MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.


Filed under: General — Ministry of Men's Affairs @ 5:39 pm Thu 11th March 2010

Kerry asked me to post this release.


The skeleton suicide petitioners say they have hit a nerve on the streets in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Since launching the skeleton suicide petition at parliament they have gathered thousands of signatures for an inquiry into suicide. The working party on suicide claim New Zealand has a serious social problem indicated by the latest OECD suicide statistics. Wearing their skeleton suits the “skeletoneers” are taking their deadly concerns to Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier and Hastings before presenting the petition at parliament at 11.00am on Friday the 19th March.

Skeleton spokesman Kerry Bevin said “we must confront this tragic secret. It is ok to talk about suicide. Decent kiwis can no longer accept so many feel worthless and powerless, too many attempt and finally complete. The suicide toll is too high; the human right to a better life is being undermined”.

Mr Bevin noted “alarming rates for males and Maori were sidestepped by Peter Dunn’s suicide plan committee who totally ignored the social devastation of suicided fathers following separation.
Autocide is not mentioned either. No clear intervention or funding for the “at risk” is proffered nor any legislative scoping or mental health supports set. Who is going to get real about suicide before this self-destructive cycle becomes a morbid population?” He asked.

“We took our plea to John Key in Parnell. No response from the prime minister. The media seem oblivious too. However we are encouraged by thousands of concerned citizens. Unfortunately many have direct experience with suicide. The Fathers Coalition and the Republican Party have been supportive” said the skeleton spokesman.

Phone working party on suicide

Kerry Bevin (09) 473 3747
Jack Gielen (07) 859 2939
Craig Jackson (04) 389 2291


  1. Is Bailey involved in this?

    Comment by Alastair — Thu 11th March 2010 @ 6:46 pm

  2. As far as I know, he wasn’t involved in its conception but he joined Kerry, Craig and others in collecting singatures in Auckland recently. The petition was Craig Jackson’s project initially I think, and I was able to join Craig, Kerry and others in January to launch it outside parliament and to take it on a march around the streets of Wellington, including popping it in to Principal Judge Boshier and at other relevant government offices etc. Lots of people signed it as we passed, and quite a few spoke of their grief concerning male relatives and friends who had suicided.

    Craig has organized to present the petition soon to Annette King, the only parliamentairan who agreed to accept it after Key, Bennett and others refused (as I understand it).

    The suicide issue seems to be gaining more traction than most. TV3 is preparing a documentary on it and it looks promising that men’s perpectives will be included.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Thu 11th March 2010 @ 7:14 pm

  3. With your integrity Hans I will sign. Where?

    Comment by Alastair — Thu 11th March 2010 @ 7:40 pm

  4. Alastair – please give Jim the cortesy of using his first name.

    Hans – I would be happy to sign it if you can tell me where I might find a copy.

    Comment by Gerry — Thu 11th March 2010 @ 7:41 pm

  5. Awesome work.

    Hans, is there a form somewhere? I’d know a few places that would collect signatures.

    Comment by julie — Thu 11th March 2010 @ 8:06 pm

  6. Ditto – if someone could upload a form that can be downloaded/printed then I could also gather a few signatures.

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Thu 11th March 2010 @ 8:16 pm

  7. I’d sign also…but why isn’t this petition being made available to all NZ citizens? As with SiCKofNZ, I think I could gain a heap of signatures from my workplace alone. Maybe several hundred in fact had I known earlier.

    Comment by Morris — Thu 11th March 2010 @ 8:53 pm

  8. The suicide issue seems to be gaining more traction than most. TV3 is preparing a documentary on it and it looks promising that men’s perpectives will be included.

    Hopefully those perspectives and therefore the causes will retain some visibility.

    Unfortunately the Australian campaigns have become somewhat neutered because of an inability or an unwillingness to look directly at the causes. Since Michael Fl**d slammed an early campaign for “demonising women” we’ve seen diminishing efforts euphimistically using depression as a catch all. This won’t work with men. They need to know where it comes from so they are forewarned.

    Comment by gwallan — Thu 11th March 2010 @ 11:11 pm

  9. Most definitely I would support this petition, having lost my very best friend to this fate some years ago. Incidentally, gave a eulogy at his funeral which included an direct slant at his wife and the domestic situation she manipulated that led directly to his demise. In fact the last conversation that I had with this person involved the recognition of the involvement of whole a raft of manipulating females in his life, starting when he was a child, and including several generations of manipulative matriarchs through to his own two daughters. This conversation also included the sad tale of his father who suffered similarly and through some crazy social order, passed this down to his son. But more closer to my friends it was the involvement of CYF’s, or its predecessor, and the restriction of access to his children that caused the final damage. So Yes, I will sign.

    Comment by Vince — Fri 12th March 2010 @ 6:20 am

  10. Downloading the petition – As some of you know Craig Jackson bless this old trojan is alergic to the internet thus there is no download – However we did without internet downloads for about 6,000 years so telephone one of the 3 numbers to get your master copy. It seems to be working quite well – Onward – Ration Shed – Jim

    Comment by Jim Bailey — Fri 12th March 2010 @ 6:44 am

  11. Are there any dates and places where we can find people with the petition? I’ll tell everyone I know.

    Comment by Scott B — Fri 12th March 2010 @ 7:12 am

  12. Some years ago, Jim Bagnal and James Nicolle toured the family courts.

    Small town NZ is a wealth of signitures, especially the markets.

    Locally there is “River Market” Good weather = 5000 + attending! I do not believe this is unique.

    Comment by Alastair — Fri 12th March 2010 @ 8:44 am

  13. I have tried unsuccessfully to upload an image of the petition form here. I have now asked John Potter if he can arrange it.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Fri 12th March 2010 @ 9:13 am

  14. Pop one into the files area of Pauls News & NZFVL Hans.

    Comment by Alastair — Fri 12th March 2010 @ 10:25 am

  15. People may wish to mention male suicide as a priority in the latest Families Commission questionnaire:
    Question one
    What you think will be the top five issues affecting the wellbeing of families and wh?nau in Aotearoa New Zealand during the next five years (2010-2015)?
    Please number your answers from 1 to 5, with 1 being the most important.

    This is the list that I submitted:
    1. Children’s right to have (at least) 50% access with their fathers.
    2. Support and resources for male victims of female domestic violence.
    3. The disturbing rates of male suicide.
    4. The rates of male educational failure.
    5. Sexual discrimination and bigotry towards males on TV and other media.

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Fri 12th March 2010 @ 11:18 am

  16. More disinformation from Alastair

    Jim Bagnall and I diid the North Island FAMILY Court DEMO and **Equal Parenting petition tour the year of 911.

    We started in Dargarville, Whangarie, North Shore and Auckland City – Then off to Waihi and worked our way down the eastcost, Court by Court to Dannyvirk and then down the Waiarapa – James Nichol and Peter Zohrab organised a huge DEMO in Lower Hutt and Peter Zohrab presented the Jims with a dozen Speights Dark for our efforts on the front steps of the Faily Court – Then servaeral in Wellington, including Bruce ? organising a huge DEMO at Porirua and then off up the West Coast stopping at every FC and some other Govt Edifices – We were in New Plymouth the night of 911 – I will never forget Jimmy waking me uo about 3am as he had been watching tv – Several more and home over 2 weeks – Massive MEDIA and public support in the rural areas all the way – Many Men anbd their FAMILIES joined us in their towns – Theiur attention been draw by several mailouts (SPAM) from the **FAMILY Friendly Data-Base?**

    I can also remember a huge turn out of PANIXC people in Palmy when John was at his best.

    Phew thanks for the memory

    The only regret was that I did not have the War4Kids WAGON yet and went a my mates car.

    Onward – Ration Shed – Jim

    Comment by Jim Bailey — Fri 12th March 2010 @ 1:28 pm

  17. In societies where it is difficult to obtain a divorce, females suicide rates are higher than men’s. Interestingly, and conversely in societies where it is relatively easy to obtain a divorce, male rates of suicide are higher than those of women.

