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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 24th March 2005

Couple speak out about Victim Support

Filed under: Domestic Violence,Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 2:38 pm

Stephen and Diane Jelicich were a couple whose split became as acrimonious as it can get.

It culminated in January with Stephen running off with their baby daughter Caitlin and hiding from police for 10 days.

Diane went back to Wales not knowing where her daughter was or when she would see her again. But the couple believe it should never have been that bad.

They told Close Up they blame Victim Support for creating the situation which made Stephen take Caitlin.

It all started on December 22 when Stephen called police claiming Diane had assaulted him and damaged his eardrum.

A few hours later police and Victim Support arrived and took Diane and Caitlin to Women’s Refuge while Stephen was out.

At the same time, a warrant was issued for his arrest. However, the couple did not signal they wanted to be separated.

While it was Stephen that was the alleged victim that day, it was Diane and Caitlin that were rescued by Victim Support.

Previous items about the Jelicich case:

Tue 22nd March 2005

60% of reported child abuse false

Filed under: Sex Abuse / CYF — JohnPotter @ 5:13 pm

The rather startling news that 60% of reported cases of child abuse now turn out to be completely unsubsantiated (or “incorrect” according to current jargon) gets a completely different spin in the Dominion Post story below. Presumably Stuart Birks said something meaningful to the reporter about the subject of false allegations, but it didn’t survive the editing process.

Radical femimist insistance that “women and children never lie about abuse” means that false accusations are one of those subjects that mainstream media sometimes prefers to avoid.

CYF wait list rises in capital

In the Wellington and upper South Island region, more than 380 cases of suspected child abuse are waiting to be assigned to a social worker, compared with 260 in September 2003. Of those, 312 were defined as “urgent” and 77 were “low urgent”.

Incorrect reports of child abuse to Child, Youth and Family each month have soared in the past five years… with 899 cases in December 1999, compared with 2370 in December 2004. Incorrect cases are those that are investigated fully but, for whatever reason, no evidence of abuse is found. They now make up about 60 per cent of claims — compared with 45 per cent five years ago.

Ms Angus was not concerned about the growing number of unproved claims, which reflected an increase in overall reporting of child abuse. There had been a 57 per cent increase in notifications in the past three years.

“Child abuse is not acceptable and the message is getting across.”

New Zealand Father and Child Society vice-president Stuart Birks said the figures raised questions about who was reporting child abuse. Allegations of child abuse could be damaging to families and children.

Mon 14th March 2005

You may be splitting up, but things don’t have to fall apart

Filed under: General — triassic @ 3:49 pm

Sunday March 13, 2005
The Observer

There is never going to be such a thing as ‘a good divorce’ but Suzanne, a 39-year old from East Anglia, reckons hers was ‘probably as good as it gets’. Her decree nisi arrived two weeks ago and her main feelings were of relief and sadness in equal measures.

‘My eight-year-old daughter asked me if we could watch our wedding video – she was 18 months old when we were married,’ she says. ‘I said “No” and tried to explain that it would make me a bit sad because on the day we got married I thought that we would never split up. That really upset me, but I know it’s time to move on.’

Suzanne is a pioneer of sorts. She is one of the very first of a new generation of UK divorcees who have opted for a brand new non-adversarial alternative to the divorce courts. The approach has been imported from the US and goes under the unappealing title of ‘collaborative law’. So far there are about only 100 family lawyers who have been trained in this radically new approach by Resolution (formerly the Solicitors Family Law Association).

‘This is a new concept within family law,’ claims Roger Bamber, a Resolution member and a family law specialist at law firm Mills & Reeve. ‘It’s different from the conventional approach because you specifically exclude litigation and all that that implies. The courts polarise attitudes quickly and force couples to accentuate their differences and it is the same for lawyers – if you are preparing for court you have to concentrate on where the differences lie.’

Under the new model, couples and their lawyers work together in round-table meetings to negotiate agreements on financial and other issues without the involvement of the courts. Crucially, you agree from the outset that you will not drag each other through the courts unless negotiations break down – and then you will have to instruct new lawyers.

One lawyer calls this the ‘Jesus bolt’ – referring to the piece of metal connecting helicopter rotors to the engine. If you happen to be in one when the bolt comes out, you’ll only have time to say ‘Jesus’ before you plummet to certain death. The terrifying prospect of the divorce courts should prompt a similar response. Agreements are made with the full support of both you and your partner and, as a consequence, you are far more likely to stick to them.

This month divorce lawyers will be encouraged to curb their more predatory tendencies when Pauline Tesler, the American attorney who is one of the architects of collaborative law, flies in to the UK to train another batch of 250 lawyers. Her approach with her own clients is refreshingly direct. ‘If you would rather give up the right to dance at your daughter’s wedding for another £ 20,000 on the settlement, there are lawyers down the street who would love to help you, and you’ll send their child to university – not yours,’ she tells them.

