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Monkeys have more rights than fathers

Filed under: General — UF @ 1:32 pm Tue 21st October 2008

Press Release by United Future at 12:57 pm, 21 Oct 2008

Reports today that Wellington Zoo has solved the mystery of who fathered their baby chimpanzee through a DNA paternity test perfectly highlight the ludicrousness of family law in New Zealand, according to UnitedFuture deputy leader, Judy Turner.

“It’s an insult that we extend monkeys the right to determine parentage in this country, but refuse that basic right to fathers and children. It is a disgrace that men have no right at all to get a simple DNA test to confirm whether they are the father or not,” says Mrs Turner.

“Parliament gets accused of mimicking a zoo on occasions, but perhaps our politicians need to be taking more notice of the practices of zoo keepers and realise that allowing DNA tests is simply common sense and fair.”

Mrs Turner says that there are no reasonable arguments left against allowing paternity testing to be ordered by the Family Court.

Since DNA paternity testing figures began to be collected in Britain in 1998, 4,854 paternity claims have turned out to be false after testing, according to the Guardian.

“The numbers are simply staggering. In one in five cases of disputed parentage the wrong father has been fingered, but in New Zealand they have no right to clear their name unless they happen to be a chimpanzee.

“All this could be fixed if the Government introduced DNA testing in cases of disputed parentage. It is easy, it is accurate and it simply removes the cloak of uncertainty that surrounds so many father-child relationships.”

Mrs Turner’s has a member’s bill to allow for DNA paternity testing through the Family Court that is awaiting a first reading.




  1. Nice linkage of ideas, Luke.
    Keep up the good work at this election time.
    I do hope Judy gets back in, we need some sense and pro-father lobby in the house.
    Current Family Court rules forbid such testing. If Sally was human she would almost certainly have blavkballed this DNA test and our Family Court find that reasonable.

    Comment by allan Harvey — Tue 21st October 2008 @ 1:41 pm

  2. Remember though that Turner’s party’s policy is to give the Family Court the right to order DNA tests if it wants to. Even if this were to become law, it may well be that there will be little difference from current practice in the Family Court, which tends to bend over backwards to ensure it doesn’t upset women.

    Comment by blamemenforall — Tue 21st October 2008 @ 2:18 pm

  3. Dear god what is wrong with you.

    Criticism is fine when it is valid, but some people will never be satisfied with anything. Change in law happens one step at a time – and it actually has to pass a majority vote in parliament. That includes Labour and National and Green MPs.

    This is not just UnitedFuture party policy – Judy managed to get the actual legislation on the order paper to be voted upon in the near future.

    She managed this by seeking leave of the House during question time, rather than waiting for it to be drawn from the ballot (which would never have happened). One objection from any MP would have meant it was not introduced onto the order paper.

    The bill is on the parliamentary website and empowers the family court to order a DNA test on request of a father who “has reasonable grounds” to believe he is, or is not the father (depending on what he is trying to prove/disprove). It also takes the extra step of removing the right to appeal such an order, so as not to encourage delay tactics through appeals.

    This is as far as the law can go – to assume judges will simply refuse to order DNA testing is just silly – testing happens in other similar countries family court who have the same gripes about women’s favouritism in the Court.

    It appears that many individuals involved in men’s and father issues are so blinkered that they cannot support initiatives that benefit their own cause, preferring to just complain regardless. Do you actually want to achieve anything? change occur one step at a time.

    If people on this site, for example, cannot or are unwilling to support such a Bill, to write other MPs to lobby them to support it when it comes to first reading, or to write in general that it should be supported, then who else is going to?

    Then it will fail to pass, will be discarded, and the status quo will remain where you have no right at all prove whether a child is your own or not. And you will continue to complain.

    Comment by unbelievable — Tue 21st October 2008 @ 2:42 pm

  4. Well said Unbelievable,

    MMP actually works once it is understood and in cases like this it is our chance to have our say by voting for those parties who will best represent what we want – it’s generally accepted that one of the two major parties will get in but it’s up to us to say who keeps them honest as a coalition and does the negotiating for us.