    Comment by Angela — Wed 17th March 2010 @ 1:41 pm

  18. Reply to Angela

    I beg to differ Angela, on your reason on why Males commit suicide, personally…and just my humble opinion, I think its a lot to do with a Father trying to get, and achieve a decent access to see ,and trying to be Father to his own Children…

    Plus as been a ‘Father’ getting totally slaughtered in Family courts…by a vindictive ex partner in tow with all her state funded Feminists cohorts…

    plus ‘tongue in cheek’ the so called ‘Fair’ Child support system here in N.Z, that can virtually can bankrupt a Father for many a years…

    Again just my opinion,but the worst one ,to tip a decent Man/Father to commit suicide, is when a Ex partner makes a false inappropriate sexual allegation against the Father of his own Children….

    Kind regards John Dutchie

    Comment by John Dutchie — Wed 17th March 2010 @ 2:04 pm

  19. Seems logical. Before we can really take it on board Angela, could you suggest research pointing to this?

    Comment by Alastair — Wed 17th March 2010 @ 2:55 pm

  20. 49.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot lol
    where is this society where female suicides are higher?

    Comment by mits — Wed 17th March 2010 @ 4:05 pm

  21. Angela says: In societies where it is difficult to obtain a divorce, females suicide rates are higher than men’s. Interestingly, and conversely in societies where it is relatively easy to obtain a divorce, male rates of suicide are higher than those of women.

    I used the Suicide Gap statistics as a factor in the soMENi Best Country 2009 study. Of the 76 countries which we found statistics for we found that the highest Suicide Gap (ratio of male to female suicides) was recorded in Bahrain which had 9.8 male suicides to every 1 female suicide. The lowest Suicide Gap was recorded in Hong Kong which had 1.2 male suicides to every 1 female suicide.
    NOT EVEN ONE of the 76 countries for which we have data for showed female suicide rates being higher than male suicide rates. NOT ONE!

    Someone might wish to correlate the data for the Suicide Gap between Men & Women of each country with the Divorce Rate of each country to either prove or disprove Angela’s assertion.

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Wed 17th March 2010 @ 6:40 pm

  22. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Emile Durkheim, Suicide (Glencoe, IL:Free Press, [1897] 1951)

    Comment by Angela — Wed 17th March 2010 @ 8:09 pm

  23. I didn’t give any reasons for this John, only the facts. Another skill of a good debater; to recognise the difference between a fact, a theory based on a set of facts; and proving or disproving that theory based on imperical evidence and then of course there’s just blind jumping on the bandwagon, jumping to conclusions and blind adherence to what has always been believed as truth.

    Comment by Angela — Wed 17th March 2010 @ 8:14 pm

  24. Before anyone takes on that task I would suggest he or she check to make sure someone hasn’t already done so – I’d start with sociological journals first as they are specialists at studying society.

    Comment by Angela — Wed 17th March 2010 @ 8:17 pm

  25. Angela.

    1. Why are you still posting on here when you were asked 3 simple questions that you have yet to answer.

    2. Why are you now referencing a book from the 1950s when we are in the 21st century ?

    You are just making yourself look sillier by every post you make

    Comment by noconfidence — Wed 17th March 2010 @ 8:30 pm

  26. Here Angela. This is the site that I gathered many of my statistics from. It’s quicker than reading a journal :p.

    If you select Advanced View you’re able to compare facts or statistics against other statistics.
    1. Select the country or region or ALL countries
    2. Select the category and statistic
    3. Select the category and statistic to compare to statistic 2.
    4. Select how you wish to view the result
    ….and then press the GO button.

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Wed 17th March 2010 @ 8:53 pm

  27. Yeah, ok Sick, but go a bit deeper and you find the truth:

    Totals, averages and rankings. The data this site comes from numerous sources. NationMaster has added additional features where totals, averages and nation rankings are calculated. These can be unreliable, as each statistic may have been collected using differing methodologies and at different times. Further, some countries will not have data for a statistic. This does not mean that they have none of the prescribed figure (eg. no airports, no people living with HIV, etc), or even that no measurement has been made. Thus, these should only be construed as a rough guide.

    Per capita figures. NationMaster arrives at “per capita” figures by dividing the prescribed amount by the stated population figure. This adds another layer of unreliability as the two figures may be collected in different years. For example, the United States’ population figure is cited for July 2002, while military expenditures was cited for the financial year of 1999. Because population was lower in 1999 and military expenditure is higher now, the reported figure would be lower than the real per capita figure for either date.

    The data may be unreliable in other ways not mentioned

    Comment by Angela — Wed 17th March 2010 @ 9:14 pm

  28. Yes I’ve been wondering that too.

    Comment by Skeptik — Thu 18th March 2010 @ 12:28 am

  29. Yes, I’ve been wondering that too.
    Still no answers from Angela to 3 simple questions.

    Comment by Skeptik — Thu 18th March 2010 @ 12:29 am

  30. Reply to Angela

    ‘just blind jumping on the bandwagon, jumping to conclusions and blind adherence to what has always been believed as truth.’

    So do I take take it Angela you think I jumping on the ‘Band wagon’….So be it, and you have the right to express an opinion,and I will defend your right to express an opinion.

    But Lady let me tell you something ,I hope and pray that ‘you’ will never experienced the pain and anguish of been falsely accused of inappropriate sexual behavior on your own children by ‘here say’ by a bitter and twisted ex partner…And usually there is no consequences of a Woman been charged of perjury.

    I suggest Angela you read a book called ‘A City Possessed’ written by a very respected author called ‘Lynley Hood’…This relates to the Peter Ellis case…which in my humble opinion was nothing more the a Kiwi ‘Feminazi’ Witch hunt….I have said before on ‘Menz’, over my dead body will I let my young adult Son become a Male School teacher here in New Zealand

    Also Angela, it would pay for you to research a incredible fine Lady called ‘Erin Pizzy’….On what she has to say about Extreme Feminism…I will tell right now this fine Lady is not jumping on the so called Band wagon of Extreme Feminism….

    And again,this is just my humble opinion….For the last 25 years here in New Zealand ‘Manhood’ and ‘Fatherhood’ has been ‘Demonized to Hell’ by extreme social engineering radical Feminism…And I have had enough of this Man hating crap…..

    Kind regards John Dutchie

    Comment by John Dutchie — Thu 18th March 2010 @ 7:59 am

  31. Politics is very important, in the runup to the election…

    This petition has been reported on by the Health Committee:

    Report Back to Parliament on Petition

    This might look like a failure (if you take a short term perspective), but successful political lobbying takes information providing (education??), patience, tolerance, following up again and again.

    So, steps in the right direction are being taken, both by men’s advocates and by Government.

    I do suggest to read the report back to Parliament. It does show a serious lack of knowledge, wrong statistics and perhaps some values problems in Government. By making these problems visible, then we can take the next steps to provide further information and explain it and its importance….

    My white beard is now almost down to my knees…..

    Congratulations to Craig, Hans and Kerry.

    Cheers, MurrayBacon impulsive axe-murderer.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sun 29th May 2011 @ 8:48 am

  32. Compare the quality of the Australian response to the NZ response to the same question:

    Australian Senate Report Page

    Australian Senate Report

    Response of Australian Government

    In my opinion, the comparison leads to the question whether it is safe, for NZers to try to run their own Government? NZ is uneconomicly small and this results in Government without enough money to research issues and come to safe decisions….

    We even lack the wisdom to look carefully at overseas research, our jUSTICE dEPARTMENT just dreams up its own research, to show whatever the political masters want to show.

    Unsafety inevitably leads to deaths, sure – careless deaths, but dead is just dead and the responsible people who should have known better are still nothing less than manslaughterers.

    Cheers, MurrayBacon – just another murderer.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sun 29th May 2011 @ 10:23 am

  33. It is timely to be recieving notification of postings to this thread.
    For only today was I thinking – “Jesus! It’s been about a whole year since that guy in Brisbane committed suicide outside their family court by setting himself on fire, and there’s been no investigation and in depth news report ANYWHERE about the poor bugger”.
    The police and press there simply wrote him off as a nutter.
    That’s how much they care.
    May he rest in peace.

    Comment by Skeptic — Mon 30th May 2011 @ 4:58 pm

  34. Murray I think you are correct. New Zealand is failing miserably in it’s ability to govern it’s own social affairs. For whatever reason it is failiing to identify let alone address key social issues. Your comparison in regards to suicide policy certainly makes a stark contrast.

