Parliament

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

 

Family court review welcomed, but more protection needed

Family court review welcomed, but more protection needed

2 August 2012

The Green Party welcomes the emphasis on children in Family Court reforms, but is concerned families could be locked out by the cost of accessing the cornerstone dispute resolution service, which could put women and children at risk.

The Government today announced major changes to the Family Court which include some good ideas – such as extending the definition of domestic violence to include economic abuse - and rightly put the focus on the needs of children.

“But in order to put children first, you have to prioritise the safety of the parent who protects them and we don’t see enough recognition of that in the review” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said.

“Encouraging parents to go through a disputes resolution service before heading off to the Court is, on the surface, a good idea but we are concerned about the cost – reported to be about $800 – and the danger of channelling the victims of family violence into mediation.

“Justice Minister Judith Collins has said the victims of child abuse and domestic violence will not be required to go through mediation first but, without a sophisticated triage service, it will be impossible to know who is a victim of family violence.

“To force a woman to face a violent partner in mediation is dangerous to both her and any child she is protecting. Not every woman who leaves a violent partner has a protection order in her hand.

“As for cost, the Minister has announced subsidies will be available to people who meet the legal aid threshold, but unless the subsidy covers almost all the fee, it will be prohibitive to many. Officials estimate 1200 families a year could be put off due to cost

“We will be seeking more detail on efforts to make the resolution service accessible, financially and practically, for remote rural families and those who genuinely can’t afford to pay.

“Plans to educate parents about separation and to establish clearer pathways through the court seem like good ideas.

“And, while an increase in the maximum penalty for breaching protection orders is welcome, victims of family violence report the real problem is getting the breaches taken seriously by the police, and by the court. This needs to be the first step,” Mrs Turei said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Uncanny Valley Of Tokyo 2020

For all involved, this year’s Olympic Games have called for a willing suspension of anxiety. For now at least, the displays of skill and agility have been compelling enough to muffle some of the previous misgivings about the wisdom of asking athletes from all corners of the world to converge in one place in the middle of a pandemic, and at the height of a Tokyo summer... More>>



ALSO:


 
 


Child Poverty Action Group: Poverty Burden For Children Increased Due To Government Neglect - New Report

Poverty, inequity, homelessness and food insecurity are among the burdens which increased for tamariki Māori and other children in the first year of Covid-19 - partially due to Government neglect... More>>

Government: Cabinet Accepts Turkish Authorities’ Request For The Managed Return Of Three NZ Citizens

Cabinet has agreed to the managed return of a New Zealand citizen and her two young children from Turkey, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The three have been in immigration detention in Turkey since crossing the border from Syria earlier this year... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Quarantine Free Travel With Australia Suspended

Quarantine Free Travel from all Australian states and territories to New Zealand is being suspended as the Covid situation there worsens, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced today... More>>

ALSO:


NZUS Council: Welcomes Nomination Of Senator Tom Udall As US Ambassador To NZ

The NZUS Council welcomes the nomination of Senator Tom Udall to the role of US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, NZUS Council executive director Jordan Small said... More>>

BusinessNZ: Visa Extensions Welcomed
BusinessNZ has welcomed the extension of some critical skill visa durations and changes to immigration systems to speed processing. Chief Executive Kirk Hope says move acknowledges advocacy by the hospitality sector, the BusinessNZ Network and others, and comes not a moment too soon.... More>>



Social Development: Government Initiatives Contribute To Fall In Benefit Numbers

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the release of the June quarter Benefit Statistics which show a continuing fall in the number of people receiving a Main Benefit... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels