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

Sat 30th April 2005

The Government’s denial of prostate cancer

Filed under: General,Men's Health — JohnPotter @ 11:18 am

Dr Muriel Newman MP (ACT party)

This Week Newman Online looks at the issue of prostrate screening for men and asks why the Government hasn’t implemented a screening programme for prostate cancer when it kills almost as many men as breast cancer.

A few weeks ago, John Tamihere confirmed in his infamous “Investigate Magazine” interview what many New Zealanders already know: that the country is being run by radical feminists. The ‘sisterhood’, as the Prime Minister apparently likes to refer to her inner sanctum of colleagues and advisors, effectively has an iron grip on the country. It is no wonder that New Zealand men are feeling more and more disenfranchised as each day goes by.

Feminist ideology has the ultimate goal of power and autonomy for women, with women taking over a country’s top jobs, finally freed from their ‘bondage’ to their husbands and children. As a consequence of the long-term enticement of women into power positions, children have been relegated to a distant second, and men are all too often regarded as the enemy.


Tue 26th April 2005

Father wins in landmark DNA ruling

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 10:23 pm

A Wellington man has won a landmark Court of Appeal case to prove he is the father of a child he has not seen for five years.

It took a $50,000 legal battle for the man to have the girl’s DNA tested, after the child’s mother – who denied the man was the father – appealed against a High Court order to test the child.

The Court of Appeal upheld the order, establishing a precedent that courts could force mothers to test their children when it was in the child’s best interests.

Previously, the courts could recommend the tests, but had no powers of enforcement. But the case established that guardianship of the child could be assigned to the courts for a few hours while DNA samples were taken, then transferred back to the custodial parent.

The Star-Times reported in January that hundreds of Kiwi men were having secret, mail-order paternity tests in Australia because of suspicions they were not the real father of their children. They could not have the tests in New Zealand without the mother’s consent. In 30% of cases, the result was a mismatch.

DNA Diagnostics spokeswoman Kate Hurford said business from New Zealand had more than doubled since the article, with 30-35 Kiwi men tested a month.

Maharey Quotes Flawed Snively Study

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 10:14 pm

In his recent speech ‘Social and economic goals of labour market policy ‘, the Hon Steve Maharey says:

“Economic costs of social problems
In New Zealand, half of all female homicides are the result of domestic violence. Ten children are killed every year in acts of domestic violence. The non-financial cost of family violence is inestimable. The financial cost of family violence in New Zealand is between four and five billion dollars. And this is a conservative estimate calculated ten years ago. This cost is partially comprised of greater use of health services and police and court time. But it also includes loss of income and work for employees due to family violence. ”

Maharey is referring to Susan Snively’s badly flawed study on the costs of family violence, previously discussed in MENZ Issues. Posing as an “independant researcher”, this Woman’s Refuge fundraiser assumed that all violence is by men against women and children, and came up with totally unrealistic estimates of injury rates.

Stuart Birks has a critique of the Snively study on his website.

$12 million for services for children witnessing Family Violence

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 9:50 pm

Press Release: Hon Ruth Dyson

A $12 million investment in services for children who witness family violence is a key part of the government’s commitment to eliminating violence within families, says Child Youth and Family Minister Ruth Dyson.

Speaking at the National Foster Care conference in Wellington, Ruth Dyson said the new service would ensure the needs and interests of children affected by family violence were appropriately addressed.

“The service will focus on ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children who witness violence within families,” Ruth Dyson said. “It is essential that children are safe, well supported and able to access child-focussed services.”

The service will see up to 45 child advocates placed in community NGOs around the country.

Child advocates will work with children who receive family violence services from both NGOs and government agencies. Their role will include:

– Education and awareness of the effects of family violence on children
– Ensuring all agencies respond to the needs of the child
– Advice and consultation with those working one-on-one with a child
– Specialist assessment and referral for individual children where necessary.

“Family violence is a very difficult and complex issue. To make a difference we need to affect changes at a very personal level within communities and families.”

Fri 22nd April 2005

Law Commission report about laws on parenthood

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 2:54 pm

Press release by Hon Marian Hobbs:

Parenthood report tackles complex issues

A Law Commission report tackles complex questions about laws on parenthood, the Minister responsible for the Law Commission, Marian Hobbs, said today after the tabling of the report in Parliament.

The report, New Issues in Legal Parenthood, is a comprehensive review of the laws on parenthood.

“It is important that these laws are reviewed periodically to ensure they keep pace with technology and social change,” the minister added.

Some of the issues dealt with in the report originated from policy work on the Care of Children Act 2004 and Human Assisted Reproductive Technology Act 2004.

Those acts raised the profile of the importance of children having clear rules about who are their parents and who has legal responsibility for them.

“The report grapples with some difficult issues,” Marian Hobbs said. “For example, should the Courts have the power to force a child or adult to provide a bodily sample for the purpose of parentage testing using DNA profiling? Should children have more than two legal parents? These are complex questions and will require a considered response from the government.”

Because recommendations in the report propose amendments to various acts, several ministries will be directly involved in preparing the government response to the Law Commission’s report. That response is required to be presented to Parliament in October 2005.

END of the Minister’s Press Release.

Download the report here:
NZLC R88 New Issues in Legal Parenthood [1,240KB pdf]

A few excerpts from the report:

2.7 In fathers’ groups where the men were legal parents but had grievances about their inability to continue effective parenting upon separation, genetics was very important and they considered the fact of a genetic link should elevate their status above that of a step-parent. Another view held by others representing fathers’ interests, however, was that social parenthood and not genetic parenthood should determine parental .financial liability.


4.15 However, a distinction between a man in an ongoing relationship with the mother and a man not in such a relationship should be continued. It would be both unreliable and unsatisfactory to enable a father to be named in the birth details on the word of either the mother or any man who claims to have had sexual relations with her around the time the child was conceived.


4.17 There is now much discussion of wrongly attributed paternity in the Western world and there are frequent estimates in the media of the numbers of children whose legal fathers are not their genetic fathers. Alleged rates range from 1 per cent to over 30 per cent, with 9 or 10 per cent being commonly cited. The speculation has been heightened by high profile cases of paternity fraud, which have been reported in the media in recent years. However, hard data to back up claims as to what the rate is are much harder to come by.90 There is no New Zealand research on this matter.


4.23 Some of those representing fathers’ groups suggested that there should be mandatory
genetic testing at birth for every child as this would allow men to accurately establish whether they fathered the child as the mother alleged. Should the tests disprove paternity, the man in question could then make an informed decision as to whether to support the child.

Wed 20th April 2005

Law Commission recommendations on paternity testing unacceptable to parents and children

Filed under: Child Support,General — Scrap_The_CSA @ 6:47 pm

Media Release

Parents for Children 20 April 2005

For Immediate Release

Law Commission recommendations on paternity testing unacceptable to parents and children.

“Last Thursday, the TV3 documentary Inside NZ: DNA and You, showed Kiwi’s that paternity fraud does happen in New Zealand. Paternity fraud is a deliberate act of dishonesty, with the clear purpose of depriving a child of her right to know her genetic and cultural heritage, usually with the hope of financial gain. Preventing this fraud is simple: free DNA paternity tests for fathers. Samples can be taken by a GP, testing done by a lab and counselling made available for all parties. Not a complicated legal appeals process in a dysfunctional discredited and closed Family Court. The Law Commission recommendations are unacceptable to parents and children.” Commented Mark Shipman, National President of Parents for Children, on the DNA paternity testing recommended by the Law Commission

The Law Commission states in its report “We acknowledge that a father cannot be absolutely certain of his paternity save for a DNA test, unlike the mother ” (5.51) then goes on to propose constructing a legal process that focuses on some theoretical notion of ethics and consent. The end cost to Taxpayers for implementation of this proposal will be hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions, most of it going to support the family law industry. It’s unacceptable that the Commission supports keeping barriers in place that continue to encourage paternity fraud when the solution is simple.” Commented Shipman

”The potential for financial gain from these frauds is huge! If a father is earning say $45,000, lives by himself and has his daughter on the weekends, he would be paying about $5700 annually as child support for one child. Over 18 years he could pay over $100,000 in child support. That’s a lot of money” Responded Shipman when asked what the financial effect on a father a paternity fraud could have.