    The report from the NZ Health Committee states:
    “The high overall rate of suicides in New Zealand is
    profoundly disturbing, and it is fundamental that everything possible is done to prevent suicide.”
    It then goes on to do absolutely nothing at all to prevent suicides or to investigate the issue further.

    As you point out Murray, this is by definition an unsafe government.

    Comment by Vman — Thu 2nd June 2011 @ 4:20 pm

  35. Vman, I suspect it is not so much an unsafe government but more a dangerous and lingering bureaucracy that is the root of our social ills. Governments come and go; the bureaucrats remain entrenched. These are the people that retain and employ legacy practices. These are the people who are responsible for the failure of New Zealanders to live as families. If you really want to see any forward momentum in the quality of life for New Zealand families; then career public servants must first be removed and replaced by those that actually understand what community, family and justice actually mean.

    Comment by Bruce S — Thu 2nd June 2011 @ 5:47 pm

  36. Dear Vman, thank you very much for putting in the effort to look at NZ and Australian suicide documents and make a careful comparison. My guess is that the NZ Parliamentary Committee and support from jUSTICE dEPARTMENT, added up to say 15 persondays work. The Australian Senate Enquiry, at a wild guess, about 10,000 persondays of work, quite probably more.

    If we try to be kind to NZ, we divide the Australian effort by 5, to allow for relative population sizes, say 2,000 persondays effort (adjusted for a population the size of NZ’s).

    We can see that the Australian’s are putting effort into all aspects of suicide, men’s, women’s, mental health issues, end of life issues, biological issues, bullying, just to start the list rolling……. Whereas in NZ, issues around men’s (and women’s) parental issue suicide, are incompetently glossed over.

    The saddest and cruelest part of the comparison, is if we look at the quality of the effort. The Australian effort includes the work of many members of the public, psychiatrists, pharmacologists, counsellors, school teachers, hospital emergency nurses, GPs…..

    The NZ effort has come from a few politicians, who were perhaps distracted by the upcoming election and reflections from mirrors and a couple of civil servants, who are experienced in statistics, as in arranging tables and adding columns, but not in understanding the reliability, accuracy, relevance or completeness of the data, to the real-world social issue. Perhaps they are more experienced in distracting attention, than in communicating or answering quite difficult social issues, especially where the most important commentators are silent after cremation.

    Our Australian cousins, bless their socks, have been humble about their lack of knowledge and have put in a huge constructive effort to invite comment from all sections of the alive community and then to listen respectfully and carefully and publicly to what has been said back to them. Not a hint of just trying to close things down.

    So, I give the Australians credit for over 100 times the NZ effort, per head of population.

    I am very happy to give the Australians credit for well over 100 times the quality of effort, than NZ.

    We are very lucky to be able to freeload off the Australian Parliamentary system and the people who work in it. NZ would do well to simply copy Australia more, as we seem to lack the wisdom and skill to make constructive decisions in these areas.

    I am not putting down the quality of research coming out of NZ research organisations, for the funding quantity and restrictions. NZ researchers do an OK job, given these restrictions. NZ researchers are not paid to take interest in men’s suicide issues. It reflects that most NZ men take very little interest either…..

    I put this poor showing by NZ, mainly down to a general carelessness by the NZ male population, about suicide issues. I guess most men see men’s suicide as an individual problem, that they would never ever have to face. (You could almost quite me saying that, a decade ago!)

    So, I suggest that there is a dire need to communicate (educate!?) to our dongled brothers, that their feelings may respond by thinking about suicide, if they ever enjoy the attentions of our legal-worker (asset-stripper by auctioning access to own children) brethren.

    I also suggest that we can communicate this more effectively, if we also care for women who are being forced through this same sausage machine. There may not be many, but it is probabably a lot more than you are aware of.

    I also believe that we need to communicate the value of the familycaught to society. Mass gravestones in every entrance foyer of all familycaughts would be a good start. Private prosecutions of legal-workers for manslaughter, in particular “judges” would also help.

    Legal activism to enforce contact using UK Harassment Act

    So, my jibe is close to home. It is men’s ignorance and apathy, that allows our poor political analysis of social situations and poor social issues judgement to persist. Out politicians could respond in 10 minutes, if the voting public put on a better showing.

    UK Equal Parenting Alliance are very active in social issues education.

    Dear Bruce,
    there is much truth in your words. However, the politicians do have a large degree of control and do exercise that control fairly successfully, in terms of reelection odds. Politicians always work hard to decry their responsibility for what goes on in caughts, but the ultimate responsibility does lie with them.

    In any case, the yous and Is of this world can mainly exercise our judgement through voting.

    Some of us get the opportunity to influence caughts, but this is generally very poorly exercised, as most parents are very scared of “caught costs” and “legal fees”. Most parents are unskilled in legal strategy.

    Parent/family focused legal activism would only succeed if an active legal support group, that had a long term legal strategy for parenting issues, assisted individual parents in a way that drove precedents into constructive directions. Then we would see constructive moves in caughts.

    See the link above, about using UK Harassment Act to enforce contact.

    We would be up against the financial interests of legal-workers, who are an active and effective self interest lobby group. This doesn’t make constructive change impossible, it just takes some effort. Their exploitation of self-interest has a very bad smell in public, but only when exposed.

    Thanks, MurrayBacon unpredictable axe-murderer.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Fri 3rd June 2011 @ 8:07 am

  37. The new suicide reporting guidelines for journalists developed by a group of media representatives and mental health professionals was released in the lead up to Christmas. While the Coroner’s Act places some legal limitations around publishing details of individual deaths, the guidelines are intended to deal with issues around reporting.
    There is a suggestion that this new document will help advance some discussion around the causes of suicide however it is not only the myth that discussing suicide is dangerous and likely to cause harm that we need to overcome. If the media is to play an effective role in making sure that any public conversation on suicide is informed and useful, this will require more than some reporting guidelines and voluntary cooperation with the government.
    The inconvenient truth here is that this subject has been knowingly brushed aside for too long. Only because of the share volume of numbers, around six hundred lives per year – which is more than the road toll – does the issue catch a glimpse of daylight. The media has been instrumental in another sin and since the release of these guideline hasn’t changed its mantra.
    The majority of suicides are males aged between 25 to 50 years. However both the media and successive governments have used the number of suicides to emotively criticise a lack of resources for the prevention of youth suicide. If there is to be an effective action plan that reduces the numbers of suicide then we need to start being honest about the causes and those most at risk.
    We have a Coroner’s office for the purpose of establishing the cause of death. This office has the capacity to deal with causes, (not to be read as methods) and identify the drivers behind a recurrent symptom. We saw this happen with party drugs being sold from dairies. The government may not feel inclined to criticise the judiciary but the media has the capacity to engage this part of the justice system as it would any other but has been unwilling to so.
    We have an expectation that the Government will exercise some leadership around this issue. Suicide prevention is the responsibility of associate health minister Peter Dunne who is also the minister of revenue. The IRD has previously been the cause of suicides in this country, even intergenerational circumstances where children have followed in their father’s footsteps. The conflict of ministries is inappropriate and shows an offensive disregard for the issue.
    There has been no sense of urgency on this subject for the past decade. And now there is another call for action. The increasing numbers of suicides will not be stemmed by any amount of action if the cause is existing omissions, however the Prime Minister has ruled out any commission of inquiry into suicide.
    We have some regard for the deaths in events like Pike River and Erebus and the need to establish the cause, but no regard for thousands of working men between the ages of 25 to 50 lost to their families – and the economy – over the past decade. We are already a country that has a disproportionately higher number of females than males.
    The media has to take responsibility for entrenching the new myth – that the taking of one’s own life is a weakness for which the individual should be held entirely responsible – and as long as this media behaviour exists we will continue to own these high numbers of suicide.

    Comment by Down Under — Mon 13th February 2012 @ 1:26 pm

  38. DownUnder, spot on thanks. Add to suicides, the driven insanes and the CSAct driven out of NZ and the DVAct driven out of NZs, then the loss of parents, 90% fathers, to NZ children is about 800 per year, probably more. Care of Children Act is meant to protect children’s relationships with their parents, including fathers, but it isn’t working very well for large numbers of children. We need to be addressing the quality of the familycaught, not just the cost.

    Thank god, there are other places they can still escape too… Imagine if suicide was somehow made impossible, or illegal, what a cruel country we would have.