Thu 10th March 2005

Photos of Convoy 2005 – Albany

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 10:01 am

Here are some photos from the first day of Convoy 2005 – taken at the Albany Mega Centre last Saturday. The convoy is on its way to Lower Hutt this morning, and there will be a demonstration at Parliament at 1.00pm Friday.

Jim BagnallKerry BevinKerry BevinMark & NerilleJames Nicolle

Wed 9th March 2005

Family Court fugitives and the role of the Police

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 11:54 am

After 20 years of turning a blind eye to women blatantly ignoring Family Court orders, a father taking the same action has attracted the immediate attention of Judge Peter Boshier.

In a February 1st speech to the Retired Police Members Club he said:

“The much-publicised Jelicich case has recently focused public attention on a recurrent issue in the Family Court. This is the enforcement of orders made in the Court that require the Police taking possession of a child, and the effect this could have on the children involved.

“Recent developments, such as the Jelicich case, have shown that the balance currently sits too far in favour of those who resist Court orders. The enactment of the Care of Children Act 2004, which comes into force on 1 July 2005, shows Parliament’s discontent with this situation. This Act provides a broader range of remedies to ensure enforcement of Family Court orders, and increased penalties for those who contravene them. “

Fathers’ groups thoughout NZ will be delighted if the new Act results in serious enforcement of orders, provided the enforcement is applied equally to women. However it is worrying that Boshier goes on to repeatedly mention enforcement in the context of custody orders, while saying very little about access orders, of which hundreds are breeched every weekend.

Boshier concludes:

“The Jelicich case suggests that the consequences of breaching a custody order need to be clear, to discourage people from taking the law into their own hands. Mr Jelicich was advised by Union of Fathers President Jim Bagnall that “if you want to make the point, you’ve got one option “, meaning to abduct the child.

“Such action needs to be discouraged, as it is currently seen as a legitimate and practical option. In order to ensure that the best interests of children subject to a custody order are upheld, it is essential to ensure they are kept in a stable environment, with the parent the Court has deemed best fits the needs of that child. Stability can only be achieved through certainty, so people need to be clear that breaching a court order is not a viable option. “

I have to agree with His Honour in this regard, and I think the current public attitudes towards the Family Court he refers to demonstrate the extent to which the court has failed in the past to deliver a credible and fair system of justice. If Judge Boshier believes however, that the way forward is to clamp down hard on the few situations where fathers breach custody orders while continuing to condone breaches of access orders by mothers, he is sadly mistaken.

Women’s Refuge Selects New Chief Executive

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 11:02 am

Heather Henare has been appointed as the new chief executive of the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges.

Ms Henare, 46, has worked throughout her career to eliminate violence towards women and children, most recently as chief executive for Child Abuse Prevention Services (CAPS).

She is a qualified social worker and has held positions in Women’s Refuge, Child Youth and Family and the Office of the Commissioner for Children.

“New Zealand has a very high level of violence towards women and children and there is high tolerance in the community for acts of violence towards women and children.”

Ms Henare said she will be supporting the work refuges do and working to obtain adequate funding for services they provide.

“Refuges are currently funded for only 25% of their costs, yet they are the only agency devoted to working with women and children experiencing domestic violence. Nearly 24,000 women and children used their services last year.”

Govt’s cancer battle leaves men out in the cold

Filed under: Men's Health — JohnPotter @ 11:01 am

Press Release: United Future NZ Party

Men facing prostate cancer are strangely absent from the Government’s new cancer initiative despite it claiming 500 lives a year, United Future MP and Men’s Advocacy Network facilitator Marc Alexander said today.

“Its all very well to fork out $13.2 million for breast screen age extension and $2.2 million to stamp out smoking but why isn’t anything been done to screen men for prostate cancer?” Mr Alexander asked. “No one begrudges the treatment of any illness, but when a condition that does massive damage is conspicuous by its absence from Government thinking, we need to ask why.

“The fact is that around 30 percent of all male cancers are prostate; there are 2500 new cases a year; with well over 500 men dying each year from this disease. The best comparison? In 2000, cervical cancer claimed 66 lives; prostate cancer took 594 lives that year – look at the money and emphasis given to it as opposed to prostate cancer.”

Mr Alexander said he didn’t begrudge once cent being given to other conditions, but illnesses that hit men needed to be brought up to that level of commitment.

“It looks suspiciously like the silence of men and the lack of past advocacy has meant that too little too late is being done. There is treatment, but without a national strategy too often sufferers end up in a wooden box.”

Tue 8th March 2005

We Got Us a Convoy

Filed under: General — Scrap_The_CSA @ 6:38 pm


Its election year and time to stand up against a system thats geared aginst the best interest of our kids.

* Child Support Rip Offs
* Family Court Fiasco
* Prostate Posturing
* Educational Bias
* No Men’s Ministry…


Kerry Bevin on NEWSTALKZB this morning.
Covered during prime time morning radio . (6:30 to 7:30)

Men neglected by Gov’t, say Fathers

A demand for a Government ministry for men’s affairs.

Fathers’ rights campaigner Kerry Bevin claims men’s issues are being neglected by the Government.

He wants the Child Support Act reformed and action on men’s health issues like prostate cancer.

Kerry Bevin says the Government has poured millions of dollars into women’s breast cancer treatment, while men have to pay for prostate cancer tests.

He has organised a convoy that is on its way to Parliament after leaving Auckland at the weekend.

Mr Bevin says he also wants to highlight what he calls “child support rip off”.

He says many men have thousands of dollars taken off them by the tax department despite sharing the parenting of their children.

Kerry Bevin says it is driving many men into poverty and suicide, and he is calling for a complete overhaul of the Child Support Act.

Wellington Time Table

Wednesday 9 March – Men’s Ministry Day
1:00 pm Super Heroes Demo – The Square, Palmerston North

7:00 pm Public Meeting — Men’s Convoy Issues (venue TBA)

Thursday 10 March – Child Support Reform
1:00 pm Super Heroes Demo – Queensgate, Lower Hutt

7:00 pm Public Meeting — Men’s Convoy Issues (venue TBA)

Friday 11 March – Men Don’t Like This!!!
1:00 pm Super Heroes Demo – Parliament Grounds

4:00 pm Convoy Wrap — up Trax Bar, Railway Station

Post a comment and I’ll see you at the meeting and on the steps of Parliament.
Together we can make a difference

Acoommodation available in Wellington/Hutt.

Jim Nicolle A.K.A. Scrap the CSA

Fri 4th March 2005

De facto couples in legal limbo

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 10:17 am

De facto couples are in legal limbo after a parliamentary committee backed down on plans to give them the same legal status as couples who marry or enter a civil union.

The chairman of the select committee dealing with the Relationships Statutory References Bill, Tim Barnett, acknowledged that de facto relationships would generally lack the security and legal certainty of marriage or civil union.

A request that the Law Commission be asked to revisit the Property Relationships Act, in the way it treats de facto couples, could create further confusion. The act deals with the division of property when a relationship ends; it only applies to de facto couples who have been together at least three years, or have children.

Lianne Dalziel, a government member of the committee that considered the Relationships Statutory References Bill, said that legislation was implemented when civil union was not available to same sex couples and those who did not want to get married.

“We acknowledged as a committee that people who enter marriage or civil union are showing an unequivocal intention to change their status,” Ms Dalziel said. “But imposing obligations on people who decide to live together, but not enter marriage or civil union, may not be appropriate in some cases.”

Exactly what Men’s Centre warned about!

In a 1998 Men’s Centre North Shore submission to the Select Committee considering the Matrimonial Property Bill we warned about the inevitable problems that would arise if de facto relationships were treated the same as marriage.

When a couple take their marriage vows, they make a commitment, a contract, with each other and their community. The tradition that a marriage must be open to the public and usually involves parades and public displays reinforces this participation by the wider society beyond immediate friends and family. Society has a legitimate interest in promoting marriage because it socialises young adult males and leads to the best outcomes when bringing up children.

The contractual situation is not the same with de facto couples, who have by definition chosen to avoid making an explicit contract. The amended bill would cause a contract to come into effect by default simply because of the passage of time. The parties to this contract never formed an intent to make one, and many will consider themselves to be contracted under duress.

When exactly does a de-facto relationship start – when the couple first meet? The first time they sleep together? The moment they spend more than a certain number of nights together in any one week? What if the relationship remained unconsummated? This would be vitally important to establish with precision with so much potentially riding on whether the elapsed period was more or less than 1095 days. Is it workable?

How would the Court establish that a de-facto relationship has continued – are a couple who spend 2-3 nights a week together living in a “relationship in the nature of marriage”? What about four or five nights a week? What if a person spends 3-4 nights with one partner and 3-4 nights with another? Who would keep the records, which may well be required as evidence in court?

What if a couple live together for a while, separate for two years, then get back together again – would the clock keep ticking? What if they part regularly every few days because of employment conditions and spend much of their time apart? We can only conclude that these difficulties have not been fully appreciated.

The latest Select Committee report can be downloaded here.

Thu 3rd March 2005

BOOK by custodial dad – Game Plan to secure equal rights for dads in court

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 3:54 pm

Aloha John…great site!!!
…just a quick question, ever wondered why so few dads are granted joint custody, much less sole? it’s really no mystery…makes perfect sense.

I want to invite your readers to my website, www.imadadmom.com … a 52 chapter how-to book on singleparenting specifically for dads. It’s the first ever book of such detail written by a custodial dad, not some woman or psych or doctor without a clue.