”The loss of family history, social and cultural identity when a child is deprived of her father and led to believe that a stranger is her father and the long term effects of this on the child must not be understated. Kids have two biological parents mum and dad, they have a right to be parented and be a part of the family and cultural life of both parents.” Responded Shipman when asked what effect on a child a paternity fraud could have.


For further information contact
Mark Shipman 021982222
James Nicolle 021800586

Parents for Children is a national organisation seeking legislative change
to enable parents who have separated to continue parenting and supporting
their children.
This requires:
1. Presumptive shared parenting
2. A fair and reasonable child support system
Parents for Children advocates that best outcomes for children of
separated parents is ongoing equal sharing of parental responsibility by
both parents.

Sat 9th April 2005

Rich irony in PM’s family friendly photo op

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 10:13 am

Press Release: New Zealand National Party
Judith Collins MP – National Party Families Spokeswoman

Rich irony in PM’s family friendly photo op

National MP Judith Collins regrets that she will be unable to attend the launch tomorrow of a Families Commission survey because she’s “too busy being a parent”.

“I am pleased that the Families Commission has found an opportunity to give the Prime Minister a friendly photo opportunity. It is just a pity they’ve chosen to launch the programme on the day most parents, including myself, are tied up with their children’s Saturday sport.

“It’s just as John Tamihere said this week and goes to show how out of touch Helen Clark and Labour are when it comes to family issues.


Fri 8th April 2005

John Tamihere – Investigate interview

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 10:59 am

Prime Minister Helen Clark says she is concerned about Labour MP John Tamihere’s latest criticism of his cabinet colleagues, and thinks the MP has been under stress.

Mr Tamihere’s extraordinary comments have been published in Investigate magazine after a conversation with its editor Ian Wishart.

Tamihere told Investigate magazine:

“Heather Simpson – Helen’s assistant – wanted me in the tent as damaged goods. Too tough to lose completely. She’s dangerous, a very dangerous woman.”

Asked what was the most powerful network in the Labour executive “the Labour Party Wimmins division… it’s about an anti-men agenda”

“(Prime Minister Helen) Clark has been brutalised by people who have called her lesbian, no children and all the rest of it. Her key advisor Heather Simpson is a butch, and a lot of her support systems are, Maryann Street and so on, and she’s very comfortable in that world and comfortable with it. I’m not.”

“Men’s problems are traditionally dealt with by the criminal justice system. Women, on the other hand, get a bloody Cartwright Inquiry and get millions of dollars thrown at their breasts and cervixes.”

Rodney Hide’s blog has an additional Tamihere quote:

“They [Helen Clark and her mates] don’t have families. They’ve got nothing but the ability to plot.”

to which a commenter has added pertinantly:

“His comment about families is what all of us think. Socialist ideologues tend to be children from the previous generations ‘middle-class’ who don’t have close families. ”

John Tamihere will be the keynote speaker at the Men’s Issues Summit in Auckland on May 6th.
More info and registration: www.mens-summit.org.nz

First NZ Men’s Issues Summit 2005

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 9:10 am

You are invited and challenged to attend to the first ever gathering in NZ to address Men’s Issues.

This is a one day event which draws together a variety of perspectives on men, from academic to activist, from psychosocial to social service.

Its intention is to open up the full breadth of the issues for discussion, find common threads, and strategise ways to improve male well-being and relationship. We hope that it will spawn other related events.

For two decades men have been responding to the issues raised by a climate of social change in areas such as fathering, health, work and lifestyle, male violence and education. Little has been done however to draw those strands of endeavour together into a more integrated approach to the male condition. Policy on Men’s Issues in party politics, social services and government and has been either non-existent or incidental to other issues. Men have often been trapped by their own isolation, care for family, and dependency on others, and so neglected to advocate for themselves in a climate of gender change. Men’s need to examine their condition will benefit not only themselves but also their families and community.

This is a call to social services, policy writers, planners, politicians and men and women to consider the male condition and advocate for change. This is particularly a call to men come together in a spirit of creative change and advocacy for the betterment of all.

