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Moment Of Truth For Shared-Parenting

Moment Of Truth For Shared-Parenting

Friday 5 Nov 2004

Dr Muriel Newman - Press Releases - Social Welfare

ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader and Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today accused Labour, United Future, New Zealand First and the Greens of giving Kiwi fathers false hope about their support for Shared-Parenting.

"Last night, Parliament had an opportunity to change the law, to help fathers, grandparents and children throughout New Zealand who have disadvantaged by our Family Law system - but these Parties threw it away," Dr Newman said.

"I urged the House to support my amendments to introduce Shared-Parenting as a rebuttable presumption into the Care of Children Bill. My amendment introduced two shared parenting concepts:

· `shared parenting means joint day-to-day care of a child, arranged in such a way that the best interests of the child is paramount, but that the starting point is the equality of parental responsibility and rights'

· `rebuttable shared parenting as a default position for the starting point of day-to-day care determinations is based on the principle that just as two parents are equal in their parenting responsibilities and rights before a relationship breakdown, so too they should be regarded as equal afterwards, unless it can be proved that one of the parents in unfit'.

"Sadly, New Zealand First, the Greens, United Future and Labour voted the amendments down. In fact, the only other Party to support Shared-Parenting was National.

"New Zealanders who believe that Shared-Parenting should be introduced as a core principle of Family Law should realise that Shared-Parenting will only become a reality when ACT and National are in Government.

"All hope of persuading other Parties to stand up for the rights of fathers and children, by supporting Shared-Parenting, has been shown to be false," Dr Newman said.


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