Parliament

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

 

Wilson Ignores Virtually All Submissions

The Government has made virtually no changes to the most controversial aspects of the Matrimonial Property Amendment Bill, National Justice spokesman Tony Ryall said today.

"Professor Wilson has arrogantly ignored nearly every piece of advice submitters gave the Government.

"If passed, this Bill will doom thousands of New Zealanders wanting out of relationships to languish in the clogged family courts. This will cost men and women dearly in legal bills," Mr Ryall said.

The Justice and Electoral Select Committee Report and Minority Report on the Matrimonial Property Bill and Supplementary Order Paper No 25 were tabled in Parliament today.

"Judges, experienced practitioners up and down the country, family organisations and community groups all counselled against Professor Wilson's proposals. New Zealanders had one victory in getting 'spouse', 'husband', 'wife' and 'marriage' reinserted into the legislation. But the most controversial aspects remain unchanged.

"Even the Principal Family Court Judge Mahony pleaded for guidance saying judges will end up making law which Parliament should be making.

"Courts will have discretion to vary the 50/50 split rule - taking away certainty. Judges are being asked to predict the future. Individual judges will make different assessments, giving different results. The Government has given no thought to what happens if judges guess wrongly.

"More cases will clog the family courts. Because the new legislation gives so much discretion to judges, the changes will see up to 80% of cases going before the courts, compared with 10% now.

"There are loose definitions in key parts of the legislation. In the end, as Judge Mahony said in his submission, the Courts will be making the rules that Parliament should be making.

"The $60,000 budgeted to educate people on the impact these changes will have on their lives is less than the legal costs of one substantial matrimonial dispute. The Government didn't even want the publicity of a select committee report until Opposition parties forced it.

"The Government has changed the implementation date of the legislation to 1 February 2002. In reality, this will mean that no cases will be settled before the election. Professor Wilson doesn't even have the courage of her convictions.

"The Government's proposals are not fair. There are problems that need addressing but equal division and certainty has for the most part delivered a fair split for couples. As it stands, this legislation will open a Pandora's Box that will be difficult to put the lid back on," Mr Ryall said.

Ends

For background information and previous statements visit our website: www.fairsplit.org.nz

A printable formatted copy of this press release will be available on http://www.national.org.nz along with an archive of previous releases.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Malaysia Exposing Our Dodgy Policies On China

Last week, we all owed a vote of thanks to Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad for breaking with protocol during his bilateral meeting in Singapore with New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern. Reportedly, Mahathir used the photo opportunity phase of the meeting – which usually involves just an exchange of smiles and pleasantries before the media is sent out of the room – to launch into matters of genuine substance.

By doing so, Mahathir usefully exposed how New Zealand is trying to make a virtue out of sitting on the fence over the South China Sea dispute. More>>

 

Health: Changes To Drinking Water Standards

David Clark said many of the changes he is making, which will take effect on 1 March 2019, are clarifications or corrections, “but there are two changes which will significantly improve the ability to test and respond to the presence of harmful bacteria such as E.coli”. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Police Detention "Unlawful But Reasonable"

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that while Police acted unlawfully in October 2017 when they detained a Queenstown man for a mental health assessment, their actions were reasonable in the circumstances. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Chile President's NZ Visit

At the invitation of the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, undertook a State Visit to New Zealand on 19 November 2018... More>>

ALSO:

Climate Change: Top Academics Call On Government To Take Action

One hundred and fifty academics and researchers from around Aotearoa, including Dame Anne Salmond, Emeriti Professors and several Fellows of the Royal Society, have signed a strongly-worded open letter to the Government demanding bold and urgent action to tackle climate change. More>>

ALSO:

Teacher Qualifications, Class Sizes: Ten Year Plan For Early Learning

“Moving towards 100 percent qualified teachers in early childhood education centres and improving adult:child ratios are among some of the key proposals for change put forward by the sector and experts in the new draft ten year strategic plan for early learning,” Chris Hipkins said. More>>

ALSO:

Teacher Strikes: Meeting, March And Rally In Wellington

Throughout the Wellington region the NZEI rolling strikes entered their final day Friday. Thousands of teachers met in Wellington, Kapiti, Porirua and the Wairarapa. More>>

ALSO:

14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels