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Our pain goes on for a lifetime

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 12:23 pm Tue 23rd May 2006

On Nine to Noon yesterday, Katherine Rich interviewed Bruce Tichbon from Families Apart Require Equality.

Bruce Tichbon
Photo: Bruce Tichbon in action last weekend (from Noelle’s video – link below transcript)

For the next few days you can listen to the audio here.

I was so impressed with Bruce’s communication skills I have transcribed his responses for everyone to read. Rich’s questions are paraphrased.

Question: what happened over the weekend?

In Palmerston [Nth] we got a team together and we went around the homes of two Family Court lawyers and a psychologist. We are aware that other groups all round the country are staging similar protests.

The objective is to just make people aware of what is going on in the Family Court, and is to try and get the message across.

I have to say Katherine, we’ve tried everything. I have been actively campaigning for 15 years to try and get reform. We’ve been to Select Committees, politicians, we’ve talked to judges, the Law Society, the Law Commission, we’ve done reports, everything you can think of. It’s just doesn’t get a response.

So now we are ramping up the action, and we are just doing things that tend to get a bit more public attention. And a bit more media attention!

Question: Have you not seen any improvement over your 15 years?

No. I talk to hundreds of people out there who are affected. We are not seeing these improvements at all. In fact, what is being done and what is being presented by the Family Court industry (if I may call it that) is really quite misleading.

The current round of changes was brought about because of a Bill that was put before Parliament, a bill that we assisted with. The Shared Parenting Bill would have made mothers and fathers equal parents.

The government threw it out as fast as they could. They wouldn’t even allow it to go to Select Committee.

Part of the deal that was done with those parties who voted against the Bill (to make sure it would not even get discussed at Select Committee stage) was that some other ‘thing’ would be done with family law.

I can tell you emphatically Katherine, what had been done is purely a Clayton’s superficial dress-up. Now the people who make their living from the Family Court keep telling you and other people in the media: “everything is wonderful”.

I can tell you emphatically it is not, and that is why people are getting out of street and protesting more and more.

Question: in Palmerston North at was four fathers and their family members – is that the scale of the protests?

Well, some of the protests around the country have been 50 people more. The scale is building.

I’ll tell you what amazed me Katherine. We were protesting on a main street — probably a quarter of the cars passing tooted in support. Now that should be sending a very clear message to Judge Boshier, who is currently in hiding and not talking to the media about this. This should tell him that there is a huge public dissatisfaction out there.

Question: are you justified in protesting outside homes?

Absolutely. It is very appropriate. The people that we targeted are people who [according to locals] have committed real misdemeanours in the Family Court.

Question: Who judges that?

We, the people who have been affected. Those who have not seen their children for years. People who are alienated from their children. When you talk to these people they are very sincere and it sounds absolutely credible.

I have experienced it myself. I won’t bore you with my own story, but I have been ruthlessly done in the Family Court.

Question: aren’t you concerned people might be frightened?

I think it is a time-honoured tradition in protesting. The sufferagettes right back in the beginning of the protest movement did similar targeted protests and that is well-known. Right down to one of them throwing herself in front of King’s horse at Ascot.

Question: but a women psychologist giving professional advice?

No, no. The way we see it, the psychologists provide the information that basically drives the decision. This particular psychologist had made a report on a father without even actually meeting him!

That report had a profound effect on that father’s relationship with his daughter. Now that is a very, very serious proposition. I think the psychologist virtually admits in the newspaper, that she did that. That is absolutely unprofessional behaviour.

That is the standard of behaviour that we are seeing in the Family Court all the time. I have had lawyers (non-Family Court lawyers) say to me they are disgusted with what is going on in the Family Court.

Question: isn’t intimidation bad for your image?

Look, when we started [each of] these protests I got on the loud-hailer and said to the people “I apologise for taking 15 minutes of your time, in your street. Those of us here who are protesting, we have lost our children, our families. Your inconvenience will go on 10 minutes. Our pain goes on for a lifetime. Please understand why we are here”.

That is the kind of thing, the fact that all those people who are protesting in Palmerston North and everywhere else have been profoundly affected by grossly unprofessional and unfair behaviour by the Family Court. We feel we have an entitlement to take it right to the people who cause the suffering. I tell you Katherine, Greenpeace do similar sorts of targetting. Targeted protests work today.

Question: aren’t you putting undue pressure on court staff?

Let’s talk about the real target here. It is the Principal Family Court Judge, who has come out and said we are “disgruntled litigants” and we have a “vendetta”.

Where is that man displaying the conciliatory and mediatorial kinds of behaviour that he preaches goes on the Family Court?

Now he has gone to ground, he won’t even talk. Why won’t come out and confront the fact that there is no proper reporting of what goes on in his Court?

All statistics that used to show the gender bias is the Family Court were kept up until 1990.

You know Katherine, how they solved the problem of the huge gender bias that was being displayed in the Family Court? They stopped keeping the statistics! For 16 years, we have campaigned for those statistics to be reported.

We will do whatever is commensurate with the depth of our problem to try and get a response from the judicial system, from government, from the Law Commission – the people who are meant to be managing and leading this and who are NOT at the moment.

I’ll tell you one thing we will never do Katherine – I am firmly against breaking the law or doing anything serious.

Question: Is this instruction given to all the other protesters?


Before we did the protest on the weekend, I said I want a dossier on all of these people. We worked very hard amongst all the people affected.

I’ve got two and a half pages here in front of me that precisely describes what these people [the protest targets] have done wrong. We have been thorough.

Question: what you make of the UK demo?

Personally, it is not the kind of thing I would like to participate in, but look, if you just look at what is going on, the pain that families are suffering.

We estimate 15,000 children here in this country are losing contact with one of their parents, almost invariably the father. Now there are so many people affected, those cars were tooting us incessantly in the street.

A taxi driver pulled in. She was in tears, she said: “I have been through a broken marriage. My children will not get married because marriage is such a disgusting institution.”