    When will the grandparents of these children wake up to what their/our society is doing?

    It occurred to me, that if we dynamited every familycaught building in NZ to a pile of small rubble, at say 11.30 am on a Tuesday with no warning, in 2 years we would be saving lives!
    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Mon 13th February 2012 @ 2:03 pm

  39. @ Down Under and MB –

    There are considerable data concerning suicide in the US from the Nat’l Institute for Suicide Prevention, the Heritage Foundation and many other sources. Perhaps these numbers reflect those in NZ but I’m not sure. It wouldn’t surprise me if they do.

    In the US, approximately 1.1-million men have committed suicide during the past forty years. Approximately 1% of the entire adult male population of approximately 110-million.

    Of the 1.1-million male suicides, more than 250,000 are directly related to child support and divorce and excessive imposition and harassment and persecution by family courts and child support enforcement.

    Remember Thomas Ball who died for our children after child support enforcement and the family court harassed and terrorized and persecuted him and his children for more than a decade.

    I write “more than” because reason for many male suicides is unknown, but likely many of those are also a direct consequence of excessive imposition and harassment and persecution by family courts and child support enforcement.

    That’s more than 1% of all adult males who have been divorced and ordered to pay excessive child support and who are elibile for work (ie. not retired). And more than 2% of those men in arrears because the orders for child support exceed their means.

    Approximately 250,000 women have. Almost none of these, for which the reasons are known, are a direct consequence of divorce or child support. Likely the ones for which the reasons are unknown and are related to divorce or child support are negligible.

    This incidence of mortality affecting a specific and easily defined demographic (divorced men forcibly separated from their children and ordered to pay child support beyond their means) and attributable to a single cause is a pandemic.

    The reasons women commit suicide are varied and often irrational and reflect their solipsism and mental illness. Suicide among women is not a response to practical circumstances imposed upon them by a harsh environment but their own emotional response to a relatively benign environment for which they deny any responsibility.

    Suicide by men, however, is not an emotional response but a practical one after all their other options for subsistence and their children have been taken away from them. Likely a large proportion of these men would have died anyway from disease, exposure, malnutrition, etc… because they could no longer take care of themselves and had been abandoned by their communities.

    At the very least, they would have had to endure considerable practical suffering (as opposed to emotional) either on the street or in prison and the decision to end their lives was a practical one and not an emotional one.

    It’s hard not to see in these numbers and the reasons for them a deliberate attempt by governments (feminists) to eliminate or exterminate men. By eliminating these men, there are more resources with which feminists may enjoy excessive lifestyles and retire since they no longer have to be allocated to the ones who have died.

    Dead or not, many of these men are ineligible for any public assistance, including social security with which to retire. Those resources for long-term sustainance of men have been shifted to the short-sighted excesses of feminists.

    Comment by Darryl X — Tue 14th February 2012 @ 3:49 am

  40. “It occurred to me, that if we dynamited every familycaught building in NZ to a pile of small rubble, at say 11.30 am on a Tuesday with no warning, in 2 years we would be saving lives!”

    There is no legal, political, social or financial solution to our dilemma. Revolution as an affirmative defense against the violence that has been done to us first is our only option. And, yes, it would save many lives. It’s something that should have been pursued long ago.

    Comment by Darryl X — Tue 14th February 2012 @ 3:51 am

  41. i hope you clowns are not condoning anything illegal like blowing things up

    Comment by Ford — Tue 14th February 2012 @ 8:14 am

  42. I think it is important to understand the methodology of avoidance. There is a circumstance around every death intentional or not. Suicide is an intentional act of violence. The terms prevention and risk are commonly used by government and repeated by the media. The definition that is applied to risk is identifying individuals that exhibit a range of prescribed behaviours likely to lead to suicide. Prevention then becomes a case of attempting to prevent that outcome. Taxpayer funded preservation of life. If you applied the same methodology to drink driving we would have police officers saying to intoxicated motorists, just come and sit in my car till you sober up and then you can go on your merry way. It would be a very expensive way to not resolve the issue, and that is what we are seeing with suicide. We have adopted a very expensive approach so that people will continue to kill themselves, looking at it from the taxpayer’s perspective. If you look at it from the states perspective identifying the causes that lead to suicide will have consequences for the state. So now the taxpaying is funding the Justice department not to do its job and identify the cause, but that is small change to the state in guaranteeing avoidance of the issue. While the state refuses to identify and mitigate causes it creates circumstances where individuals are easily put at risk. There is no consequence for putting people at risk. The behaviour that places people at risk is denied and hidden, then unreported. If we had an annual suicide day and set up a temporary morgue for the occasion of 600 deaths it would be front page news. If ten people a week suddenly started dying from an unknown cause we would be in fear of an epidemic, this also would be front page news. How do the 10 – 12 deaths a week from suicide glide by and become ignored. Every now and again we are told by the media that something is being done, so the general public can once again rest in peace reassured this is only a temporary issue that will resolve itself. Even those directly affected will continue in the benign belief that the circumstances relating to the loss of their family member probably do not exist elsewhere. Those people who bother to be genuinely concerned can take the issue to parliament and of course we start all other again with risk and prevention, when the word we should be using is avoidance. It is not positive action it is positive avoidance.

    Comment by Down Under — Tue 14th February 2012 @ 8:54 am

  43. Dear DarrylX, I was mainly trying to point out that in business, a 3 year payback is considered pretty good. Thus a 2 year payback in lives, would make this economically an excellent proposition. So good, that we don’t need to stop and think about it, we should just do it.

    For a proper economic analysis, then it would be important to consider all available options, on an equal basis, which obviously I haven’t done in this situation.

    As you pointed out, many options are not being considered at all. This is the biggest indictment of our societies, the lack of informed discussion, careful open minded investigation, posing of possible solutions and then making a rational choice. We pay a huge and increasing cost, for our laziness.

    Where you give credit to feminists, I would point the wooden stick at men’s apathy, macho embarrassment about caring for young children and ignorance about how much children need their father’s time (even more so if the mother isn’t able to be a competent parent).

    So, if dynamiting all familycaught buildings to small pieces of rubble (with all of the staff in the pile of rubble) would educate all of the men in NZ and USA (and preferably women too), then I would be quick to support and encourage this option.

    The present sole fathers became so for different reasons, then being a runaway father and being given their children. Usually death of the mother by sickness or car accident or mental health problems or runaway.

    Even so, it is not likely that the runaway fathers parenting ability would be worse than young sole mothers, especially if they were given a similar amount of help with parenting.

    Why is it, that if USA and NZ statistics show that children’s education and employment outcomes are significantly better when parented by sole father, than sole mother, don’t we dump the “put the children with the mother on DPB” prejudice and force the fathers to care for these children? Our present legislation could be used to do this, it only comes down to the values of the decision-maker ie “judge”.

    Children with sole fathers are much safer in terms of violent death and injury, than children with sole mother, by a factor of 3 or 4 times. At present, there is too much focus on child deaths and severe injury. These are dramatic and make heart pulling stories, in print. We can scapegoat these parents and lift our own feelings a bit, without actually doing anything at all……

    We should be much more worried about neglect of children, which happens to much larger numbers of children, but is nearly impossible to diagnose accurately. These children supply our psychopaths and all that this offers society.

    MSD Recognising and responding to child neglect in New Zealand December 2010

    Quote from MSD document:
    Identifying child neglect and its impacts
    Interviewees reflected on the extent to which their agencies interacted with children, or with parents and children together, and also where they interacted with families. For example, interviewees from early childhood education centres have the ability to interact with children regularly for a long period of time, but not all children attend these centres. In comparison, both Plunket nurses and midwives are able to interact with almost every baby born in New Zealand and this interaction often occurs in visits to the home. Plunket nurses and midwives are in a position to observe attachment concerns for young children.
    And it’s looking at the other children. If there are other children in the household, you
    can see that there are issues, and also [“¦] how they’re hooked in or not hooked in to
    support structures. But when [“¦] there aren’t other children, it’s first baby, sometimes
    [“¦] it’s that ability to form loving relationships.
    As well as observing interactions between children and parents, interviewees outlined ways in which
    Plunket can assess signs of neglect through the skill sets of the nurses and the assessments that are carried out, including family violence assessments.
    So the nurses are really skilled in their assessments of children. When they do that full
    assessment it’s with an undressed child so that we’re looking at all of those physical cues”¦we gather information on [“¦] are you working, is your partner working, what money have you got coming in? What support agencies are you connected into, what family support do you have? We ask a family violence screen at each contact if it’s safe to do so and if the person’s alone.

