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MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

Thu 29th July 2004

Custody overhaul to improve men’s access to children

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 12:20 pm

The Australian Federal Government has announced an overhaul of family law arrangements, with plans to give men involved in marriage break-ups greater access to their children.

The changes also include new centres to provide compulsory mediation to separating couples.

The shake-up does not include a new families tribunal to hear custody cases, which was the key recommendation of a bipartisan parliamentary inquiry.

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said today one of the key changes would be an amendment to the Family Law Act to entrench equal-shared parental responsibility as the starting point in disputes.

But the Government has rejected a call within its ranks, and from men’s rights lobbyists, for equal time and a new $500 million tribunal.

The proposed changes are designed to remove an alleged vagueness from the Family Law Act that critics claim allows lawyers to steer judges to favour mothers and which reflects other community concerns that Australian children are being brought up in fatherless households.

The changes will ensure men are given greater statutory assurance that they can see their children, proponents claim.

The Family Law Act will be amended to stress the ideal that both parents should have a meaningful involvement in their children’s lives. It will also acknowledge a right for grandparents in the custody process.

Weaknesses with the new scheme (as reported so far) lie in no announcements about legal or process changes to help the courts discipline intransigent mothers.

And while fast-tracking of child abuse allegations is indicated, there seems to be no similar process for domestic violence. Indeed, it looks as if a simple domestic violence allegation could allow a mother to opt out of the process.

Non-PC minister defends men

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 9:13 am

Cabinet Minister John Tamihere is planning an attack on “politically correct” critics of “red-blooded heterosexual men”, who he says are sick of being told they are the source of all evil.

In a speech Tamihere will give at St Peter’s College in Epsom tonight, the Youth Affairs Minister will criticise society’s attitudes towards straight men and claim it is time for men to reclaim their rightful place in families.

Tamihere plans to speak up for “Kiwi heterosexual men” and say that he believes that the “pendulum of political correctness has swung too far”.

Read JohnTamihere’s speech here.

Tue 27th July 2004

Abusive texts plague victims

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 7:23 pm

Abusive text messages are forcing dozens of Bay of Plenty women to seek help from Women’s Refuge.

Staff say there has been a rapid increase in the number of complaints of abusive text messages in the past six months. The problem has become so bad that 80 per cent of women seeking help have been abused by text.

Vodafone has taken a hard line with abusive text messages, threatening to disconnect offenders’ phones.

Telecom can also monitor calls made from specific phone numbers and can keep copies of text messages for seven days.

Tue 20th July 2004

Child Support Agency undertaking research : Input wanted by CSA from parents who are paying Child Support.

Filed under: Child Support — Scrap_The_CSA @ 8:46 pm

The Child Support Agency has commissioned Colmar Bruton to conduct research on : Compliance behaviour among paying parents: (research to support a proposed social marketing programme)

The Child Support Agency is following up on research carried out in 1998 :.” To address the problem of parents not complying with child support payments , Inland Revenue Child Support commissioned Colmar Brunton in to research the motivations and barriers that affect paying parents who have laspes in their payments.”

The Scope of the 2004 research is : ” research to understand the compliance behaviour of Child Support Customers……..Following the research we will evaluate whether to proceed with the development of a plan for social marketing.”

Your chance to participate : (more…)

Estranged fathers to get more access to children

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 5:14 pm

Estranged [UK] fathers will be allowed increased access to their children under new legislation to be announced this week.

A Green Paper will propose changes to the family court system that will include the suggestion that both parents are allowed “frequent and continuous contact” with their children.

“We recognise that there are a number of real difficulties with the current system,” said a spokeswoman at the Department for Constitutional Affairs. “[There are] too many cases where the child’s interests are not seen to be central, too many cases that go on for too long, too many cases where there are problems enforcing court decisions. The Government is looking at ways to help in cases of relationship breakdown.”

Centres to focus on kids in break-ups

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 5:06 pm

A national network of family relationship centres to help separating parents focus on the needs of their children has emerged as the [Australian] Federal Government’s preferred model in revamping the family law system.

Staffed by professional counsellors and mediators, they would help parents develop a post-separation parenting plan, give initial advice on Centrelink payments and child support, and provide referrals to other agencies.

Mon 19th July 2004

Support For Separated Dads A Good Move

Filed under: Domestic Violence,General — Brian @ 8:31 pm

Press Release: New Zealand First Party

New Zealand First social services spokesperson Bill Gudgeon says he’s thrilled that a dedicated house for fathers and children during marriage separation is being recognised for the much needed service it is providing. ………….

MAN: marginalised and neglected?

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 3:58 pm

I am producing a TVNZ documentary entitled “MAN: marginalised and neglected?” which explores masculism and some of the gender inequality in New Zealand.

I have gleamed a lot of information from your website and particularly enjoyed your own story about becoming the primary caregiver for your children and your ‘moderate’ (read: practical) views on masculism.

I need someone to represent a “moderate masculist” viewpoint and pro-father stance – ideally with some kind of profile within mens/father organistions).

Below are my contact details for anyone who might wish to contribute in any way.

I would love to hear from anyone who has passionate opinions, is knowledgable on gender inequality issues, and (obviously) is keen to appear on camera.

Thanks, Greg Stubbings


Sat 17th July 2004

Haven For Separated Dads In Need

Filed under: Domestic Violence,General — JohnPotter @ 4:59 pm

A dedicated house for fathers in the midst of separation, and their children is being recognised for the much-needed service it is providing.

Separated Fathers Support Trust House coordinator Warren Heap says that the house specifically caters for children as well as fathers and gives families a chance to get away from often very stressful environments.

“At the very least we offer people meals and a place to sleep. Children often say “it’s good being here Dad as there are no arguments”. In a stressful situation accommodation can be just one of the many issues being faced.

“A major factor underlining the need for such a ‘retreat’ house is the opportunity it presents in enabling a father to retain his children or have more meaningful ongoing contact with them. It provides him with an address, phone contact and may help him maintain his job. It certainly provides him with time and space to re establish his life and focus on other important issues he is faced with at this difficult time,” said Mr Heap.

In addition to the House residents’ monetary contribution, the Separated Fathers Support Trust is reliant on donations and fundraising. A SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust grant of $5000 has assisted with operational costs for the house.


Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 12:34 pm

1, 2, 3… is this thing on? oh, ahem; Welcome to the MENZ News Forum.
When I finally figure out how this fancy new content management system works there will be news and discussion posted here on a regular basis.

If you want to say hi and introduce yourself, add a comment to this item.

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