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Father wins in landmark DNA ruling

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 10:23 pm Tue 26th April 2005

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.


  1. Congratulations go to this Father .His tenacity to carry on against all odds is as an inspiration to all heartbroken NZ Dads.Cases like this drive home our campaign for trust,justice and equality in Family Law. Take care all -dad4justice

    Comment by Peter Burns — Fri 29th April 2005 @ 10:11 pm

  2. About time we had some redress on this issue.

    It must be close to discrimination that, should a father indicate he is not the biological father when teh mother has named him, the paternity test is mandatory [and immediate].

    How can it be then, when the boot is on the other foot, that the test is “at the discression of the mother”?

    This should not have cost Dad $50,000 – in fact, Mum should have costs awarded against her beccause of her unnecessary delays.

    Get rid of these inequities. Put the Anti-Clark and her worshippers out of office this election! Go the Republican Party!

    Comment by Sparx — Fri 6th May 2005 @ 8:39 am

  3. it mentions in this article about paternity testing being done in australia….cheaper i would imagine than here? how do you go about this?

    Comment by george — Tue 29th November 2005 @ 8:35 pm

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