The Family Court is helping to make that happen.

Thanks to Noelle you can find photos, videos and audio of the Palmerston Nth protest here.

The Dominion Post has a report on the protest: Dads condemn lawyers’ ‘tricks’


  1. Listening to Bruce speak on national radio yesterday was just wonderful. For a few minutes there I felt so well represented that I had tears streaming down my face as I drove along the motorway to work. Anyone who wants to know what the issues are should listen to Bruce. If you read this Bruce, my thanks to you and the others.

    Comment by PaulM — Tue 23rd May 2006 @ 1:11 pm

  2. Paul I thought and felt the same as Bruce spoke, and I found watching Jim & Andrew on TV 3 last night was inspirational . I have a glimmer of hope – Thank you lads .

    Comment by Peter Burns — Tue 23rd May 2006 @ 2:08 pm

  3. This is the type of smart non-passive moves that must be copied around the globe. They need to be swallowed whole by all organizations right down to proper training of participants.

    The state has entered into the bedrooms and relationships of its citizens, while denying it has abandon its impartiality almost all together.

    Now will the New Zealand government reform itself properly of fake it? Or come down hard on the men’s movement, like was done in the UK(with an inflitration and misinformation campaign waged there)? In either case the government will lose, by the loss of face with reforming the distorted system, or in the using of the state power to undermine calls for justice heavy handedly. This is what comes from working something out and then doing it cooperatively.

    Talking and whining, with no action, does nothing. These people going to the homes of the worst offenders deserve our respect and thanks, and if I lived in New Zealand I would be contacting them to take part in the long term. The question remains why hasn’t everyone who claims to be for justice in this issue done the same?

    Comment by Intrepid — Tue 23rd May 2006 @ 2:10 pm


    Thanks for posting this, and an especially big thankyou to Bruce and all others involved in erudite protesting.
    Bruce touches upon something which I believe will make the pain of a lifetime small by comparison – If this ‘court’ system isn’t dismantled and replaced by a fair and just system people (especially men) will lose faith in thier ability to safely couple and reproduce. So the pain will go on not just for a lifetime, but will be intergenerational going on for god knows how long, until enough folks wake up to the anti-family insanity in NZ.

    Put another way, this misandric anti-father shit has been going on for decades. We are reaching a critical point where alienated kids have now grown up sufficiently to be of breeding age, yet may not as they’re scared they’ll end up shafted the way the old man did, or attracting what they’ve been brainwashed to wrongly beleive thier alienated dad is – a deadbeat.
    I reckon NZ needs to get it’s head out of it’s arse pronto.
    You think there is a falling birthrate problem and aging society now?
    Let’s see what happens as the above social dynamic and the male pill kick in simultaneously.

    Comment by Stephen — Tue 23rd May 2006 @ 2:27 pm

  5. Bruce is an old master. Still got it after 16/17 years of trauma. Hats off to you Bruce.

    Stay Strong
    The Kids are worth it

    Comment by Jim Bailey — Tue 23rd May 2006 @ 2:43 pm

  6. I absoluely agree with everything said, it is time this dysfunctional court system was stopped before it damages the next generation and the next……………………….
    P.S. it is not only men that get “screwed” it is who ever gets in and tells the bigest lies !!
    I have been well and truly done, I am not a man, my ex did have an expert mistress who has become a “user of the system” she trained him !

    Comment by Gill — Tue 23rd May 2006 @ 7:19 pm

  7. These issues are not about the rights of a father, and especially not about the rights of a biological father, there need not be any rights for any parent. The rights are of the child to continue relationships that have been established, and to not have these manipulated throughout their early life by the courts or disgruntled parents. Parents who impose their flavour of rights on a child need psychological help. Unfortunately there are members within these mens groups who are doing just that, and it is damaging our ability to put the needs of the children first in these matters.

    I support fathers who have been excluded from continuing a relationship established prior to separation; I do not support, and in fact loathe, men who think it is their retrospective biological right to claim a child they have had little to do with over early years.

    Comment by michael — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 12:23 am

  8. Michael,

    You speak in half truths.

    These issues are about returning the power, the strength, to the Biological-FAMILY, note FAMILY not village.

    Many Kids don’t know DAD and some MUM thru devious manipulation on somebodys behalf.

    I think every child needs “Equal” doses of its Biological MUM,DAD and extended FAMILY. There is something that we are missing and have been for many generations for a high and grawing portion of the population because of the all to often separation of the Biological-FAMILY.

    Have a look at the BOTHERING section on my website and be encouraged that the Cold WAR is over, the real debate has begun – We must give voice to all who still value the Biological-FAMILY.

    It will be risky as the deep anger rises in those who value these things and begin to realise the FAMILY has been exploited and is now very vunerable.

    Onward – JimBWarrior

    Comment by Jim Bailey — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 3:39 am

  9. Jim, there is nothing that supports the need for equal share with biological parents. There is a lot to support the need for children to maintain relationships they have developed early in life. I would say that the unity of a family environment that exists is far more important than retrospective action based around some indeterminate set of rights based on biology.

    A child knowing their biological parents is one thing, and becomes more important as they get older, but this is not an argument for dictating their day to day care arrangements.

    Would you support biological parents who have adopted out their children to ask for them back?

    Would you support a mother or father who had abandoned their child for years in trying to break up a family that had developed around the child in the interim?

    You speak of a situation where a child does not know their biological mother or father through devious manipulation; this is but one of many scenarios, and you should not generalise your conclusions to other situations. Devious manipulation is also rather vague, you need to provide a better argument than that.

    I am amused at how many mens-rights groups hail Kelly and Lamb in support of their rights as fathers. If you look carefully, they are not supporting biological parenthood, they are supporting the maintenance of important relationships to the child.

    The misonomer that this should be substituted for biological mother and father is an an unfortunate consequence of generalising over historical family structures.


    Comment by michael — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 9:11 am

  10. Michael,

    You are falling into the trap of using the data produced by the very people that led us into this mess.

