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A Modern, Commonsense Approach To Law

10 July 2002

New Zealand’s family law system must keep pace with a changing society and not be hijacked by political correctness, says National’s Justice spokesperson Wayne Mapp.

Releasing National’s Justice and Courts Policy today, Dr Mapp says commonsense and equality must drive a modern legal system, not bureaucratic red tape and restrictions.

“The most damaging social legislation in a decade, Labour’s Property Relationships Act, has cut across choice. It has forced disruptive change on people and failed to strengthen family relationships.

“National will review the Property Relationships Act 2000 so that de facto couples will have to contract into the law, rather than contract out. We recognise that if a de facto couple has chosen not to marry, they should not be pressured to do so.

“We will also review the Act in relation to wills and separate property.

“Adoption, custody and guardianship laws have to match a modern society and we will review these to help people strengthen their family relationships. We also intend reviewing the procedures and processes of the Family Court.

“National will retain the Privy Council and modify it to suit today’s conditions. The vast majority of users of the Privy Council want to retain access to one of the world’s finest courts, but the Government has been hellbent on changing our constitution without the consent of the business community, many senior members of the legal profession and many eminent Maori.

“We will ensure that New Zealand’s commercial law keeps pace with the modern marketplace, and is not left languishing in a legislative backlog. Our legal toolkit must be kept up to date, and in good repair.

“Political correctness should not be allowed to override our country’s sense of justice. National’s is committed to a system that delivers equality, fairness and commonsense,” says Dr Mapp.


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