    Comment by Tigerseye — Tue 21st October 2008 @ 3:26 pm

  5. #2 Union of Fathers and other sensible (but activist groups) support the “with leave of the Court provisions for having a DNA test. Otherwise you get every fruitcake in the land claiming to have fathered the gliterati such as Prince Harry or William. Makes sense to have a small filter like “leave of Court”

    I can also report on this matter one activist group supporting this change is the NZ Law Society and their Family Law Section. When we presented to the select Committe on the Family Courts Bill a significant chiuck of the UoF submission was similar to the NZLaw Society submission.

    Comment by allan Harvey — Tue 21st October 2008 @ 5:58 pm

  6. Its amazing how a crumb from the table can be put up as an adequate replacement for a full meal.

    Its a sad reflection on so called “sensible” Fathers Groups (# 5) that they are happy to accept crumbs and one wonders if such groups have become trapped in a paradigm of the current system.

    Please note that I have immense respect for Union of Fathers and Allan has been a champion for fatherless kids for a long time. There is another view that stems from analytical activist dads (and mums).

    Giving the Court gatekeeping powers over DNA testing is, and check the site for my concistency on this,is fundementally flawed.

    United Failures Bill will usher in a new income stream for the Judges, Lawyers, Psychologists and the mean mums who would deprive a child of the fundemental human right to answer the simple question : Who is my dad? That question will only be answerable at the whim of a Court System that has a wll documented history of anti- father bias.

    The most likely time a question of Paternity is raised is when the DPB is applied for and Child Tax Assessed. Now smart mums will not name the father and take the cash direct -part of the balck child tax econmic system. Smart Dads will want to know is this my child as the economic impact can be hundreds of thousands of dollars in child tax.

    When a mother lies about paternity, academics have adopted the PC pharse “misattributed paternity” to describe what is in reality Paternity Fraud.
    This Bill supports fraudster mums by using a court system to gatekeep and promotes the growth of a paternity income stram for the current system.

    As to comment number 3 – its unbeliavable that United Failure expects support from Activists and lobbyists in the Men’s movement after Peter Dunne has spent the last 3 years crewing dads over child tax. Given that the Dunster is a political prositute who will sleep wiyth any party for a Ministers post a Vote for United Failure if National forms a goverment will be a vote for Peter Dunne implementing Judith Collins draconian proposals. Similar to his implementing his Labour masters draconian Child Tax Policy.

    United Failure lost its credibility when the worm turned, its unbelivable that you think we dads will bother supporting this bill.Its unbeliveable that United Failure thinks that crumbs are acceptable and think that a flawed approach to paternity fraud will engender support from analytical activists.

    The bill should be focusing on free DNA tests without the gatekeepers as a fundemental 21st century human right. (see the many press release put up on this site by Parents for Children on this question.)

    My reminder: Dont flush your vote down the Dunney.Vote Wise in 2008 or reap the consequences.



    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Tue 21st October 2008 @ 6:52 pm

  7. Scrap,

    With respect, a truly stupid post.

    Do you really think any parliament would pass a law forcing children to submit DNA tests on the whim of any random on the street, whether they have ever met the child or mother in question? should 15 of my buddies down at the pub be able to rock up together and say we are all John Keys children’s father and get them tested against us? Or claim i am Prince Harry’s real father and get him tested? You need to protect against vexatious claims. But they would be easy to get.

    Also, #3 wasn’t asking to support a party Scrap, but to support a Bill that is good for fathers. Big difference.

    Those who are happy shouting from the sidelines are welcome to – but its unnecessary and unhelpful to be critical of efforts by those who are actually doing things, even if they are small. Im not saying anyone needs to support any particular party or person, but simply be supportive of the individual policies or events that further our interests.
    Vote wise, who is that for?

    Comment by doug — Tue 21st October 2008 @ 7:49 pm

  8. Doug,
    I believe the point is this. To claim an extra $22 a week on the DPB the mother needs to name the father. When she does there is very little the “father” can do to combat this and if fact can spend thousands trying to prove he is not the father. When a woman can turn around and pick one of her close, rich friends for child support – it happens people, one of my close friends got trapped in this predicament – it’s almost an automatic free pass for the mother. A DNA test will make sure that this doesn’t happen.

    Why would you claim to be Prince Harry’s real father? Do you have some sort of proof you were anywhere near Dianna at the time of conception, have you even met her? I’m sure Mr Key would remember a bunch of drunk guys at his house on the night in question. What I’m trying to say is that your sarcastic point has no relivance to the reality of whats actually happening out there. It’s not “random” – unless you have a real reason to believe the child is yours with a sustantiated backing you will not be granted a DNA test. The bill is more for those fathers who have a doubt that the child is actually theirs when faced with a false paternal accusation. A similar scenario, I guess, would be if you have a reason to believe your wife has commited adultery.