    The academics lead us in the Heart will lead us out.

    You are seeing the Heart of our Nations Biological-FAMILYS spread all over the MEDIA

    Many of our colleagues are academics and perhaps that adds a tool but the Brilliant academic Bruce Tichbon is leading from His heart.

    Kelly and Lamb I personally have never heard of them so maybe another 1/2 truth from you, but it seems they have nothing of value to offer if they do not support the Biological-FAMILY as they would be part of the fraturnity that pontificate almost truths to in the end deceive, like the devinchy? code.

    Look again my friend

    Onward – Jim

    Comment by Jim Bailey — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 9:52 am

  11. So you are saying that research into child welfare has no substance? Or that some of it has? If so, what does? Your ideology must be shared somewhere in peer reviewed literature, if not by submission of your own views that are sufficiently reviewed.

    Comment by michael — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 10:12 am

  12. Jim and Micahael,

    I hope you don’t mind if I jump in on this converation.

    Michael has a point and it is valid.
    You Jim, with the help from your supporters could be the leader of a movement that creates big change. But are you being sensible enough in what you ask for.
    Asking for the FC to be completely abandoned is not practical. Asking for biological parents rights is not practical and asking for 50/50 parenting has flaws.
    You need to bring us all together and make a long term plan with step by step action plan to get to the long term plan.
    As a country we will never make laws that are in everyones favour. Someone will allows get hurt. You need to look at caring for the majority.
    The FC is bullshit and everyone agrees with that. Whoever gets in first with the best lawyer and users the tools such as accusing abuse will win. Whether female or male.
    There are many biological parents that are not good parents and the biological parents should have contact but not rights as to deciding the well-being of the child.
    Imposing a law stating default of 50/50 pareting will have problems too.

    There is nothing wrong with going back to the drawing board. Lot’s of people want to help as you have shown leadership. I think it is important that you let them have a say.

    Comment by julie — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 10:18 am

  13. Michael,
    Sorry for spelling your name wrong.

    Comment by julie — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 10:20 am

  14. Michael,

    I rest my case.

    Onward – Jim

    Comment by Jim Bailey — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 10:26 am

  15. Jim,

    Please don’t rest your case. There NEEDS to be discussion. What’s wrong with other’s opinion.

    Comment by julie — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 10:33 am

  16. Julie,

    “Comments in your txt below”

    “Asking for the FC to be completely abandoned is not practical”

    I don’t ask for complete abandonment of the Family Court – I do ask that it be lead by the Policy of HandsOnEqualParent TRUST which is up for debate on the website.

    “Asking for biological parents rights is not practical”


    “asking for 50/50 parenting has flaws”

    I am asking for a presumption not an inditement.

    “You need to bring us all together and make a long term plan with step by step action plan to get to the long term plan.”

    Anyone is welcome to the debate, that is why the HandsOnEquaLParent TRUST E-Groups exist.

    “As a country we will never make laws that are in everyones favour. Someone will allows get hurt. You need to look at caring for the majority.”

    BALLS, the majority have had much of their FAMILY destroyed.

    “The FC is bullshit and everyone agrees with that. Whoever gets in first with the best lawyer and users the tools such as accusing abuse will win. Whether female or male.”


    “There are many biological parents that are not good parents and the biological parents should have contact but not rights as to deciding the well-being of the child”

    As I said we are striving for Presumption not inditement

    “Imposing a law stating default of 50/50 pareting will have problems too.”

    As I said we are striving for Presumption not inditement

    “There is nothing wrong with going back to the drawing board. Lot’s of people want to help as you have shown leadership. I think it is important that you let them have a say.”

    Anyone is welcome to the debate, that is why the HandsOnEquaLParent TRUST E-Groups exist.

    Onward – Jim

    Comment by Jim Bailey — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 10:42 am

  17. I think it can be hard to look outside our own cases. I was lucky to have been given a parenting arrangement that let me see my children for 4 days every second week and half of school holidays. However, the relationship between my ex-wife and I is good, and there is little difference to how the children’s day to day activities, friends, and family are structured. Even so, my children found the two week days at my place every two weeks hard. I don’t quite understand because it was hard for them to express. In the end we changed the agreement to every second weekend and half of each school holiday; I get to pick up the kids and take them to school often now, and they much prefer this. While the thought of not having them in my house every day really hurt and really scared me, it is quite obvious now that they are happy and that we have a good relationship.

    That’s why I do support that research that puts the child first before an assumed rights of biological parents, and that puts any relationship they have with parental figures before that of biological rights.

    A hardline approach to parent rights will not adjust itself to the children’s wants, and it increases the kind of conflict that is most detrimental to the children. I would like to see the family court not hand out hard and fast decisions – choosing one parent or another and defining an exact system, they just do not have the insight into the children and their relations that the immediate caregivers of the children do. I think ultimately they should force counselling and establish trial systems where the child can experience scenarios that they find appealing. The outcome of these should be addressed in counselling; the court should only step in to reprimand people who are failing to reason rationally about the children.

    Comment by michael — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 10:44 am

  18. Hi again Jim,

    I want to be a part of this debate. I had tried to join your chat room but had difficulties. Can you explain it again so I can enter. Yahoo I think it is through. Jim I would also like for you to comment on my site. There is a caregiver asking for advice.

    Comment by julie — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 10:47 am

  19. I think Jim is right to mistrust academics. So much harm has been done through intellectual snobbery and through the power that academics wield, often misguidedly. In discussing the welfare of kids, its a bit surprising that academics can hold their heads in anything but shame. As a bit of a minor academic, I’m ashamed of much what has been done in the name of ‘psychology’. Science should not delude itself by thinking it is a replacement for common sense, or believing it knows much of anything about what goes on in the human heart.

