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


McCully Writes To Solicitor General

6 June 2003

Mr Terence Arnold Solicitor-General Crown Law Office P O Box 5012 WELLINGTON

Dear Sir

I write to lay a formal complaint with you against the Principal Family Court Judge, Patrick Mahony for his public statements on National Radio on Tuesday 29 April 2003 about a specific case before the Family Court in respect of which he commented on proceedings before the court. I do so in the context that you are threatening to prosecute the Member of Parliament for Nelson, Dr Nick Smith, for contempt of court. It is clear that to the extent that Dr Smith has breached Section 27A of the Guardianship Act, so too has Judge Mahony.

In the course of Judge Mahony’s interview on National Radio (transcript enclosed), he made specific references to proceedings bought under the Act.

“Now, if the Court for example in this case were offering a fixture, a hearing two years ago and the family were not prepared to accept it or unready for it, it would be unfair wouldn’t it, to lay the blame at the door of the court”.

“Where you have a Maori family in particular who say to the court, we want the court processes put on hold so that we can conduct a hui, get our own way in accordance with our own decision making process for families, in accordance with our own traditional and cultural values, the court of course will be very happy to go along with that suggestion”.

In response to “Here you’ve got a case where the parents live in a different part of the country from the custodians so that means access is limited?” Judge Mahony replied, “True. True”.

“The court having to deal with the members of the family on both sides who are involved and having regard to the needs of this particular child, is doing the best it can to reintroduce the child to it’s own side of the family, to the natural parents, brothers and sisters”.

In response to “The child went to the cousin at 15 months old. The child is 6 now. By anyone’s measure that is a good deal of time”. Judge Mahony replied, “It is a good deal of time I agree with you”.

“Too long in the life of a child in the sense that if the child is to be reunited with the child’s own family and I understand that is the aim, then the child has been away from that family for a long time”.

In commenting on re-establishing the child with its own family “That process has been going on and progressing”.

“I am satisfied that the court has done its best to manage the case having regard to the people and the complexities which have arisen in the course of it”.

“I understand there is a fixture allocated for later this month”.

The above statements clearly refer to details of a particular case before the Family Court. The Judge clearly refers to the ethnicity, geographical location, children’s ages, and fixture timetables in relation to the case.

To the extent that Dr Smith is accused of publishing similar details and therefore breaching S27A, so too has Judge Mahony breached that section.

In the interests of seeing Judge Mahony treated on the same basis as my colleague, I am making this formal complaint. I would be pleased to hear what steps you intend to take.

Yours sincerely

Hon Murray McCully MP

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news