    I don’t see why you should think this would be a random act when quite clearly there are very important issues at hand.

    Comment by Tigerseye — Tue 21st October 2008 @ 8:43 pm

  9. Doug,

    My track record on paternity testing and advocating for free paternity tests for fathers so that children can answer the question who is my dad is well know and a matter of public record.I dont shout from sidelines I work for a full meal not the crumbs you are happy to accept.

    I have documented cases of paternity fraud and worked with dads who have been father shopped becuse of their income so I fully undertsand the issues at hand.

    Overseas jurisdictions have passed laws that require compulsory DNA tests without gatekeepers. The sample taking is non invasisve.Its works and no one has yet claimed any Prince Charles was their father and must provide DNA.
    Its is a right in the UK to demand a DNA test when a Child Tax application is made to confirm paternity. If a mother refuses the sample taking ( a mouth swab) is forced. If the mum has nothing to hide, why refuse?

    Where gatekeepers are allowed what ends to happen is that Courts rule that it is not in the childs best interest to know their father.

    This information is readily serchable on the net.

    Supporting this bill will benifit those who have a vested interest in screwing cash out of dads and depriving children and fathers of the fundemenatl right to assured paternity.

    United Failure has an anti father track record from the activities of Peter Dunne as Head Child Tax Nazi thats public record also.

    Regards Scrap

    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Tue 21st October 2008 @ 10:27 pm

  10. #8 Tigerseye,
    You need to understand the only reason why “Leave of the court” is proposed is to stop the random vexatious claims that you yourself say are nonsense. Remeber not everyone in our community is as sane as you and I am (well I’m not actually all there but I’m not quite insane Yet.)

    Comment by allan Harvey — Tue 21st October 2008 @ 10:31 pm

  11. With respect Allan,

    You need to understand the only reason why “Leave of the court” is proposed is to stop the random vexatious claims that you yourself say are nonsense


    Show me evidence of this occuring. Overeseas jurisdiction like the UK allow forced testing and I have never heard of this occuring.There may be nutters but Tigerseye is right there has to be a reason for the test – disputed paternity is that reason.

    Reality is that its unnecessary gatekeeping based on an unsupported myth.



    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Tue 21st October 2008 @ 10:41 pm

  12. Not everybody will always get every point they want in a bill – to pass into legislation there always has to be compromise – that’s how politics works.

    That’s how most laws are passed. Until the republicans get over 50% of the vote in the election, this is the way it will be. Get real.

    Are you seriously suggesting that fathers should not support this Bill through parliament Scrap?

    If you go in with an “all or nothing” approach, expecting every one of your demands to be fulfilled at the first instance, you will never get a crumb, much less a meal.

    Scrap, answer this question. Over-all, is your preference be for this Bill to fail or pass?

    Comment by UF — Wed 22nd October 2008 @ 10:16 am

  13. Not everybody will always get every point they want in a bill – to pass into legislation there always has to be compromise – that’s how politics works.

    UF Sue Braford with support of Peter Dunne certainly did not compromise – she got the whole meal with the repeal of section 59 no crumbs. Please dont try and tell me that there were conpromises as the actual outcome is the measure not the detail.

    Scrap, answer this question. Over-all, is your preference be for this Bill to fail or pass?

    My overall preference is for a bill that actually gaurantees the fundemental human right for child to know who is dad and dad to know who is his child.

    This bill does not do that it places unnecessary gatekeepers in the way. The outcome will be that the right to assured parternity is not provided by this bill.

    Here is a question fro you UF. Will anything in this bill prevent the State from forcing a father to take a DNA test for the purposes of proving his liabilty for child support?

    This bill does not gaurantee assured paternity and my big concern is that similar legislation in overseas jurisdictions has resulted in judges ruling it is not in the best interest of the child to assure paternity. Given the anti dad bias of the Family Law Industry this bill will not do much more than grow the revenue.

    Sorry if thats not what you want to hear but I am being analytical when addressing this and I will continue to question why this bill requires a Family Law Industry to gatekeep given the overseas experience.