    Comment by PaulM — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 11:00 am

  20. Michael,

    You express it well. Children need and want their day to be predictable. They like to come home to their own space and they make plans with their friends at school. They have their own little world going on, I suppose. We cannot expect them to fulfill our needs. Children don’t really understand their parents until they are older and even sometimes they need to become parents themselves to get it.
    From my experience of life, I found that children don’t mind living with parents 50% of the time when they are little but when they get to 10 (roughly) onwards they like to play with others their own age.

    Comment by julie — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 11:01 am

  21. Paul,

    I have no doubt that academics generally know shit about real life.
    Although I am happy to have someonoe on this site like Jadie. She is the type of people we need in the trade. Those with real life experiences.
    Did you know that all counsellors in the drug field have to now have certificates and even in human rights.
    People that learn from books have no idea how an addict works. People that learn from books about families have no real idea how families work. When I was young, I myself could tell everyone their flaws and expect more but my mouth soon shut when i found myself in it.

    Comment by julie — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 11:09 am

  22. Best way to enter the discussion is to join the open E-Group thru my wesite

    I reserve the closed group for NEWS only as many are simply not interest in comment.

    If News comes thru the open group I transfer it to the NEWS only group myself – come join

    Onward – Jim

    Comment by JimBailey — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 11:38 am

  23. I agree with your comment in #23 Julie. And I was disscusing this just the other day with a co-ordinator of a parenting course.

    This lady, was a social worker for 15 years and she started telling me about a ‘fresh’ social worker she worked with a few years before. They had gone to a mothers house to examine a child for signs of abuse. When they arrived the child was asleep. The mother was a bit annoyed at them coming at that time because of the child napping. This could not be helpped and the child was woken up. The ‘fresh’ social worker examined the child and then said to the mother “you can put him back to sleep now”, the mother was not impressed with this at all. And anyone who has kids would know that that was not going to happen!! And the lady who told me this said, that while the Social worker knew about ‘abuse’ she did not know about children-per say, because she had none. Now I am not saying this applies to all social workers, but it just made us laugh.

    Another belief I have in regards to academics, is you go learn the stuff and what you learn sits. But over time things do change. What I think happens is few profesionals have time (or willingness) to keep themselves up to date with the changing information and new material that arises in their feild. For example, a christchurch FC psychologist I know, holds a strong stand that fathers are only second. And mothers should have all rights. Yes this is what he said to me point blank. I know of several cases were he has been successful at removing the father. Now, he is ‘old school’ I have had some great debates with this individual and I reguarly send him the last research on children, families and parenting (he has no children either).

    Statistics, sorry only take them as a grain of salt. And certainly not as gospel.

    Comment by Jadie — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 12:01 pm

  24. oops I mean # 22 julie

    Comment by jadie — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 12:05 pm

  25. Michael you say

    I do not support, and in fact loathe, men who think it is their retrospective biological right to claim a child they have had little to do with over early years

    You forget that is highly likely the fact that they had little to do with their child was not their own choice. But even if the father did not want to know (and let’s be honest everyone, some men do behave like this), if we look at the situation from the child’s perspective, doesn’t that child still have a right to contact with what is in fact an entire extended family? As more becomes known about the role of genetic heritage in regard to disease risk, it is likely to be increasingly important to have access to this information.

    It is common for children who have been adopted to have an intense need to make contact with the biological families as they older, and I expect many children of single parents have the same experience. All of life’s most important experiences – weddings, births of grandchildren, and funerals are deeply impacted by the loss of family connections.

    I would not support any form of coercion in this regard, but I certainly think there is the case for the State providing some kind of support and perhaps even rewards, rather than disincentives.

    Kelly and Lamb in support of their rights as fathers. If you look carefully, they are not supporting biological parenthood, they are supporting the maintenance of important relationships to the child.

    So it is vital that fathers are supported and encouraged to make that bond as early as possible.


    I have no doubt that academics generally know shit about real life.

    I know lots of academics, and I can assure you they know exactly as much about real life as normal people! Actually though, many of them do know quite a bit about some specific aspects of real life, in this information is very useful informing good social policy.

    Unfortunately there are other academics who have an agenda to “destroy the patriarchy”, and they are happy to manipulate data and publish studies that were designed to provide a predetermined outcome. These are people who believe that “end justifies the means”. The sad thing is that many of them ARE actually very well-meaning and come across as such – but they are the most dangerous.

    General comment: I think the Family Court does need to be closed down, simply because it has lost to much credibility with the public it is supposed to serve.

    I think people should be sent to mediation, and that the default position must be 50-50 shared parenting. We must also remove any financial advantage delivered by the welfare system if one parent succeeds in gaining in primary control of the child

    If there is the question of illegal abuse, the charges should be tested in the criminal court, and if found to be false the complainent should be penalised. If parents obstruct agreed parenting plans, they should be sent to mandatory counselling, then criminally charged if the behaviour continues.

    Comment by JohnP — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 12:07 pm

  26. Jadie,
    You are such a breath of fresh air (so to speak)
    But there is still so much for you to learn about the systems of psychology in NZ.
    And yes, your trade is also currupt with many of your peers committing suicide and extremely unstable.
    However, I know great skilled psychologists that are not wavered by peer pressure. Be yourself and real because at the end of the day you will be respected amongst your peers for having the guts. You do not seem to be easily led and I like that very much.

    I was thinking that you must have a pass to get hold of students studies. You know, the one’s they write to get thier masters degrees. Can you post some of their studies on this site? I am sure they would be grateful that their hard work is helping families.

    Comment by julie — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 12:15 pm

  27. Julie
    Thanks, While my field is Psychology, I have no intentions at this point to take it on a full-time career.

    I hear what you are saying, and psychology can be a very controversial area. You need to ‘sit on the fence’ with it.

    I would be happy to post recent studies. I do have to gain authors permission first however. I will post my own one on Parental Alienation when it is complete.

    Comment by Jadie — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 12:28 pm

  28. Jadie,
    I have taken the day of to do an assignment. It seems I am more interested in talking to everyone else. Ha, Ha. But I will do it at the same time.

