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Guardianship Custody And Access Paper Released


Discussion Paper On Guardianship Custody And Access Arrangements Released


A discussion paper on New Zealand's guardianship, custody and access framework was released today by Associate Justice Minister Margaret Wilson and Social Services and the Employment Minister Steve Maharey.

New Zealand's guardianship law was passed over 30 years ago and it is now widely acknowledged that it no longer meets the needs of modern families. Patterns of family life and values regarding family relationships have changed significantly in the intervening period. The Ministers said that the paper describes the current policy framework, the law and identifies key issues that the Government wants there to be wide public debate on.

"The discussion paper looks at the Government’s goals for family policy. It raises a number of questions on what we would like from our law on guardianship, custody and access for our children and young people.

"Some key issues include the rights of children, the rights and responsibilities of families and extended families, recognition of cultural diversity and the language we use.

"As well, people are invited to express their views on the functioning of the family court.

"The Government wants to ensure that there is no unjustified impediment to continuing active family involvement by fathers and the extended family. We need to place greater emphasis on parenting relationships within an overall framework which preserves the paramountcy of the rights of the child.

"We look forward to the results of this consultation and to the development of policy which bring the arrangements for guardianship in line with modern needs," said the Ministers.

Ends

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