Parliament

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

 

Barker responds to Turner's DNA Bill

Hon Rick Barker
Minister for Courts

20 March 2008
Media Statement

Barker responds to Turner's DNA Bill

The government will give careful consideration to the content of Judy Turner's Family Proceedings (Paternity Orders and Parentage Tests) Amendment Bill, Courts Minister, Rick Barker said today.

"I have made it very clear that the issue is an important one. However it is my view that the member’s Bill takes a very narrow view on the matter, and does not deal with the wider, more complex and subtle issues," Mr Barker said.

"Determining genetic parentage is a sensitive issue, the outcome of which can have profound impacts on children and their families. Therefore issues regarding who should have access to the information, and the purpose the information can be put to, need to be carefully considered and worked through before embarking on a course which could have unintended consequences.

"In addition, Judy Turner's Bill would allow the Court to compel a child to be tested. The issue of mandatory samples for paternity testing could involve the use of force where a child for whatever reason does not wish to give a sample. This needs to be carefully considered.

"Common law does not necessarily permit the sample or blood tissue to be taken from a person without his or her consent. The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act protects people's rights and liberty. These are rights that children have as well as adults.

"There are also issues to be considered around situations where an informal adoption has occurred and the child has grown up believing they have a genetic link to their parents and may not wish to know otherwise. Another example of how this Bill could be problematic is in situations where couples have asked a friend or donor to carry or father their child. Should a dispute occur at a latter date, determining parentage for the purposes of financial responsibility, based solely on the issue of genetics, ignores the moral and ethical dimension of the circumstances.

"The Government has signalled a willingness to look at the complex issues raised by this Bill. The Ministry of Justice is already looking at legal parenthood issues following the Law Commission's Legal Parenthood report.

"Legislation about paternity testing needs to find the appropriate balance between the interests of the mother, father, and child. I am scheduled to receive further advice on the Bill in the next few weeks," Mr Barker said.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Greens' Response: Slum-Like Rentals Exposed In Renting Review

“With nearly half of New Zealanders renting, the grim findings of the review are a wakeup call about the true state of rentals in this country. Too many renters are festering in slum-like conditions under the thumb of landlords who have largely unchecked powers and ignore tenants’ complaints when it suits them,” said Green Party social housing spokesperson Marama Davidson. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>

ALSO:

Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election