    Waht a shame you don’t intend to be a psychologist full-time. Society needs people like you.

    I am not sure if the public can access the universities database? I am doing part-time studies through open polytechnic but when I was, actually I think I can access their database. What do you mean by saying you need to get the authors permission. I thought all master degree students had to write papers and that we could just reference them if we used them.

    Comment by julie — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 12:40 pm

  29. John,
    I must have been commenting while you were commenting. But I have a question.

    I don’t get the concept of eliminating the FC. Is what you’re saying mean:

    We should only have counselling or the criminal court for disputes for parents to deal with parents?

    And now that brings me to the questions. Why do we have an FC? What was the reason for it being? And does every country have an FC?

    And are we expecting CYFS to use the criminal court also?

    Comment by julie — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 12:50 pm

  30. Julie:

    We should only have counselling or the criminal court for disputes for parents to deal with parents?

    Mediation, counselling, arm-twisting etc first, but, basically yes.

    Why do we have an FC? What was the reason for it being?

    Because some people believe that human violence will magically disapear if as many children as possible aren’t brought up by men.

    And are we expecting CYFS to use the criminal court also?

    Too right!

    Comment by JohnP — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 12:56 pm

  31. John,
    Well that certainly blew me away. Are you for real?
    Is there another side to this?
    It can’t possibly be that simple.
    I was expecting something like:
    The family Court was put in place to care for the interests of the child. And it was put in place to make judgements happen faster because children were at risk.

    Comment by julie — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 1:01 pm

  32. Julie,
    Sometimes to publish a full article/paper you need authors permission, plus it’s polite.
    What are you studying?
    Anyone can go to a universities library, you just can not take anything out. All universities operate differently as to what they let you access, at canterbury you can pay for membership and access all their material if you are not a student.

    I have special permission from an Australian University to access their material for research purposes. But I have no idea if you can get this in a NZ uni.

    Comment by Jadie — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 1:01 pm

  33. Dear Julie,
    A good book on psychology is “Why Freud Was Wrong”, by Richard Webster. In it he shows from its very creation it was based on desires of the tyrannical kind. It, like communism, has very few positives to the long list of its evils. It is the most appealing to effeminates for its endless self-reflection(which women loved to do well before Freud, and he simply cashed in on) and has false rationalization galore. By its constant placing of blame, for endless fears, at any door except where it belongs is it effeminate halmark. Our society is now going around trying to put out these fears out, instead of demanding women toughen up.

    We are suffering socially, for those who have studied this false humanistic God for so long could never come to see their long education as misguided, like those who have studied Marx, Mao etc. If you worship psychology then read the book(if you can manage your fears). If you can’t, I hope you can one day remove yourself from the cult! It is this kind of mysticism given logical sounding names that continues to crop up every 100 years or so. Psychology’s only difference is it attempts to sound logical.

    Comment by Intrepid — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 1:03 pm

  34. Jadie,
    I am studying accounting. I have an accounting business I can buy next year. Many people I know ask, When will I get into ‘Social service.’ I guess that some of my papers can be used for psychology etc. Most of my work is with the ‘down and out’ the ‘prison killers’ the one’s this site refers to as the ‘dead beats’ of society. And what I do is because I have the gifts. Born with them. Instincts, I guess.

    I am not normal. I run my own race. I am a spinner but a nice one, I hear.
    I always say that successful people are not ordinary.

    Comment by julie — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 1:13 pm

  35. Interpid,
    I have read this book.
    I am not a freud supporter.
    What gets me about him is he was a drug addict. hello, did I miss something? That stuff can do strange things to the mind! hahaha he is slow disappearing though.

    Sorry, just not a frued lover. but I do respect those who choose to enjoy his material.

    Comment by Jadie — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 1:18 pm

  36. Dear Jadie,
    It was a bit of a dry read(which often good logical books are) but wasn’t interesting how psychology is a confessional for Protestants, but with no morality push by the shrink! It certainly shows that there are books out there with people willing to say the king has no clothes! There is still some good in the field, but the lengths that some have taken it is simply amazing! It has become a religion of sorts, though its supporters look down on religions in there own little ways.
    The Frenchman who statrted it all off with bedding lonely married French women one would think would scare off women of the whole thing. Yet it is just to tempting to self-reflect about every past move I guess.

    Comment by Intrepid — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 1:39 pm

  37. Jadie,
    It seems that you have also missed the right post. What a day we are having.

    Comment by julie — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 1:42 pm

  38. helllllllooooo!!!!!

    Comment by cwb — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 1:54 pm

  39. Hi Intrepid and Jadie,
    I an missing your comments while I make my own. Sorry if I have jumped the gun (so to speak).

    Why do we have to read so many books? What about the farmers and the old school builders? Do they have to read books and pass questions. We have a forest industry with new out of school employees. They have passed all the OSH tests but know shit about the forest trees. And guys that have been working their for 10-20 years have to call these young whippa snappers ‘boss’. Books can be bullshit.,
    I wonder if I already know psychology. It is you that reminds me that I know it. What more do I need to know?

    It is only the bullshit pass from school that I need.

    Comment by julie — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 2:05 pm

  40. hehehe
    Sorry guys it is one of those days! I should be doing research too, but have got hooked on the talkback debat about smacking kids. geee I was smaked as a kid and I turned out alright (I think) :).

    Comment by Jadie — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 2:18 pm

  41. Intrepid,
    Please don’t give up on me. You don’t just teach me but many ordinary people that don’t know about blog sites or just don’t want to know. We really are the majority in NZ. In fact it is the ordinary people that are running this country. Some know the leaders personally through school, as NZ is small and others know them through being brothers and sisters, cousins ect. What you teach me does have an impact, more than you know. I look at the Herald and continuously see bosses, friends etc.

    Comment by julie — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 3:06 pm

  42. Dear Julie,
    Well as to the issue of books. I tell my students, who cover politics, to read Time, the Washington Post and the New York Times, but also to read the National Review and the Washington Times. This, to get both sides.

