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Shared parenting, not $6m, the answer

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 11:32 am Thu 19th May 2005

Dr Muriel Newman (ACT Party)

It is a sad day for New Zealand when a government throws another $6.2 million of taxpayer’s money into the family destruction industry, instead of getting to the heart of the problem and fixing the law, ACT Deputy Leader Dr Muriel Newman said today.

Dr Newman was responding to today’s announcement that the Government will spend $6.2m over the next four years to run programmes through the Family Court to help separating parents reduce conflict and the stress separation can cause their children.

“The problem of conflict between separating parents, which creates victims out of their children, stems from the antiquated custody laws which Labour has refused to change,” Dr Newman said.

“Under these laws, two parents who are considered equal with regard to their responsibility for their children before their relationship breaks down, are no longer considered to be equal afterwards. The mother is awarded sole custody of the children and dad is charged child support and has an occasional visit with his children. That is what is responsible for some of the conflict between separating couples.

“On three separate occasions I have promoted shared parenting legislation that would fix this position.

“Under shared parenting, both parents are deemed to be equal with regard to their responsibility for their children after a separation,” Dr Newman said. “They can both decide on the living, schooling and other arrangements that would be in the best interests of their child.

“In countries where shared parenting is the law, conflict has significantly reduced. Children do better and both parents are valued. It’s a win, win situation.

“It saddens me that Labour has defeated my attempts to introduce shared parenting. I can only conclude that they have no desire to sort this problem out,” Dr Newman said.


  1. Dedorah Coddington has stated that her reason for not continuing in politics is because as she is “in love” and therefore no longer has the will to fight.
    This tells me that a lot of females get into politics through anger and hate. Certainly that is obvious in female Labour MPs. Who do they hate?….MEN
    Why would these women who dominate policy want to allow fathers to share in bringing up their children? In their narcissism they believe they are doing a good thing. Jenny Kirk states in her Herald diatribe that

    “We objected to the fact that if a woman’s husband left the marriage and the children, she had no money available to support her family. We thought such a woman had earned the right to share in the family’s home and income” and “….because we were concerned about equality for women, we took that concept further and fought for equality of all people….”

    Well HELLO Jenny, what about children’s rights? And if you believe that they do not have an equal right to their father come out and say it.

    Comment by triassic — Thu 19th May 2005 @ 11:55 am

  2. I agree mate, what about the CHILDREN’S RIGHT to form bonds of love with their biological parents. When is some-one in Authority going to stand up and say that the present system is dysfunctional – much to the detriment of many SAD NZ CHILDREN????????

    Comment by Peter Burns — Thu 19th May 2005 @ 12:31 pm

  3. Right on Brothers

    Comment by Stephen — Thu 19th May 2005 @ 1:41 pm

  4. Peter and Stephen,

    I agree completely.

    In every fragmentation of a family unit, there are two “big people” and one or more “little people”.

    It is the “big people”s responsibility to ensure the “little people” are not disadvantaged by the fragmentation.

    This situation is not one that occurs naturally in the current child support and family law (aka Femily Caught) environment.

    Our children need both their Mum AND their Dad involved in their lives.

    Many thanks to Dr Newman for advocating shared parenting and equal responsibility!

    Comment by Ethos — Thu 19th May 2005 @ 5:33 pm

  5. Just found this on xtra.,,11981-4402794,00.html

    National bla bla bla bla bla and I love the crying baby. Crying for its father who has probably been shut out of its life by a sadistic custodial parent.

    Comment by Mark Lloyd — Mon 23rd May 2005 @ 1:32 pm

  6. Our children deserve better from parents and adults in general. When will the politicians begin to realise it is future voters they are disenfranchising?

    Comment by Ethos — Fri 3rd June 2005 @ 5:31 pm

  7. What is going to be put in place in relation to child safety? Does this mean that all drug abusers will be allowed to care for children unsupervised? and if so will that be for parents only or will it be extended to anyone who works in child care? What about Domestic Violence? Are children allowed to be beaten up now while they have equal access to each parent? Why should women leave these situations when they would have more control staying in them, eg. at least if a woman gets a good beating hopefully the child may be prevented instead, or at least if the woman stays with a substance abuser she is then in control of moving drugs/alcohol away from her child to prevent them taking them by accident, and can also be there “straight” incase of emergency and someone has to be coherant to get to the hospital. What a nice society we will live in, sounds like the 1930s to me.

    Comment by Alison — Thu 27th October 2005 @ 11:54 pm

  8. Alison: What is going to be put in place in relation to child safety?

    Nothing about Shared Parenting suggests child safety should be considered any less important than it is now. This is not to say that we have much confidence in the current ability of CYF to keep children they are ‘protecting’ safe, but that is a side issue.

    In the context of Shared Parenting, raising the issue of ‘child safety’ as an objection only makes sense if you believe feminist dogma about all abuse being perpetrated by men. Statistically, children are actually safest in a home where the biological father is present.

    Alison: Does this mean that all drug abusers will be allowed to care for children unsupervised?

    I take it you are also implying that all drug abusers are men! Actually, many fathers have come to Men’s Centre North Shore worried sick because the mother and/or her new boyfriend are using drugs (especially P) around their children, and the Family Court has refused to act.

    However, you have to remember that in many NZ communities the majority of parents, mothers and fathers, are according to the law ‘drug abusers’ – it simply isn’t feasible to supervise every parent that smokes a joint.

    I personally think the only time parent and child relationships should come under the control of the state should be when the parent has been convicted of a violent offence.

    Alison: “What about Domestic Violence? Are children allowed to be beaten up now…etc,etc.

    Again, all your arguments only make any sense if you believe that only men are violent. If you look at reality instead of ideology you will find that mothers actually abuse children slightly more frequently than fathers.

    There are thousands of men staying in abusive relationships because it gives them some ability to protect their children. When the Family Court forcibly prevents this, as they do on a regular basis, children’s safety is compromised.

    It is exactly this pervasive denial of female violence which most harms children, and handicaps society’s efforts to support families and reduce domestic abuse.

    Comment by JohnP — Fri 28th October 2005 @ 10:03 am

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