    Regards Scrap

    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Wed 22nd October 2008 @ 12:25 pm

  14. When the family court is abolished the mediation committee can quickly, easily and cheaply order a DNA test which is a non evasive cotton-bud-in-the-mouth process to determine (in cases where the man has doubts he is the father) paternity. The fact is that the baby goes through a raft of nasty tests and inoculations, pocked and prodded this way and that – including a blood test to determine blood type, so what is the harm of swabbing the cheek?

    At the moment the decision is the mothers entirely, if she says no to a DNA test then that’s the end of the discussion according to the Family Court. If you are unlucky enough to have the finger pointed at you, well you just got a 19 year sentence. What Scrap is saying is true, thou shalt not worship a false idol such as the family court – or, as Murray Bacon says, the family caught. If the mother has nothing to hide why would she say no to the test? To falsely accuse a man of being the father nothing happens to her but lets call it what it is – fraud! It’s a blatant lie. When family court is abolished this will be seen for what it is and the fraudster will be charged and punished accordingly. Do you think that would cut down on a) Unplanned/unwanted children b) the DPB & c) men paying for children that are not theirs? Of course it will!

    Abolish the Child Support Act, Abolish the Family court!

    Vote wise!

    Comment by Tigerseye — Wed 22nd October 2008 @ 3:05 pm

  15. A good thread!

    My opinion: Yes, of course, a step in the right direction is usually worthwhile. Though not always; a law change that cements in place the role of lawyers (ie judges) to decide in each case whether paternity testing should be done might in the end become an impediment to more sensible change. Nevertheless, in this case I would support the Turner bill regarding testing while emphasizing that Family Court gatekeeping is unnecessary and ideologically flawed.

    For example, in some US states paternity testing can be ordered by the Court. But the state can ignore any result of that testing and still hold the named father accountable for child support etc regardless. See Glenn Sacks’ latest newsletter. If we don’t speak up against flawed ideology then the most important changes may never come about. The belief that a man who disputes paternity should not have any right to a test except at the behest of a lawyer in a system that is based fundamentally on discrimination against men, is a belief based on flawed ideology.

    There is no reason why paternity testing could not be a guaranteed right under certain conditions; eg in any case where a father is required to pay child support but questions paternity; in any case where a mother delays naming the father, implying that there is some doubt; perhaps some other situations. Outside those particular situations perhaps some authority should have to ok it, to avoid spurious or opportunistic ventures.

    Lastly, while one might support Turner’s bill despite its inadequacy, that does not mean that anyone should forget and forgive Dunne’s successful efforts to bash fathers and seriously to erode their civil rights. He could have worked to get a fairer child support regime that ensured men could not be fleeced for sums much greater than realistic child-rearing costs. He could have worked to get a child support regime that fostered and rewarded direct father-child contact and support. He didn’t, but instead sought to exploit populist myths and in doing so brought about a major entrenchment of an immoral system. Now, as an election is imminent, he allows possibly a more genuine party candidate to offer some crumbs to harness votes from a growing special interest group. Let us not be deceived about all that.

    Comment by blamemenforall — Wed 22nd October 2008 @ 4:46 pm

  16. There is no reason why paternity testing could not be a guaranteed right under certain conditions; eg in any case where a father is required to pay child support but questions paternity; in any case where a mother delays naming the father, implying that there is some doubt; perhaps some other situations. Outside those particular situations perhaps some authority should have to ok it, to avoid spurious or opportunistic ventures.

    This is a good idea. these should be raised in submissions at select committe stage. the thing is, it needs to pass a first reading to get to select committee stage.

    PS The bill was in the ballot for more than a year before Judy managed to get it on the order paper. This opens a space for the new UF members bill, to make shared parenting the default position for custody disputes.

    Comment by UF — Wed 22nd October 2008 @ 4:52 pm

  17. garlic, holy water AND A SILVER BULLET , the masculinist bible
    Please read this, it is just brilliant

    Comment by Perseus — Wed 22nd October 2008 @ 7:45 pm

  18. My understanding of the current situation is that the courts and the IRD only require the mother’s word as to who the father is. That alleged person is then ‘guilty’ of the accusation until proven otherwise. The courts and the IRD will not accept DNA evidence from any other country including Australia. Australia has the same standards for just about everything under the sun as NZ. Yet NZ will only accept it from the sole lab in New Zealand that does such tests. This is NOT the case for the criminal courts. This lab will not do a paternity test without the mother’s permission. There is no legal requirement for this lab to insist on mother’s permission when they already have father’s permission but that lab still insists on it.
    In addition the Family Court claims it doesn’t have the powers to order a DNA test to determine paternity — yet there is no real valid basis for the Family Court to make this claim. They make far more drastic interventions every day.
    In other words the man is alleged to be a father and he is not allowed to prove he is not the father. The only way the father can prove he is not the father is if the mother gives her permission which is very clearly not in her own interests in almost any circumstance.