    When you take your course at Univ. did you read any books that argued most Psychology is gone off its rocker! Our did you read psy-good 101, psy-ok 102 etc? Your reading selection is unlikely to have anything that says drop the course!
    Books and people are yin/yang, meaning they can do both good or bad or can be born good or bad.

    The books I bring up are on the Machavielli, since you smartly put it forth for us to think about with your quote, and since you have put forth psychology references to attack 50/50 parental access I thought it proper to say it is more religion now than science.

    I’m skeptical of all books, for the Classic Greeks frowned upon book writing for it didn’t allow for tough questioning of ideas. Lecturing is king now and kissing up to profs makes women better students by far(lot’s of tag questions to smooth agreement..right?), in this world of no stand and deliver.

    Some average people have common sense, and some average people, like Churchill said, have nothing to add at all to issues outside their own little worlds. Pumping up the worker or farmer was tried at the end of the last decade by socialist-communists and lead too millions of more murders(done with the best of intentions, I might add) far exceeding the prefered cliche trump card of labeling you opponent Hitler.
    If you are going to give your life to the new humanistic church of psych, please read a book from the other side. You can always go back to getting in touch with the average farmers later.

    Comment by Intrepid — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 3:16 pm

  43. To go back to Michael’s comment at no.7;

    “I support fathers who have been excluded from continuing a relationship established prior to separation; I do not support, and in fact loathe, men who think it is their retrospective biological right to claim a child they have had little to do with over early years”.

    I thought this remark a little heartless, and perhaps thoughtless. Well, I took it personally in the light of my own situation. Perhaps I misinterpreted the meaning.

    I have a one year old boy who I am allowed to see for a few hours each week (when things are going well). At his mother’s instigation we separated before he was born. I have tried to negotiate with all the skill and diplomacy and assertiveness that I can muster (and I do believe I know a bit about negotiating) but have not succeeded in gaining anything close to a more equal time-sharing and parenting arrangement. The way I see it, in this negotiation, his mother has all the power. I am scared that she will succeed in driving me away from my son, as I can tell from the stories of so many other fathers that this is the kind of thing that has happened to them. The cards are all stacked in the ‘residential’ parent’s favour. It’s a hell of a battle for fathers to stay in touch with our kids following separation, and I am learning through experience that you would have to have luck and strong support and a high degree of motivation to succeed in establishing a close relationship if the child’s other parent is working to prevent this. Even then it might not be enough. And I havn’t even been the subject of malicious allegations (well not yet anyway).

    So to loathe father’s who try to re-establish a lost relationship seems a bit harsh to me. Maybe there are some fathers who just walked away, or gave up too easily. But a wish to be close to your kids is pretty strong and natural in all healthy human beings, not only mothers. So I’m sure there are a great many father-child relationships that were prevented, by unjust laws and unscrupulous parents, from being established in the first place.

    Comment by PaulM — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 4:22 pm

  44. Dear Intrepid,
    Thanx for replying. Well, I have always read time and still do but not every issue.
    Now there’s a reason for being into conspiracies.
    Since 1970 in fact I have watched through ‘Time’ the east.
    And I always like the world-wide views. New York and Washington times I have not followed. NZ has been considered behind unitl the ‘Internet’ which many have got to know quickly. We have some great software designers which you might know.
    I have not followed politics until I met you and others through this site. But you must acknowledge I am picking things up quickly.
    These lawyers that are being targeted by Jim and his group really are insecure. In fact I know personally that some have tried to commit suicide.
    You need to teach us and I say this because you have the information that we need. Many of us on the site now, know little because most are going through the situations.

    Only today, did I learn that a male that was hit by a train in Auckland committed suicide. Now, that might not be his cause of death but I know a friend of the rail works. There is no way he says that this man did not hear a train coming.

    Comment by julie — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 4:29 pm

  45. I agree with Paul M., Mike seems to be either trying to egg us on here, or dislikes other men something harsh. Women almost always have better skills with enfants, but the older they get the more I feel men are needed. A wild boy, taught from a young age by a wise father, can become something great if his energy can be applied, yet the same wild boy without a father can often become uncooperative in their quest to being free of the ever fencing in nanny state (which makes all rules important for they can all be dangerous to the effeminate mind). Socrates says this in antiquity, but what does a old dead guy who died for truth know as compared to all this new fads and their pushers who wouldn’t stand up against the crowd if it meant someone thinking your angry(God forbid I am labelled an angry white male). Oh no! Where is my new PC warm and fuzzy dictionary? FFFFF ah here it is. Flattering to make friends. The use of tag questions to sway people(see women).

    Comment by Intrepid — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 6:32 pm

  46. Julie, you say (comment 31):

    I was expecting something like:
    The family Court was put in place to care for the interests of the child. And it was put in place to make judgements happen faster because children were at risk.

    I’m sure many other people believe that too. But what the Family Court says it is about and what it actually does has always been quite different.

    In the real world of 2006, a parent can loose all contact with their child and have six months or more slip by before any determination is made by the Family Court.

    Comment by JohnP — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 8:11 pm

  47. John-P is onto it
    Regards – JimBWarrior

    Comment by Jim Bailey — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 8:28 pm

  48. Jim,
    I owe you an apology. You do have it worked out and well.
    I really think I should forget about commenting for a while and read books to understand things better.

    By the way I mean’t I have been reading TIME magazine since 1990.

    Comment by julie — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 9:50 pm

  49. re comment #43 and #45

    I think I perhaps generalised too much. Where there is a single parent situation as a result of separation, then my comment certainly does not apply to those other parents that have wanted to maintain contact but have been refused by way of the primary caregiver or the court. However, there are more and more cases where there are step parents or other parental figures who have stepped in, for example, as a father role, and who have been such in a large capacity through out the child’s life so far. A biological father who then wishes to become more involved again in their child’s life is ultimately trying to change an established structure of relationships for the child. The child may even be unaware of what natural and non-natural paternity is. These situations really force the line between the rights of a child to maintain relations and dynamics as they exits and those rights that parents subsume to be in contact for certain amounts of time. It is ultimately more useful if the courts addressed counselling to enable, say in the example above, two fathers to exist in a child’s life and for the child to not be pulled or drawn into a different access regime that is too different to what they have known.

