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Shared Parenting Bill Defeat Stifles Debate

Shared Parenting Bill Defeat Stifles Debate Says Nat

The defeat of the Shared Parenting Bill in Parliament last night just reiterates the Labour/Alliance 'we know best' approach to government says Auckland National MP Belinda Vernon.

"Shared parenting is an important issue. It has touched the hearts and minds of thousands of New Zealanders. They have a right to have their say. But tonight certain parties in Parliament did their best to stop them.

"Virtually all those who voted against the Bill said they supported the sentiment, but didn't think it would work and thought they could figure out a better solution.

"They weren't interested in hearing from those affected by the current law. They weren't interested in letting New Zealanders express their frustration with a system that has failed them.

"No, they were bought off by a Government promise to review the Guardianship Act.

"There were compelling reasons for the Bill to go to a Select Committee. Not the least that there is a constituency of support in the community for Parliament to consider the issue in more than a perfunctory manner.

"There are lots of people hurting over this issue. Frustration is festering. I have been surprised at the level of unhappiness in the community on this issue. Stifling debate is not the answer.

"I have been overwhelmed by the number of parents, particularly fathers, and grandparents who have expressed their helplessness and frustration with the inadequacies of the present system.

"I am pleased that a petition on the issue was tabled in Parliament yesterday and that a Select Committee will now consider the broader issue. But it is a second best option to making submissions on a specific piece of legislation."


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