    Early childhood centres are also in a good position to observe interactions between parents and their young children.
    It’s usually reported through observations and parents not really talking to their children
    or not interested or playing with their children. But the parents, or it might be the caregiver, are usually disengaged with the staff as well. You get the view that they’re either really stressed or they’ve got something going on in their lives or they’re rough with their children.

    Some interviewees observed that physical neglect was easier to identify than emotional neglect. One
    interviewee observed that there is an increasing awareness of emotional neglect, but noted that
    emotional neglect can be difficult to identify in children under the age of five years, partly because of the difficulty of observing mental health concerns in this age group.

    Another interviewee noted that agencies are good at finding neglect in the lower socio-economic band, but emotional neglect and issues of attachment are harder to identify in the upper or middle classes where it appears as if children’s’ needs are satisfied.

    MSD’s document notes research observations, but is NOT able to give a clear enough set of criteria to allow reliable and accurate diagnosing of child neglect. Thus we have lots of “professional of something else”, who think that they can diagnose child neglect. The end result is lots of children removed from their families, some who should have been, some who shouldn’t have been, others who should have been removed and weren’t, what a dangerous and expensive and damaging thing to do to our society?

    “Professional of something else”:

    ie social worker trained for empowering women, trying to diagnose child neglect, when their training doesn’t cover this issue.
    “Judge or lawyer, trained about law, trying to diagnose or check a diagnosis of child neglect or abuse, when their training doesn’t cover this issue.
    Doctor trained for medical diagnosis and treatment management, trying to write a FORENSIC medical report, when their training doesn’t cover this.

    We shouldn’t be surprised when these “professionals at something else” make so many mistakes.
    Incentives, we pay them more for mistakes, than when they get it right, so who is the fool?

    This social damage provides a fertile breeding ground for murderers, rapists and future suicidees…

    Properly educated social workers and familycaught “judges” would help to reduce this social vandalism and in its wake, suicides.
    Cheers, MurrayBacon – indiscriminate axe murderer, but trained for something else.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Tue 14th February 2012 @ 9:42 am

  44. @ Murray. That’s another important point. Suicide is treated in isolation. Not as the thin end of a wedge. Firstly in the same way we treat work accidents. There is an inclination to use death as a measure of the issue rather than looking at those that didn’t die but were injured. Secondly if the cause is not identified the size of an issue is not. Suicide is not necessarily the only response to an unidentified cause. As you suggest one alternative to suicide would be migration. A range of responses could be attributed to the same cause. If suicide is the minority negative response and the majority of responses is not identified you would not know the extent of the cause and its real cost both social and economic. If you then add the real cost to the cost of ‘prevention’ that could have a staggering impact on a society, yet there is such a high resistance to identifying causes.

    Comment by Down Under — Tue 14th February 2012 @ 10:13 am

  45. DownUnder #42, you hit the nail on the head and cover many of the head in the sand dynamics.

    The only dynamic that you didn’t mention, is the shear paralysis, the stunned inaction and mind numbing pain usually left behind in family and close friends, by a suicide.

    The impact of suicide is like dropping a rock into a pond from a great height – but there is no splash, there are no ripples, where these should occur.

    As you point out, we react more dynamically, to a visible affront, such as a single pedestrian bloodily smashed to death by a speeding stolen car, but quietly turn the other way when an acquaintance speaks of the suicide of their friend, or of 600 suicides per year.

    While we quietly cremate and hide, we can go on breeding and driving to suicide forever…..

    As mental health and drug treatments are moving forwards, on evidence based research, schools are teaching all children better neighbourliness and in essence first line mental health care, we should be expecting moderate reductions in suicides each year.

    So, for our present suicide rate to be maintaining or slightly increasing, the forces of darkness and hopelessness among us must be working very hard. We must weed out these traitors within.
    Thanks, MurrayBacon

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Tue 14th February 2012 @ 10:30 am

  46. @Murray #42 you mean like this one today.
    The lead line is ‘Delays cost man’s life’ on the front page.
    Bureaucratic delays held up the demolition of a quake-damaged building that collapsed and killed a man in February.
    Demolition delays cost pedestrian’s life is the title of the story.

    Comment by Down Under — Tue 14th February 2012 @ 11:36 am

  47. Dear Down Under, it is difficult to act, until the issues are clear and potential problems are in perspective.

    In the case of suicides, especially issues related to familycaught performance are rarely straightforward and clear. Thus it would be unreasonable to expect constructive action, without first putting in a large amount of research work.

    Lets look at familycaught relevant research in NZ, compared to user-pays industries:

    Research in ancient industries eg housecleaning, walking dogs, doorman, – negligible research.

    Research in old established industries, usually 0.3 to 1% of total turnover, say meatworks, gardening, printing, general manufacture, general engineering design, building.

    Research in developing industries, 1% to 3% of total turnover eg teaching, childcare development, medicine, lighting design, acoustics, electronic manufacturing of consumer products.

    Research in fast moving industries, 3 to 10% eg tourism, cleaning chemical manufacture, pesticides, desktop computers,

    Research in high tech industries, communications, latest medical devices10% to 50% or total turnover.

    A few challenges, where would you put policing, lawyer, company executive, prostitute, in this lineup?

    So where should the familycaught sit in this continuum?

    Criminal and civil Judging is pretty old and developing pretty slowly too. Although the underlying society is changing pretty fast, the “science” of judging has been changing too slowly. Thus, it would seem that this profession is acting as though it is in an extremely mature situation, but due to societal change, it should be changing much faster, ie presently spending <0.3% of turnover on research, where it should be spending more like 2%. The bigger problem is the quality of the research, in NZ in my opinion the research relevant to performance of "judges" duties is poorly targeted and poorly performed too. Also, NZ legal-workers make very poor use of research from outside of Justice Department, eg NZ university research and overseas research.

    However, the familycaught operates in an area of society where change is faster than civil and criminal. It ought to be actively commissioning useful research, that would be relevant to improving its performance. This is a life and death imperative, as well as quality of our children's upbringing issue.

    But why bother, their present incentives are too good to be true, so why rock the boat? Good quality, relevant, useful research might illuminate the total cost to society, of their activities and behaviours!

    I would suggest that by comparison to wider industrial groups, they should be devoting 10% of their turnover to professional quality research, not just the lets talk about XXX and write down what we came up with research….

    In the meantime, I guess it is only consumers who are worried for their own families, that are putting in much time to suicide research in NZ….

    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Tue 14th February 2012 @ 12:29 pm

  48. Why the paralysis, why are we maintaining our Dunne Nothing resolution to suicide? In an economic sense this is a cartel, where government, judiciary and forth estate have effectively agreed on the value of other people’s lives and the right not to be held accountable for their behaviour.

    Comment by Down Under — Tue 14th February 2012 @ 12:43 pm

  49. The UK TV programme Yes Minister calls this bureaucratic dynamic “paralysis by analysis”!

    Accountability is always driven into place, by those who have lost out, to selfish, incompetent and malicious actions.

    How could we improve our development of successful policies:

    Failing to Figure: Whitehall’s Costly Neglect of Statistical Reasoning [Paperback]

    Sir Peter Gluckman’s suggestion that research should be used when developing new policies:

    Lawrence Sherman, in USA has written several papers, through the last 30 years, about using research to target and redirect social policies, especially in areas such as antisocial behaviour, gun murders, youth crime. The age of Sherman’s papers shows how just far behind NZ is, in terms of developing quality policy and managing the safety of policy after implementation. Apathy rules supreme… USA hasn’t fully listened to his ideas and they have had only a minor positive impact.

    So, who has an incentive to look carefully at suicide issues?

    Hospital psychiatrists focus more on the patients that present themselves, ie attemptees, rather than completors, this is where their money is. One might suggest if the suicide triggers stopped, then they could be less well off?

    Dear old “judge” peter boshier, bless his cotton socks, just wants to quieten down any public worries, that would sweep the familycaught away, if the public became aware of what is being done to their children in familycaught. It is clear which side his bread is buttered on and he is acting entirely consistently with these incentives that we give him.