Welcome in anticipation,
Warwick Pudney

REGISTRATION FORM and more information at www.mens-summit.org.nz


1. Men in Policy and Politics
John Tamihere 9.20 – 10.00am
MP for Tämaki Makaurau, Former Cabinet minister, father and red-blooded male

2. Men’s Health
Bruce Mackie 10.00 – 10.40am
former director of Lifeline NZ and Lifeline Auckland, Counsellor and neuro-feedback therapist

Morning Tea 10.40 – 11.00am

3. Men and Violence – The Cost to Men
Warwick Pudney 11.00 – 11.30am
author, AUT lecturer and director of the New Zealand Violence Prevention Society

4. Men in Research – What needs researching and how?
Stuart Birks 11.30 – 12.00pm
Director, Centre for Public Policy Evaluation, Massey University

Lunch provided 12.00 – 12.45pm
Entertainment 12.45 – 1.00pm

5a. Men and Work
Dr. Paul Callister 1.00 – 1.45pm
Consultant Researcher and Policy Adviser

5b. Men in the Social Services
Alan Blackburn 1.00 – 1.45pm
ManAlive CEO, Social Entrepreneur Scholarship 2004

6a. Fathers and Fatherlessness
Rex McCann 1.45 – 2.25pm
Author, Founder-director of Essentially Men

6b. Family Court – Marginalised Men
Jim Bagnall 1.45 – 2.25pm
Fathers’ Advocate

7a. Boys in Schools
Joseph Driessen 2.25 – 3.05pm
Former Associate Principal of Wanganui High and consultant on Boys in Education

7b. Men Prisons and Community
Kim Workman 2.25 – 3.05pm
Former Assistant Secretary (Penal Institutions), Department of Justice, Head of the Prison Service and Deputy Director General (Mäori Health)

Afternoon tea 3.05 – 3.30pm

8. The Problems and the Possibilities of Advocating Men’s Issues
Philip Chapman 3.30 – 4.00pm
National President, NZ Father and Child Society, men’s health and fathering promoter.

9. Panel of speakers: Summing up discussion and recommendations for a strategy
Facilitated by Warwick Pudney 4.00 – 4.30pm

Closure by Mayor Bob Harvey 4.30pm

Wed 6th April 2005

Family court changes trialled

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 8:43 pm

Some of us are very interested to hear from anybody who is involved with the Family Court mediation pilot project mentioned below, particularly on the North Shore.

A pilot project aimed at helping troubled families resolve disputes more quickly is underway in a number of family courts.

The trial gives those involved in custody, access and guardianship battles the option of using specially selected mediators.

The pilot is being carried out in Porirua, North Shore and Christchurch and will start in Hamilton shortly.

Where have all the Kiwi blokes gone?

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 8:41 pm

Researchers have given fresh weight to the complaint of many single women – there aren’t enough men.

Kiwi men in their relationship-forming years have disappeared in their thousands, says social scientist Dr Paul Callister.

The result is that men are increasingly outnumbered.

Since 1991, the census has shown a widening gap between the number of women and men aged between 20 and 49, reversing a long history of men having the numerical advantage.

In 1986 there were 700 more men than women in that age group, but by 1991 women had started pulling ahead.

By 2001, the census counted 53,000 more women than men aged 20-49, or just under 7 per cent more women. About 1.5 million Kiwis are in this age group.

Callister and Professor Richard Bedford of Waikato University are to probe migration and census data in countries such as Australia to find out what has happened to the Kiwi men.

Tue 5th April 2005

Reporter wants smacking supporters

Filed under: General,Sex Abuse / CYF — JohnPotter @ 4:08 pm

A current affairs programme is doing a story which uses as its hook the New Plymouth case where a father was found guilty of assaulting his son, after he allegedly smacked him twice on the bottom. This opens up the wider debate as to whether smacking is the appropriate way to discipline children, and whether section 59 should be repealed.

I’m looking for people who strongly feel that smacking is appropriate as a means of discipline and that the law should not be repealed. I’d particularly like to talk to academics and psychologists with an interest in this area, but also church leaders and families.

I need to speak to people preferably no later than the end of this week, although I will continue to field calls and enquires thereafter.

Anyone interested in talking to me by phone initially, can call me on 09 916 6899 or 021 412 022. I will call them right back so that no phonecosts are incurred.

Many thanks John, I appreciate this. Miriama

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