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


What About The Family Court?

What About The Family Court?

Wednesday 3 Dec 2003
Dr Muriel Newman
Press Releases -- Social Welfare

ACT New Zealand Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today expressed disappointment - but not surprise - that, while media attention has been grabbed by a restructuring of our courts, little has been said about the need to re-vamp the Family Court.

"By far, the Family Court is our most flawed court - secrecy and endless litigation are tearing parents and their children apart," Dr Newman said.

"As an MP I receive many letters and calls from frustrated parents - some who have not seen their children in years - all asking for help. Lack of public scrutiny means that Family Court decisions are made in secret, with affected parties forbidden to speak of them. Is it any wonder that parents kept from their children are crying out in frustration?

"ACT has long campaigned for the Family Court to be opened up, and I currently have a petition calling for that before Select Committee. The Australian example shows that removing the court's shroud of secrecy would result in better family outcomes, less litigation and cost, and lower incidence of Child Support refusal.

"That a New Zealand court regularly marginalises children, by excluding one of their parents from their lives - under a shroud of secrecy and threat of criminal prosecution - is unacceptable in a civilised society.

"All available research shows that children who have stable relationships with both parents do better in all aspects of life than those who don't.

"If there are to be any changes to our court system, then the first must be to the Family Court, for the good of children and families throughout the country," Dr Newman said.


For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Plan To Privatise Welfare Delivery

On the rare occasions when it ever gets asked, the public keeps rejecting tax cuts as such, as a policy priority. It keeps saying it wants tax levels to either stay the same or be increased, so that public services can be maintained, or even (perish the thought) improved. In 2018, after nine years of the systematic underfunding of health and education by the last National government, the public wanted better: A UMR survey….shows 92% of Kiwis agree public services like hospitals, schools and the transport system need more government funding...


Luxon: Speech To The 2022 National Party Annual Conference

Kia ora! What a brilliant conference! The energy wave from this weekend will carry us right through to election year and I say: bring it on... More>>

National: Five Years Of Failure For Light Rail
Construction of light rail in Auckland might not begin until 2025 despite tomorrow marking five years since Jacinda Ardern announced it would be delivered to Mt Roskill by 2021, National’s Transport spokesperson Simeon Brown says... More>>

Government: Representation Bill Passes Third Reading In Parliament
Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu welcomes the passing of new legislation tonight to reinstate Ngāi Tahu councillors to Environment Canterbury... More>>

Government: More Women On Public Boards Than Ever Before

“Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees is now 52.5 percent, the highest ever level... More>>

Te Pāti Māori: Debbie Ngarewa-Packer Calls On PM To Support Bill To Ban Seabed Mining

Te Pāti Māori Co-leader, Ngāti Ruanui and Ngā Rauru uri Debbie Ngarewa-Packer is today celebrating that her Prohibition on Seabed Mining Legislation Amendment Bill has been drawn from Parliament’s biscuit tin... More>>

Housing: Building Consents Surpass 50k Again
New Zealand’s strong pipeline of housing construction is continuing with the annual number of new homes consented surpassing 50,000 for the fourth month in a row... More>>




InfoPages News Channels