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


Petition For Conscience Vote On Shared Parenting

Monday 24th Apr 2000
Dr Muriel Newman
Media Release -- Social Welfare

Parenting groups have today launched a petition at Parliament calling for MPs to take a conscience vote on the Shared Parenting Bill.

The Bill, sponsored by ACT MP Muriel Newman is due to come before Parliament on May 10. MPs will decide on that day whether to send the Bill to a Parliamentary Select Committee for scrutiny.

Speaking at the launch, Muriel Newman said Government opposition to the Bill, that ensures the right of children to frequent and ongoing access to both parents following separation and divorce, is based on misinformation. “The Minister of Women’s Affairs has been poorly briefed on shared parenting. Laila Harre’s argument that shared parenting has not worked in the 48 states of America that have shared parenting in law was soundly disproved by US experts on joint custody who visited New Zealand last week,” said Muriel Newman.

“Rather than leading the world, New Zealand is around 20 years behind the US in protecting the rights of children during separation and divorce. This Bill gives us the chance to catch up,” she said.

“As an excuse for not supporting this Bill to put children first, the Government is promising reviews of the Guardianship Act and the Family Court. Neither of those will address this problem head on,” she said.

“In effect, we have a Government that sees property in relationships as more important than children. Rather than tackling the custody and access laws as this Bill does, the Government wants Parliament to change the Matrimonial Property Act. The priorities are wrong,” said Muriel Newman.

“The Government has recognised the need for a conscience vote on the Matrimonial Property legislation. MPs should be given the courtesy of a conscience vote on Shared Parenting,” she said.

“MPs know the system is not working for children. The legal fraternity know that Parliament has not looked into what is ‘in the best interests of children’ for some 20 years and they believe this Bill would provide a valuable opportunity to do so. The Bill should be supported to Select Committee so the serious problems surrounding custody and access can be addressed,” said Muriel Newman.

For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election