    An alleged father can have an independent technician take a swab from him and the child. Have the technician send the swabs to Australia for testing and gets a result that proves he is NOT the father. This evidence is not accepted by the court or IRD. This same man will still be forced to pay child support and be prevented from proving he is not the father.

    Hence while Turners bill would be an improvement it doesn’t adequately address the root of the problem.

    1. In most cases there is no reason for the Family Court to be involved at all.
    2. The IRD and the NZ Family Court should be forced to accept a DNA test performed in Australia (at least). At which point it is up to the mother to PROVE he IS the father if she continues to make this claim.
    3. The NZ lab should be advised that they must accept the written consent of the alleged father or mother — they don’t need both parents permission to run a DNA test, provided the child is brought into a clinic to have the swabs taken and the father produces some ID.
    4. If the father claims that he is NOT the father than the onus should be back on the mother to prove he is the father. The only reason for the Family Court to get involved would be to force the alleged father to undergo a DNA test against his will.
    5. Any child support or court costs a man falsely accused incurred MUST be re-reimbursed to the man.

    I don’t agree that this is a good candidate for small steps of tweaking the law. I think from a political point of view it is better to have the obviously immoral situation we have now than Turner’s proposed bill. I think it makes it more obvious why a whole different approach is required. Sure this gets it into select committee – but the select committee will not change the whole approach.

    Comment by Dave — Thu 23rd October 2008 @ 7:34 pm

  19. This issue falls under basic human rights and I’m sure everybody knows this. To acknowledge the UK stats of the 1 in 5 men that are paying for children that aren’t even theirs means admitting there has been a monumental cock up and the repercussions of such a cock up means having to fork out what could be $B’s to those men who have been falsely condemned to 19 years of CS payments. This also opens a big can of worms in terms of the kind of money men have had to pay to defend themselves against a sexist government and a vindictive or money hungry x-wife/partner/daddy shopper. What Dave has just said mirrors my own understanding of the situation. The scope of this problem and surrounding issues is bigger than anybody can fathom, of course the government and it’s minions are scooting around it with a smoke and mirrors show. Look what they stand to loose! They should be afraid, they should be very afraid! The name Custer springs to mind.

    The Republic of New Zealand Party are the only party who have a focus on men’s rights. We stand for gender equality. We stand for a constitution where all are equal under law.
    A new face, a new future, a new start. Vote wise, Vote Republican!

    Comment by Tigerseye — Fri 24th October 2008 @ 10:14 am

  20. What Dave says is very very obvious and fair, why are they denying this justice ?

    Comment by newbie4u — Fri 24th October 2008 @ 10:39 am


    In the 15 months that i have been in MENZ, this just has to be one of the most outrageous things (of MANY MANY things) that i have read (after Paul, the Kiwi with the Chinese “wife”)

    Father was denied visiting rights after trying to adopt son 18 months ago, now after son needs an organ donor , Social services contact the father to ask him for a transplant even though he is not allowed to see his son !

    Comment by Martin Swash — Mon 3rd November 2008 @ 12:38 pm

  22. The English local council’s equivalent of CYFS, tried a legal injunction to stop publication (“For the benefit of the child” YEAH RIGHT ). The mother has REFUSED to donate HER organ, of course ! Before, she was deemed not to be a fit mother, but, guess what ? SHE HAS THE RIGHT TO SEE THE BOY !

    I am sure that he will have to pay child support too, when is all this going to change ?

    I thought that i had a terrible injustice with my violent wife (Claire RUDASINGWA now back in Belgium), but NOW i realise that by far the most tyranny involves cases by CYFS. The only explanation for their behaviour , must be MONEY, somebody is making money from adopted kids, it is my conclusion to stories about CYFS. It makes divorced dad victims stories seem almost tranquil !

    Comment by Martin Swash — Mon 3rd November 2008 @ 1:38 pm

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