Is the problem in courts anti-dad bias?
What is the meaning of the term “A Judge’s presumption of ignorance and incapability“?
How can you fight this beast, increasing your chance of joint, and even sole?

The key is knowledge of what is expected of you as a potential custodial or joint parent. Most dads walk into court totally clueless as to what a judge is looking for.

Life after divorce is a totally different animal, especially for the kids, and if the judge sees that you don’t have a serious game plan to deal with all these critical issues and needs coming up, you’re dead. Find out why DadMom should be required reading for every dad before marching into court…and how he will greatly impress the judge.

Here’s my promise…if after you have read DadMom, you don’t gain at least joint, I will double your money back on the book. My word. Don’t go into battle naked. Read the book and you will be armed for a damn good fight.

Knowledge is power…the judge will see that plain as day. For dads with custody, DadMom is your roadmap to a successful journey, helping you build that stable and happy home for years to come…and helping you avoid costly mistakes…I should know…that’s why I wrote it… to help dads have an easier go at it.

Let’s all win. Aloha, Dave Crowley.

Boys should be more like girls

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 11:12 am

There is some heated discussion regarding Celia Lashlie’s article about raising good men over on Trish Wilson’s blog (in the comments from March 1).

One contributor, NYMOM writes:

“Women in western society have finally, finally gotten to the point, over the last 30/40 years or so, where they can actually DO something on their own, be self-supporting if they wish, have careers or become professionals, doctors, lawyers, whatever they chose AND now we have a@@holes like this Lashlie trying to undo that and take away the self-confidence of young women who probably were FORCED into being both mother and father to their children because of the irresponsibility of men…

“Frankly I think Lashlie and her ilk should be thrown into the nearest lagoon populated with man-eating sharks and left there…”

I was particularly interested to read one of NYMOM’s earlier comments, which is the most concise summation of radical feminist ideology applying to child-rearing that I have come across:

“In a society where technology has given us the power to literally destroy the world if we continue starting wars all over the place, aggression in men, which at one point probably served some evolutionary useful purpose, has now become a menace to life itself on our planet…

“So we need to start raising little boys to behave more like little GIRLS to ensure that life itself on this planet isn’t threatened by continuing male aggression…

“The first step in this is to forbid the watching of sports events on TV for children younger then 18…and no participation in them either… no unsupervised contact with men, who haven’t been socialized properly which is about 99.9% of you, as there could be a tendency to pass along these aggressive mannerisms to the next generation…”

Wed 2nd March 2005

Making good men out of good boys

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 9:05 am

If adolescent boys could tell their mothers one thing, what would it be? Chill out and stop asking so many questions, says Celia Lashlie.

Boys want their mothers to understand they know she’s there, that she cares and that they will talk to her if something big happens in their lives, but they also need some space from her on their journey to manhood.

That’s not to say our young men should be left to their own devices. Quite the contrary, says Ms Lashlie.

What they do need is a lot less mollycoddling from mum and significantly more time spent with the good men in their lives.

A former prison guard in male prisons, she is no stranger to the devastating consequences facing too many young men, for whom prison is a rite of passage, a place where they go to prove they are men.

The validity of being male appears to have been undermined. This is seen in male suicide rates, imprisonment rates and the road toll.

“A theme that emerged very quickly during my visits to the schools was that a great many mothers are over-involved in their sons’ lives, while many students said they lack a real relationship with their father.

“We witnessed the importance of mothers withdrawing and fathers becoming more involved at this critical stage in their sons’ development.”

She says mothers should never interfere in the relationship a boy has with his father, no matter what she thinks of him.

“Regardless of who their dad is, there is a tremendous urge in boys to want to know him, no matter how bad the news is. The mother has to take a deep breath, step back and let them have that relationship.

“If a boy doesn’t find out who dad is at age 15, warts and all, he will still be looking at 55, with a string of broken relationships behind him.”

Ms Lashlie says it’s time we cracked open the politically correct stuff and started to reinforce good male touching.

“I have seen some amazing examples of touch in boys’ schools. I saw one principal with a boy in a headlock, rubbing his head, saying ‘are we going to tuck our shirt in sometime soon?’ The boy was grinning from ear to ear. ”

“In today’s world we wrap our boys up too much. If they are unable to take a risk in healthy male pursuits, such as tree climbing, and rough-and-tumble, they may look for the risk elsewhere – drinking a bottle of bourbon, driving fast, or trying drugs. We need to give them more buzzes that are safe. Their world has become too sanitised.”

Women need to take responsibility for what they are creating.

“I don’t believe we should give up the fight for feminism. I have a huge belief in that. But there are problems we need to, and can, address. There is a hunger for information, particularly from women. That’s why I am putting my energies into finishing a book, based on the Good Man project, to help mothers deal with these issues.”

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