    The only people who have a real incentive to alter the situation towards fewer suicides (the victims ain’t complaining!), are their left behind families and people who are worried for their children’s future safety from suicide.

    A practical way of looking at this, is that parents dealing with familycaught, are at more suicide risk, than people swimming at Piha Beach, more like the risk of people first time visiting Piha Beach to swim.

    In any case, it isn’t all negative, these suicidees must have been convinced that to die now would have been better than continuing to deal with familycaught. So there is some good in this.

    Thus the only people who have a substantial incentive to improve the suicide situation, are those too stunned to do anything, let alone drive long term suicide research and the political changes necessary to make the improvements.

    Look at how many comments there are on the following post:

    At present, with most all heads in the sand, the only positive force is Darwin’s evolutionary selection and this will bring about a little benefit, through the next couple of thousand years, more quickly if incest is given more positive incentives….

    If you are worried for your children, spend more time with them while they are babies and/or support suicide research independant from NZ Government.

    Best regards, MurrayBacon silent creeping axe-murderer.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Tue 14th February 2012 @ 1:31 pm

  50. Oh, this is very creepy.
    Talk about a massive conflict of interest.
    MP Peter Dunne is both responsible for Chairing the Government’s Ministerial Committee on Suicide Prevention and is so terribly culpable for dragging his heels over family court reform for many years.
    Add his involvement as Revenue Minister in the area of child support and how that’s shafted so many Dads and it looks creepier still.

    I see now he has a strong incentive to cover up the massive psychological trauma the family court and child support regimes have caused over decades to fathers going through the family court.
    Of course that’s easy to do when the family court is so lacking in transparency and public accountability and dead men are silent men.

    Comment by Skeptic — Tue 14th February 2012 @ 4:42 pm

  51. Dear Skeptic, I would guess that you are giving Peter Dunne too much credit for coverups. I think he is a nice guy, a little out of his depth and he achieves the things you listed, just by doing practically nothing at all.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Tue 14th February 2012 @ 4:58 pm

  52. Hi M B,
    I wish I could agree with you about Peter Dunne simply being out of his depth and lazy.
    Alas I’ve personally seen him being given expert Men’s Rights counsel on the horrendous effects of the family court and child support regimes on fathers – including suicide which he willfully ignores.
    He got bought off by the feminists so long ago and has so much blood on his hands by now that to face his in/action is for him to face something terribly shameful.
    He has so very much face to loose now that he’s dug himself deeper and deeper into rationalization and denial.
    A sad, sad man who sold his brothers down the river.

    Comment by Skeptic — Tue 14th February 2012 @ 6:01 pm

  53. Dear Kritical Skeptic, you are expecting Peter Dunne to notice thousands of deaths, spread over 30 years, when they occur one at a time, scattered all over NZ, when their families cannot pull themselves together and do anything at all in public. You are a very hard man to please.

    Dare I ask it, could you do any better in his place?

    If your supporting officials say we are not aware of any suicides linked to familycaught, would you look further into such an issue, when you don’t want to know any different?

    The supporting officials aren’t saying anything about suicides among Child [and Spousal] Support staff, then how will he know anything different, if he doesn’t research it himself?

    Coming back to tin-tacks, what research have you published, to educate the public about these types of issues? Are you a leader, an activist, a talker, a supporter, or a random noise maker?

    If men’s rights activists cannot meet each other politely and speak with some unanimity, then how could we hope to be listened to by politicians?

    I ask you to face the reality of NZ politics and to put in energy that might lead to constructive changes. Would speaking with your name attached help your credibility?

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Tue 14th February 2012 @ 6:47 pm

  54. MB,
    Fact is submissions have been made DIRECT to Peter Dunne.
    I mean face to face by MRA explaining it to him in the simplest terms that family court and child support processes put a certain number of men under such duress that they are traumatized and some even suicide.

    I’ve spent decades educating folks professionally, in the street on the ground and online about men’s issues. The work goes on. It’s hard to quantify these days however as it’s a complete lifestyle.
    Here are just a couple of my latest online contributions.
    Both articles were read by hundreds of thousands of people.
    There was no major blowback to my views and quite a lot of praise.

    As I’ve explained several times before lots of experiences have informed me that it is most prudent to go by a nom de plum.
    I know some folks hate that, because whilst I’m ghosting they don’t have a target to aim at. However, that’s too bad – I don’t get shafted again and therefore stay effective.

    Comment by Skeptik — Tue 14th February 2012 @ 9:37 pm

  55. Dear Skeptic, thanks for your reply. I read both of your papers.
    I understood that male fertility has been slowly dropping, for the last 75 years, so that in another 20 or 30 years, the average man may have difficulty getting an average woman pregnant, even at the most fertile ages. By the time the red pill is fully tested, it might be unnecessary or even too dangerous to use.
    I am a strong believer in negotiation leading to the best outcomes. However, fair negotiation relies on both parties being well informed and honest. Secrecy certainly doesn’t help. That is the biggest impediment to the familycaught serving the public. Best regards, Murray.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Tue 14th February 2012 @ 10:21 pm

  56. MB,
    Read my articles more closely.
    The non hormonal male birth control pill isn’t decades away.
    It is here NOW.

    Also with the global population apparently now approximately 7 billion and rising fast, lack of male fertility doesn’t appear to be an issue –

    Comment by Skeptik — Tue 14th February 2012 @ 10:37 pm

  57. Dear Skeptic, as a counsellor, I am sure that you could explain why, despite the goings on in familycaught, that the public hasn’t demanded changes earlier? Is it laziness, carelessness, apathy, trust in Government, trust in caughts, happiness to see some people maltreated, or waiting for a positive solution?
    I feel that it is only when we understand the barriers to action, that we can work most effectively to surmount them. Thanks, Murray.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Wed 15th February 2012 @ 6:05 am

  58. MB,
    A counselor? Well if offering advice and opinion is counseling then yes.
    The family court through it’s secrecy isolates, marginalizes and effectively silences it’s victims.
    If it were open to the public and accountable by keeping records of outcomes for children instead, then people (most especially fathers) would be seen and heard.
    Justice behind a veil of secrecy is not justice, quite the opposite.

    Comment by Skeptic — Wed 15th February 2012 @ 2:07 pm

  59. The Health Quality & Safety Commission kills suicide recording. There seems to be an increasing resistance to any public discussion on suicide.

    Unlike previous years, outpatient suicides were not included in the latest report, with the commission saying suicides were different from other events reported. It would be working with the mental health sector during the next year to find better ways of reporting and reducing suicides.
    With increasing numbers of the population reaching old age as might be expected the number of elderly suicides is increasing. If they accidentally overdose or commit suicide on the medication that’s fine as long as the hospital care didn’t kill them. You could parallel this with the family court thinking. There are a small numbers of suicides as a party to a court case, but what happens afterwards is not recorded, it is actively avoided.

    Comment by Down Under — Mon 20th February 2012 @ 3:10 pm

  60. Thanks, Down Under. The Health Quality & Safety Commission makes refreshing reading, compared to the secretive, defensive, essentially dishonest and I suspect lazy approach of familycaught “judges” to improving their “performance”.