    I think this is different from a situation of one parent vs two parents which was the situation I was in, but I recognised my bias towards myself even in that situation, let alone the complicated situation I describe above, which unfortunately a friend of mine is trying to sort through.

    Sorry if I offended you; but it does sadden me to see fathers demanding some sort of rights for themselves, when really (and I do see this too) they should be demanding that the child has fair and reasonable access to them as the child wishes.

    How to ascertain those wishes is definitely not something a court does very well. It is ultimately all those involved in the child’s life that have the better perspective, and everything should be aiming toward a fair mediation setting where those parents that fail to co-operate in a constructive way are reprimanded.

    Comment by michael — Thu 25th May 2006 @ 11:45 pm

  50. Julie re message 48


    take a thourough look at the work and info on

    Onward – Jim

    Comment by Jim Bailey — Fri 26th May 2006 @ 1:30 am

  51. Michael, you say

    “A biological father who then wishes to become more involved again in their child’s life is ultimately trying to change an established structure of relationships for the child.”

    But being a bioligical father is an established relationship. Relationships don’t get any more ‘established’ than through conception. I suppose through their actions or neglect, some fathers might forfeit their rights to be in a relationship with their child. But I think it would have to be extraordinary abuse or neglect.

    As John pointed out earlier, it’s common for adoptees to experience a huge hunger to kmnow their biological parents whom they have not known since birth.

    I remember when my son was about three months old, his mum took him away on a trip for six weeks. By the time he came back we had spent a third of his life apart. But at our reunion there was an immediate recognition which had an extraordinary quality to it that I would find difficult to describe. There was some kind of connection there as he immediately stopped what he was doing and stared at me for a long time. I think you could call it ‘father-hunger’.

    Comment by PaulM — Fri 26th May 2006 @ 10:49 am

  52. Paul, actually being there around the child for the first three months is pretty huge for a new born child; I don’t think you can make an argument that this is biology. This recognition from early childhood experience is well known, and they haven’t demonstrated it to be biological. I would be interested in studies that do.

    I agree that the urge for adopted children to know more about their biological parents can be strong; but it is usually something that comes as they get older – mid to late teens. All adopted children that I know have gone through this; but it is important to also recognise that this often makes them realise just how strong their bond to their adoptive parents actually is.

    I don’t see any of these as being sound arguments for 50:50 joint custody being the default for biological parents regardless of circumstances of the child’s life and experience of those parents so far.

    Comment by michael — Fri 26th May 2006 @ 1:11 pm

    How to ascertain those wishes is definitely not something a court does very well. It is ultimately all those involved in the child’s life that have the better perspective, and everything should be aiming toward a fair mediation setting where those parents that fail to co-operate in a constructive way are reprimanded.
    (right on michael with your comments, the court neglects your thoughts of wisdom because i guess it may stall proceedings somewhat because they were resolved to quickly)

    Comment by cwb — Fri 26th May 2006 @ 4:40 pm

  54. My impression is you really want to minimise the value of fathers.

    Comment by PaulM — Fri 26th May 2006 @ 4:53 pm

  55. 54 – I was talking to Michael there

    Comment by PaulM — Fri 26th May 2006 @ 4:55 pm

  56. co-operation is the key, it is just basic common sense which the family court have no interest in pursuing for all and reprimanding those that attempt to obstruct justice for the child.

    Comment by cwb — Fri 26th May 2006 @ 5:03 pm

  57. sorry for spelling mistake FOR not HOR

    Comment by cwb — Fri 26th May 2006 @ 5:10 pm

  58. Heh, thanks cwb.

    PaulM, no, I don’t want to minimise the value of fathers; I want to minimise the creation of law that creates artificial decisions for a child’s welfare where that welfare is ultimately determined best by the people closest to the child.

    There seems to be two issues. Retrospecitve ones, where there appears to be a significant number of fathers (biological and non-biological – e.g. long time defacto partners) who took action to continue a relationship with their children and were shut out by stupid decisions in the family court. Then there are the forward looking ones, i.e. how to deal with this in the future. Forward looking has to look at mediation and counselling. Parent’s holding grudges against each other are pretty easy to spot and need to be dealt with.

    For retrospective cases, it is unfortunate, but it is reality that the children will have formed particular bonding relationships to various people. If a father (biological or not) had been present in that child’s life before, then there will still be a bond there – even if the father had been shut out since. For those where there has been some level of access for a long time, then there will be a bond there that can be nurtured better by the forward looking model than assigning retrospective rights and possibly making the children feel worse.

    Family court like to think that they support conciliation in mediation and counselling, but in reality, the help and skill is not provided to help break down the problem areas that exist between the parents; and cases reach a hearing far too easily.

    The children also need to be better addressed. A lawyer talking to a child once, maybe twice, is not enough to represent that child. This needs to be addressed too.

    I don’t support Mother’s rights any more than I support Father’s rights. I support the child’s rights fully.

    Comment by michael — Fri 26th May 2006 @ 5:41 pm

    Less Taxs collected = Less Taxs Paid = Less Bludgers (Lawyers) Feeding Of The State = More Kids With Dad = E = MC Squared

    Comment by cwb — Sun 28th May 2006 @ 12:57 pm

  60. Watching this debate with much interest,MICHAEL seems to be the only one with valid comment, What has gone wrong with fathers groups? bitterness at mum getting the extra Dollar

    Comment by edward — Wed 31st May 2006 @ 4:17 pm

  61. Dear Edward,
    John P won the argument with Michael hands down. It seems you not only can’t give evidence or give logical postions to back up your mere feelings, but you can’t see it when others produce it. Micheal suggests he has a good relationaship with his ex ( who he could not stand living with anymore), so does John P. John P sees other men getting the shaft, and concludes things need to be changed. Micheal gets on well and therefore blames other divorced husbands for not being at home when they are obviously working in the early complimentary role stage.

