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Bill English and his side-kick talking nonsense

Bill English and his side-kick talking nonsense

Associate Justice Lianne Dalziel today accused Bill English of mischief-making over the intent of the Care of Children Bill.

“The best interests of the individual child is the primary focus and paramount principle underpinning this proposed legislation.

“It is clear that Bill English is so desperate for a headline that he has to focus on one minor aspect of the Bill. Both English and his side-kick Nick Smith are trivialising what are very serious issues that need serious debate. The assertion that this is a ‘kind of social engineering’ is just nonsense. The Bill does not make women ‘fathers’.

“Clause 17 (2) of the Bill is clearly providing a mechanical provision for describing the implications of policy changes as they relate to same-sex parents of a child born through assisted human reproductive (AHR) technology.

To quote from the Bill: “To avoid doubt, a reference in this section (or elsewhere in this Act) to the ‘father of a child’ is a reference to the same-sex de facto partner of the mother of the child if, by operation of part 2 of the Status of Children Act 1969, that de facto partner is a parent of the child (see Section 14 (2) of that Act).

“Both Bill English and Nick Smith are being disingenuous. They know perfectly well that this provision simply provides a short-hand for a decision reflected in amendments to the Status of Children Act (also contained in the Bill) which place the same-sex partner of the birth mother in the same position as an opposite-sex partner, when an AHR procedure has been used.

“The National party has ignored the fact that what is important to any child is not the sexual orientation of their parents, but rather, how much those parents love, care for and protect them.

“The Bill can’t only apply to traditional nuclear families where mum and dad are married to each other because that is not the reality of many families. The Bill must provide for all children otherwise those from non-traditional families will not be protected by the Bill.

“The purpose of the Bill is to set out the legislative framework for the care of children where any relationship breaks down. The responsibility of parents is to work within that framework to put the best interests and welfare of children first. It is my very strong view that the interests of children are best served by parents reaching an agreement rather than relying on a court order. Parents need to put aside their personal interests for the sake of the children,” Lianne Dalziel said.

“In terms of the debate in Parliament today, the Opposition has not set a very good example. We owe it to the children of New Zealand not to play petty politics and ensure that we focus the debate on the real policy issues.”

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