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Family Court changes to help reduce delays

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 8:45 am Fri 12th August 2005

A shake-up of the Family Court would see a counselling and mediation service established to handle disputes, freeing up judges for the most high-risk and complex cases.

Chief Family Court Judge Peter Boshier outlined the proposals in a speech to the Auckland Family Courts Association last night, saying the changes would help to reduce delays in the system.

A court “intake consultant” – a position that could be filled by Family Court co-ordinators – would assess each case and decide whether to refer it straight to the court or conciliation. At present, most cases were referred automatically for counselling, which proceeded to mediation and then court if the dispute could not be resolved.

Only cases where there was a risk to children’s welfare – such as allegations of sexual abuse or violence – should enter the Family Court directly and be “closely managed and determined by judges”, said Judge Boshier.

Auckland family lawyer Brian Gubb supported the proposals, saying they would speed the court process and remove some of the “more destructive aspects of the adversarial process”. It should also save money for the parties involved.

Antony Mahon, chairman of the Auckland Family Courts Association, said the proposals were “quite innovative” and had his support provided they were adequately funded and trained staff filled the new roles.

Darrell Carlin, spokesman for the Union of Fathers, said the group was keen to see a faster court process. At present there was no incentive for women to go through mediation as they knew they would win in court.

He supported more mediation, provided that equal shared custody was the “default position”.

National Women’s Refuge spokeswoman Lesley Melrose said it was vital that counsellors remained impartial and women did not feel pressured to agree to things they were not happy with.


  1. I see they’re trying to convince us they aren’t just shuffling the deckchairs on the Titanic again.
    Ho Hum.
    I wonder what’s on telly?

    Comment by Stephen — Thu 18th August 2005 @ 12:59 am

  2. Hi Stephen,

    Interestingly, I was able to attend a protest to the judge when he presented his “new” ideas to a “friends of the femily caught” group in Auckland recently.

    The group are, in the main, solicitors (why do they call a lawyer that….) with the balance being just your run-of-the-mill parasites preying on the misery of Fathers and their Children.

    Suffice to say, two very loud PA systems meant Anthony Mahon (apologies if he didn’t wish to be publicly named) from the group was forced to come out and offer a copy of the speech if we would at least give the judge th chance to deliver it…..teehee

    So with one last cutting swipe at the “venerated” vivienne crenshaw of NZ Herald “I’m not going to write any more crap” fame, we duly left them to their debauchery.

    Your Titanic comment is very appropriate.

    It seems the Titanic is going down [and fast]. The rats have already left (they know a good thing when it hits them in the face) and it appears idiotic that the passengers and the judiciary are still looking for a ray of sunlight in which to position their deck chair….

    Comment by Sparx — Fri 26th August 2005 @ 8:43 am

  3. There seems to be a real male movement and a real female movement .Each case is individual and where is the compassion for all invovled in this situation.I know some brilliant fathers who have been through hell in the system and brillant mothers who have under pressure lost their children.But I also meet agorant judgemental bullies male and females that continue to draw out the process ,use the system to their advantage ,and cry hard up.Look at yourselfs why your relationships didnt work and look at the effects on the children.Dont think im being a goody good,Ive spent 2 years ,thousands of dollars,buckled under the pressure and left 3 of my 5 children with their father I will go back to family court next few months and go through the whole process again.I would welcome some change in the system and the people whose relationships break down. We need to take a good look at ourselves because when we get in that court room it seems to be a cat fight to the end ,with very little relevant information generally resulting in a unclear desision. Thus ongoing battles. I believe our parenting skills ,communication skills need to be involved into the school curiculum around the age of eleven ,providing the next generation with skills to avoid this sorta of situation

    Comment by terri — Mon 29th August 2005 @ 11:16 am

  4. Teri,
    I’m not against communication skills. After all working in NZ pastoral services I’ve been teaching such for many years.

    However, I’m afraid you appear to overlook the bigger picture.
    Namely that the combination of ‘no fault’ divorce, ex parte protection orders, uncorroborated female accusations resulting in sanctions against ALL men, and ease of attaining DPB will continue to make it terribly easy and attractive for women to continue to alienate children from thier fathers.
    Just look all over this website for unrelenting threads attesting to this.

    Until this ugly misandric process stops there will always be a genuine need for a Men’s Movement. And you’ll herafter always continue to but heads with it.

    Indeed sadly, until we men get a level playing field in terms of relationships and family law, many of us are instituting a quiet revolution by taking part in what author Matthew Weeks has called a ‘Men’s marriage strike’. I suggest you Google it for some interesting insight into many current men’s thinking.
    With the release of the male pill around the corner, I expect that with the above scenario in place birth rates amongst cultures which already aren’t replacing themselves will naturally plumet further.
    Thus the endgame of feminist derived female legal overempowerment will be continued social disintigration.
    The bottom line is ‘Hell, who wants to breed with most women these days knowing they’ve subconsciously bought into feminist entitlement and unwittingly treat thier menfolk like shit?’ LOL!
    One further thing. Having taught in New Zealand schools (vastly more populated by female teachers) I can say without doubt they already teach communication skills (including how to celebrate such things as international women’s day but no heroizing of menfolk, how to get ex-parte protection orders, how to treat all men with suspicion and other pieces of victimology). Many female teachers themselves thus communicate very powerfully indeed by thier example of arrogance and undue suspicion towards men, including male staff members.
    Yes Teri, let’s have communication skills. But remember these matters I raise are communicating something – a message to boys and men –
    You’re second class and expendable.
    When I hear you begin to acknowledge this dreadful message, then I’ll be more open to hearing you. Until then I’m fighting for myself and untold legions of men to be heard.

    Comment by Stephen — Mon 29th August 2005 @ 1:38 pm

  5. Teri,

    The whole “Family” Court system seems to fail the very entity it purports to uphold.

    From my perspective (and I am quite happy to be proven wrong), the court is an adversarial environment that thrives on the conflict between two people. In my experience, lawyers (they are also called solicitors for a reason) are simply parasites who prey upon the innocent and create conflict where there is none simply to inflate their bank accounts. I will apologise now to those practitioners I may have maligned with this generalisation.

    When it comes down to a family dispute, there are [generally] two “big” people and a number of “little” people. The big people have life-experience and skills that allow them to manage and deal with what is going on. The little people do not have this advantage.

    This is where I perceive the biggest issue sits: parents need to retain their focus on the best outcome for their children. The parents are big enough and ugly enough to figure out they cannot continue to live together, but please stop taking this out on our Kiwi Kids.

    The Family Court and its lawyers are singularly responsible for more damage to our children than almost any other group. Parents going into court need to think about their responsibilities to their children first and foremost. Then they need to sack the lawyers and tell them why e.g. you are a parasite making a living from others misery.

    Most importantly, they need to agree court is no longer an option, sit down together and work out a plan for parenting their children. All the rest (the house, the car etc) is peripheral and of very little significance compared to our Kiwi Kids.

    Put our Kiwi Kids first! These are our adults of the future so how about giving them our best?

    Comment by MarkS — Mon 5th September 2005 @ 9:12 am

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