    Women have better skills in the early stages of enfancy generally, while the closer the child gets to the real world the close a father knows how to generally deal with a life of bumps and grinds.
    Me thinks you and your few supporters wrap yourself in the child like others have wrapped themselves in the flag. And have all such scoundrels use the cliches of the day to win at issues they no not, and trust to emotional sophistry.

    Comment by Intrepid — Wed 31st May 2006 @ 5:10 pm

  62. Hi, I was saddened to read much of the debate on this website, and further saddened to recognise that I was not enlightened I was hoping for some sense of unity as well as a practical approach to make for a better future. The following that I offer is one of a parent not an academic. However, I am an academic, a psychologist (not registered); have worked in mental health; trained social workers, probation officers etc; lecturered; published a well recognised book amongst professionals; and for a reasonable period of time operated as an expert witness for the crown. In extending my profile further I am a mother who has sadly been through the loss of a marriage and the devastating dislocation of my family. I have always believed in “parenting” and between my then husband and myself we raised two beautiful children. I am a great mother, and the likes, my ex husband is a great dad to my children. Unfortunately the issues between my husband and I have been acrimonious, and sadly my ex husband has used the children for his own defence. From my readings I recognise that “using” the children or as termed, pariental alientation is common; and for the sake of my children I have backed out to give the children room to develop without the pressure of “warring” parents. Whilst the removal of myself felt like a death, at the end of the day someone had to be mature and put an end to the cycle.
    The Family Court had no understanding of the alienation syndrome and the negative psychology upon my children, but acted as though they were experts on children. I found this incredibly frightening and in viewing the process as both a mother and an academic, the parties involved made immediate decisions to protect the child, but following on from this created perpetrators and victims and further propagated the dislocation of a family. Whilst I believe in immediate protection and rights of children, I have seen children love the most evil of human beings who are one of their parents; and with heart felt warmth I have seen children forgive. As adults and professionals we should take a leaf out of a childs book and work a system that brings families together in a way that ensures forgiveness as opposed to litigation that ensures lies are told. We are too black and white in our NZ society, and I feel saddened to read that mothers rights are paramount, I strongly support parenting rights and strongly support forgiveness. I have worked with prisoners over the years whoes sense of harmony and wellbeing has only come when they have reunited with a lost parent whom in your words “abandoned” them. Parents make mistakes, but don’t crucify the parent forever; a parents bond is always felt, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but at some stage, maybe from their death bed, only then may the knowledge and actions of one be that of a parent.

    I have felt so ashamed to read and view the actions of my psycholgist colleagues and have spent many hours attempting to understand what drives their vehement decisions and have concluded that many of the decisions are “forceful” because they are affirming their own professional decisions, and if they didn’t, they would feel a deep sense of ambivalence or cognitive dissonance. Many of their decisions are founded in their own value system and their own experiences, and for this reason a situation of murder can be treated the same by these professionals as a situation of a slap.

    In closing, I would like to state that the family court is not equiped to manage the many complexities of human behaviour and their role is to administer the law in a “just” and credible way, however, too commonly lawyers and judges alike act as psuedo psychologists and without realising it they pull families apart and do not understand the role that they played; wrongly label people and create a dissocation disorder for parents that propels suicide. Australia has excellent research on the suicidal rates of men who have been through the family court system and I know of a group of psychologists here in NZ who are quietly collecting data for submission as they are concerned about the negative impact of the FC on the psychology of parents, however, are too scared to voice their opinions in fear of losing their jobs. I worked a kin to the Howse case where Howse took the lives of 2 step children; I often wonder how many professionals were involved in adding pressure to this man to assume such a violent act! I quote my own Barrister “All of this pressure is enough to drive anyone to homicide”.

    So instead of arguing male and female, Freud and the likes I ask you to focus your energy on the good of all parties involved in the FC as if you really think – whilst a child might be safe from a parent of concern, if that parent is psychologically dissociated from the FC attack, how on earth can that parent be of any use to the child? The FC know how to pull families apart but do they have the expertise, competency or glue to prevent a future NZ full of dissaffected citizens?

    Comment by Disheartened — Tue 4th July 2006 @ 10:41 am

  63. Disheartened, I so heartily agree with you. The adverserial approach to settling parenting disputes is a blight on our society and must go. You seem to have chosen to withdraw from the fray, and I have chosen the same way in order to spare my child exposure to conflict.

    It’s the sensible, responsible thing to do and yet it leaves children in the hands of people who are big on control and conflict, but small on compromise and communication.

    It is one of the perverse incentives of our adverserial system that parents who choose not to engage in negotiation are rewarded with custody. And that children are punished by being placed in the charge of the parent with the least psychological maturity.

    I have seen little evidence that those in the family court who claim to know the best interests of children have a grasp of even basic components that make up a psychologically healthy human being; ie: having secure attachment experiences, having healthy role-models to learn from and internalise, having hope for the future, having encouragement to problem solve for oneself, etc, etc.

    It has often struck me as bizarre that one should have to enter a court in order to gain contact with one’s own child, in the event of separation. Certainly the rights of a child must be upheld by the law, but long before then, they should be upheld by families, communitys, and by well trained and supervised professionals (and I don’t just mean trained through book-learning)

    We need a much more mediation-centred approach. With dis-incentives for parents who refuse to engage constructively in mediation.

    I work with severely disturbed teenagers who have been in trouble with the law, and everyday in my work I see first hand the consequences of NZ’s very destructive approach to family law, and the devastating effect on these young people of having been exposed to the adverserial parenting which is unfortunately encouraged by the Family court.

    Comment by PaulM — Sat 8th July 2006 @ 9:39 pm

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