    Page 14 of the report gives an example where a medication mistake led to the deterioration and death of a patient, before the error was detected:

    The importance of communicating with grieving families
    When an untimely and unnecessary death occurs in hospital, it is a tragedy for all concerned.
    In April 2002, 91-year-old Mrs Eileen Anderson was taken to Palmerston North Hospital by her daughter Helen McKernan with what appeared to be a respiratory tract infection. She had been generally well for her age.
    However a chart mix up and inadequate checking meant Mrs Anderson was given another patient’s medication for four days – and not her regular medication. This led to a rapid deterioration in her health.
    Though Helen and the wider family had concerns about the sudden and severe worsening of their mother’s condition, they felt outside their comfort zone in seeking answers. They also felt some hospital staff seemed unresponsive.
    “I began to realise there is a fine line between asking for necessary assistance and getting a reputation as a difficult family member,” Helen says. “I felt like I was becoming a bother, and started questioning my own judgement.”
    When Mrs Anderson’s condition became terminal, the family were not called in time to reach her bedside before she died, something they find hard to forgive. Nor did anyone prepare them for the upsetting presence of police officers in her room because the death was deemed ‘suspicious’.
    Despite this apparent lack of concern and basic communication, the family’s response was initially generous.
    “From the outset we accepted human error and realised the pressures staff were under,” Helen says.
    “We just wanted accountability and where doctors or nurses admitted their mistakes, we valued their honesty.”
    But when the family met with hospital staff they felt there was a lack of sensitivity towards their feelings and a reluctance to share information.
    Helen says this just made the family more determined to push for answers and accountability. Frustrated at a lack of progress, they complained to the Health and Disability Commissioner in October 2002.
    MidCentral DHB has since apologised to the family. It says Mrs Anderson did not receive an appropriate standard of care and agreed with the Health and Disability Commissioner that the procedures it had in place at the time were insufficient. The hospital’s systems have since been reviewed and steps taken to prevent such an error occurring again.
    Helen says she’s now sure – 10 years later – that systems are much better; that there is more accountability and better processing of complaints so families in similar situations will not have to face the same frustrations.
    “A family should be handled very carefully at a bewildering time like this and providers need to have procedures in place to be sure they communicate openly and with compassion. People are much more inclined to accept the tragedy of human error when there is accountability and genuine regret.
    “That lack of openness and sensitivity led to a prolonged dispute that certainly took a heavy toll on us and on a good number of hospital staff as well.”

    Despite the initial defensive attitude of hospital staff, they eventually came to realise that they did have to be open and honest with the patient’s family.

    Contrast that eventual constructive attitude, with fiend boshiers attitude about parents who commit suicide, or suicide murder, while they are being dealt to by familycaught:

    “A radical rethink is required in the delivery of both prevention and intervention in domestic violence,” he said.

    Judge Boshier said relationship breakups were linked to mental health issues and suicide, and courts should offer more support to stop children losing a parent through suicide.

    “I feel for people that use our courts who eventually cannot cope and take their own lives. I am not only sad for them personally, but for the children they leave behind.”

    Judge Boshier identified 22 people involved in Family Court cases who died between May 2008 and June this year as a result of either suicide or homicide. [He acknowledges a small number, probably less than 1/10 of the actual number of suicides by fathers and mothers in response to how they were mistreated in familycaught.]

    Read more:

    It seems that judge boshier is completely unwilling/unable to consider that the behaviour of “judges” may be triggering suicides. I would guess that familycaught is directly responsible for 20% of adult suicides and indirectly, about 5% of children’s suicides later follow on from them.

    Quality improvement cannot start, unless people are honest and willing to face up to the widest truth about what they have been doing.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Mon 20th February 2012 @ 6:27 pm

  61. Similar comments from CASPAR website:

    Family Court linked to suicide

    As a result of four homicides and 18 suspected suicides arising from family court proceedings, Principal Family Court Judge Boshier suggests channeling parties into mental health services. If involvement in your court leads people to kill themselves or others Judge Boshier, perhaps its your processes that are the problem. Perhaps, after years of being told, you should listen to those who tell you the family court is experienced as abusive and traumatic rather than assuming they are mentally ill.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Mon 20th February 2012 @ 6:30 pm

  62. Family courts operate on the basis that men are emotionally illiterate (got that one from a family court psychologist) therefore they do not need to take into account emotions like grief.

    Comment by Down Under — Tue 21st February 2012 @ 6:45 am

  63. Men DO suffer from grief. They exhibit it very differently to females this is true, but suffer they do. I suggest that possible a lack of understanding of that grief leads to mail suicide? Then there are the auto smashes where a car hits a bridge abutment or power pole at high speed with one male driver? I have heard the word “Autocide” used?

    Comment by Gwaihir — Tue 21st February 2012 @ 9:01 am

  64. Dear Down Under, are you meaning that familycaught “judges” or “psychologists” will not make any allowance for men’s feelings of grief, for example at loss of access to their own children? [but will make allowance for mother’s feelings of any sort?]

    Making such assumptions would make their job “easier”, but would also corrupt their ability to do their job successfully, in terms of outcomes for all parties. If they can dehumanise one party, but remain open to being sympathetic to the other party, then their job becomes easier. In doing so, they have breached the judicial oath, but who cares anyway? Rule 1, there are no rules…..

    Vicarious Trauma in Judges, from Fall 2003 “¢ Juvenile and Family Court Journal

    A B S T R A C T
    Symptoms of vicarious trauma, coping strategies, and prevention suggestions
    were investigated with 105 judges. Participants completed a
    self-report measure developed for this study. The majority of judges
    (63%) reported one or more symptoms that they identified as workrelated
    vicarious trauma experiences. Female judges reported more
    symptoms, as did judges with seven or more years of experience. In
    addition, female judges were more likely to report internalizing difficulties,
    while judges with more experience reported higher levels of
    externalizing/hostility symptoms.
    What is Vicarious Trauma?
    Vicarious trauma (VT) refers to the experience of a
    helping professional personally developing and reporting
    their own trauma symptoms as a result of responding
    to victims of trauma.VT is a very personal response
    to the work such helping professionals do. VT is sometimes
    used interchangeably with terms such as compassion
    fatigue, secondary trauma, or insidious trauma
    The symptoms of VT parallel those
    of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and can be
    similarly clustered into the areas of re-experiencing,
    avoidance and numbing, and persistent arousal.
    In a workshop on this topic, one of the authors
    (Judge Town) found that individual judges greatly underestimated
    the impact of their stress and work on their personal
    functioning, compared with the stresses and
    changes noticed by their spouses.The participants were
    administered a standardized self-report inventory on
    stress, which provided the judges with feedback that suggested
    that they saw themselves under significantly less
    stress than reported by their spouses.This feedback generated
    some positive insights and commitments to change
    among the judges. Some of the respondents in this study
    noted that they had not been aware of the profound
    impact of their work until after they changed assignments
    and were able to gain more perspective.
    Addressing this critical issue will allow the judiciary to
    continue to conduct its essential business with the concomitant
    public trust and confidence it deserves.
    I don’t buy the conclusions, it was written by judges and psychologists, working in the system.
    My Conclusions
    Vicarious trauma isn’t being handled effectively by present judges. As most judges don’t acknowledge Vicarious Trauma, they risk remaining very affected by it and the quality of their work suffers accordingly.
    This results in the dynamic “I couldn’t do what I wanted for the wife in the last case, so I am going to do as much as I can this time..” I have experienced this strongly from judge dale green, later trading as clarkson, now retired. I have heard many other fathers making similar comments too.
    Pay your judge yourself
    If you need a judgement and invite several judges to tender a fixed price, given all of the affidavits and paperwork on a plate, then the work of judging can be spread over a wider group of people and Vicarious Trauma should be much easier for judges to manage. In any case, if they are too affected by Vicarious Trauma, their quality of work reputation would suffer and even if they offered the lowest price, most people would go somewhere else, thus helping them reduce their stress levels. Simple solution!

    Also, dehumanising one party, so that you can more comfortably maltreat them, was the same dynamic as the german judges used, for maltreating the jews and also led into the Third Reich.
    MurrayBacon – axe murderer.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Tue 21st February 2012 @ 9:17 am


    Judge Burns said ‘I consider nearly all the conflictual situations given as examples before the Court arise when father is operating as a guardian. It does not arise when he is operating as a caregiver. This raises the issue therefore as to whether I can remove him as a guardian or suspend or vary his guardianship rights as one possible solution to the ongoing conflict issues.’

    Have a good look at this statement because it tells you precisely the thinking that has evolved in the family court. What Burns has said [whether he realised that or not is another story] is that a woman’s mind is a legal entity superior to the court. A High Court Judge found that offensive [to our legal process] and inconsistent [with our legislation]. If we have to live with the family court it is a decision that unrepresented litigants should become familiar with.

