant issues, including those raised in the Newman bill.

"Upholding the rights of children must be the paramount consideration of all custody legislation. The Government agrees that the separation of parents does not, and should not, terminate parental responsibilities for either parent.

"Seeking to promote fairness in situations where child custody and access is being contested is a laudable objective.

"However the Government does not consider that the one size fits all solution promoted by Mrs Newman through this bill is appropriate.

"In attempting to legislate preferred or favoured custody arrangements the bill places the rights of parents above those of children and as such it is inconsistent with other family law statutes.

"New Zealand research shows that joint custody arrangements only work well when there is good co-operation between both parents. My concern about Mrs Newman's bill is that it risks making parental co-operation much harder to achieve and instead invites lawyers into the process.

"Later this year I will be reviewing how the Government deals with a range of child welfare issues. My colleague the Attorney-General, Margaret Wilson, has also indicated that she intends to review the present Guardianship Act around the same time.

"Our view is that, taken together, these evaluations will provide a better opportunity to consider the issues raised by Mrs Newman and that as a result we will be able to arrive a workable solutions which preserve the paramountcy of the rights of children", Steve Maharey said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news