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CHP Supports Shared Parenting Bill


10 May 2000

Graham Capill
Party Leader


Party Leader Graham Capill said the Christian Heritage Party supports ACT’s Shared Parenting Bill, and was critical of the Government’s refusal to allow even a conscience vote on it.

Mr Capill said, “It is appalling to think that the Labour-Alliance Government allows a conscience vote on property rights for homosexual and de facto couples, but refuses to allow a free vote on an issue that affects 750,000 New Zealanders.

“If New Zealand family law is serious about making the rights and welfare of the child paramount, it should create a presumption that a child has a right to be cared for equally by the two parents that brought that child into the world.

“As a pastor and as a politician I have dealt with many men (in particular) who wish to take a more active role in parenting, but are prevented from doing so by court orders and welfare agencies. Far from discouraging such parenting, the law needs to be changed to encourage it.

“As Family Court co-ordinators will testify, increasingly neither parent wants custody. It is time that we held parents responsible for their children, regardless of their selfish preferences.

“That children from broken homes:
 contribute as many as three out of four teenage suicides;
 four out of five psychiatric admissions;
 are over represented in our prison;
 are three times more likely to be expelled or suspended from school;
 are three times more likely to be in need of treatment for emotional or behaviour problems;
is now well established in reports around the world. While shared parenting is second best to the stability found in homes where separation has not taken place, at least it is an attempt to show a child that both parents care and love him or her.

“Many individuals and children will be disappointed that the maxim ‘once a parent, always a parent’ has not been honoured in family law tonight. While the Christian Heritage Party would rather promote initiatives that prevent separation and divorce, it is important to do what is best for our children when they are faced with such outcomes. Tonight they have been denied this,” Mr Capill concluded.

Contact: Party Leader Graham Capill (021) 661 766

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