    Comment by Down Under — Tue 21st February 2012 @ 9:42 am

  66. Some men have complained bitterly about bias in the family court however those individuals are never given any credibility. Others would ask why we have two sets of rules, the one we are supposed to use and the one that gets used. As you ask Murray, why are judgements hidden. The family court may be a closed court – that is for the benefit of the litigants’ privacy – not for the court to operate without transparency. Then one day a judgement finally sneaks out where the thinking in this institution crystallizes in writing and we can see that the court is not administering justice it is administering a process. So the rules of parliament are not being followed. Where is the authority for a judge to make up his own law? Boshier expresses concerns for “those people who choose to use our court.” That’s a bit like telling a steer he is about to use the abattoir – it is a captive process – one that encourages women but leaves men little or no choice. From memory it was in the Herald in about 2004, that Judge Dogue referred to the court as a failed experiment. Why would there not be social consequences from an institution that doesn’t operate as a court, doesn’t follow the legislation provided by parliament, can’t follow its own rules, and is compelled to hide its errors and failings by abuse of its authority and budget.

    Comment by Down Under — Tue 21st February 2012 @ 10:57 am

  67. The Government has trusted familycaught, to manage its own processes, so too have the public. With hindsight, the combination of an open chequebook and secrecy was too much for these thieves to resist and they rorted the Government and all of their customers.
    I suggest that a straightforward solution lies in “Pay your judge yourself”. Defective judgements can be repaired, at the cost of the original judge, who made the mistake, in accordance with Fair Trading Act, just as with all other traders.
    Who pays the piper, calls the tune.
    The principles, for allowing the marketplace to manage judges offering judicial services to the public, are looked at in:
    so these ideas are now getting quite old.
    The present cost problems and time delays, will be quickly sorted out by competitive price tendering.
    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Tue 21st February 2012 @ 12:52 pm

  68. #64.
    That is correct. Despite the fact that my partner had just lost her baby, and I’d arrived back in the country just 48 hours after seeing her parents, I was in the court hearing. My grief was seen as evidence of instability….

    I will allege that judge Burns ignored certain evidence and weighted other evidence so as to come up with that statement.
    There were situations of which I am not allowed to discuss here in which the mother broke the law, and caused harm to my children. They were ignored.
    Anyone know how I can sue Burns for the damage that he’s done to my children and I?

    Judge Doogue…

    Comment by JS — Tue 21st February 2012 @ 6:06 pm

  69. Judge Doogue is reasonably balanced. It is worth reading the Davidson report in full. The events occurred in a small centre. The town rightly or wrongly was of the opinion the wife was possibly an unfit parent. The father Gassed the 3 children plus himself as he was about to transfer the children to the mother.

    As an aside the mother apparently changed her name and relocated to another area! Google The Davidson Report! then follow all the names. Remember Google is your friend!

    Comment by Gwaihir — Tue 21st February 2012 @ 9:15 pm

  70. Sure! Hope these old postings are helpful….

    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Tue 21st February 2012 @ 10:35 pm



    Christine Madeline Marion Bristol (who I shall refer to as Christine Bristol) and
    Alan Robert Bristol (who I shall refer to as Alan Bristol) married on 15
    February 1987, after having engaged in a de facto relationship from mid May
    1984. At the time of their marriage they had one child, Tiffany, born on the
    18th December 1986. Two further children were born of the marriage, Holly,
    born on the 11th February 1990 and Claudia, born on the 19th August 1992.

    Christine Bristol and Alan Bristol separated on or about 4 July 1993 and
    thereafter numerous proceedings followed in the Family Court at Wanganui
    with non-violence orders being sought by Christine Bristol against Alan Bristol
    and custody orders sought by both parties in respect of the three children of
    the marriage.

    A full summary of the various court proceedings and their resolution will be
    given later in this Report, but suffice it to say in this introduction, that on 4
    February 1994 all three children were in the care of their father Alan Bristol at
    the former family home at Mary Bank Rd, Wanganui. The following day (5th
    February) Alan Bristol and the three children were found dead in the garage
    at that property. It was believed that Alan Bristol had killed the three children
    and then himself.

    On the 8th February 1994 an article appeared in the ‘Wanganui Chronicle’

    Bristol’s solicitor as saying that ‘Alan Bristol was a devoted father. That
    comment brought about a reply from Christine Bristol released through her
    solicitor in a statement which resulted in newspaper articles headlined:
    “Mother Rejects ‘Devoted Father Version.”
    ‘Victim of Domestic Violence, Woman Claims”.
    under the heading: “Dead Man Devoted Father: Lawyer” which quoted Alan

    (Note: It may be possible for judges to apply s.28 in a way
    that will allow my suggestions regarding presumptions to be
    adopted but for uniformity of practice and for giving emphasis
    to the changed philosophy for dealing with violent parents I
    think the amendment proposed is desirable.)

    4. The court in making an order for access to a child where one
    of the parents has used violence to the other in a domestic
    situation shall first satisfy itself that adequate safeguards are
    imposed to ensure the safety of the non-violent parent during
    changeover times.

    Where access to a child is granted to a parent who has used
    violence to the other or to a child in a domestic situation such
    access should be supervised by an appropriate person until
    such time as the violent parent satisfies the court that it is safe
    to allow unsupervised access.

    5. The powers of the Court to make “consent” orders in cases
    where violence by one party has been established should not
    be accepted and acted upon until the Court is satisfied that
    such consent was freely and willingly given. The Family
    Proceedings Act 1980 s.170 should be amended accordingly.


    The practical . difficulties of supervising access will need to be addressed.
    In this regard it may be of interest that in Auckland on the North Shore a
    “visitation centre” called “Care for Kids” was set up with the goal of
    enhancing the emotional and physical well being of children during access
    visits. Such a centre may be a useful model worthy of study. Obviously it
    may not be possible to establish such “visitation centres” throughout the
    country to deal with all supervised access requirements but the idea may
    prove to be practical in main centres. Ability of parents to deliver children
    to and collect them from such centres and the ability of the other parent to
    be able to go to such centres would be matters for consideration.


    “Judge Gave Girls to Killer Father”.
    n that statement an independent inquiry into the conduct of the case in the
    Family Court was called for.

    Mr Minister, you duly appointed me to inquire into the Family Court
    proceedings relating to Christine Bristol and Alan Bristol with a directive to
    report to you by the end of March 1994.

    The Terms of Reference

    The terms of reference require me to:
    “1. Examine the Family Court file relating to proceedings in the court
    between Christine Bristol and Alan Bristol.
    2. Consider whether the material on the file and such inquiries as
    you may wish to make point to the need for any change in the law or in
    Family Court practice concerning any matter that arose in the

    History of Proceedings Between the Parties

    I have examined the two Family Court files covering proceedings between the
    parties and I believe that a comprehensive picture of events will best be
    obtained by referring to matters in the first file in narrative form as they
    provide but an early background to my inquiry. Matters contained in the
    second file dated from July 1993 will be referred to in chronological order by
    date of occurrence as best suited to following the various events as they
    occurred. Comments on matters contained on the files and on matters arising
    out of my inquiries will be deferred until a later stage of this Report.

    There are two court files: the first covers a period from February 1986 to
    November 1989. The second covers a period from July 1993 to February

    The First File

    This shows that the parties entered into a de facto relationship in mid-May
    1984. They were engaged to be married on 9 May 1985, but the engagement


    was terminated mid-December 1985. Following the breaking off of the
    engagement Christine Bristol (then Carter) made application to the Court on 3
    February 1986 for an interim non-molestation order based on allegations of
    assault, threats and harassing conduct by Alan Bristol. An interim order was
    made on 5 February 1986 with a date of hearing (on the question of whether
    an order should be made in substitution for the interim order) fixed for 18th
    March 1986. No hearing was held and no final order was made by this Court
    on that application after advice was received from Christine Bristol’s solicitor –
    that the application was to proceed no further. The Court then struck out the
    application. The child Tiffany was born of the de facto relationship on 18
    December 1986 and shortly thereafter Christine Carter (as she then was) and
    Alan Bristol were married on 15 February 1987. Christine Bristol left Alan
    Bristol on 28 January 1989 and on 30 January 1989 she made application to
    the Court for non-molestation and non-violence orders against Alan Bristol
    and at the same time sought an interim order for the custody of the child
    Tiffany. The applications were based on allegations of assault and violence
    on the part of Alan Bristol.

    Alan Bristol consented to an interim non-violence order which was made by
    the Court on 30 January 1989 and a date of hearing to decide whether any
    other orders should be made was fixed for 8 February 1989.

    The parties were referred for counselling and then attended a mediation
    conference chaired by a Judge on 8 February 1989.

    _ On that day agreement was reached by the parties and the Judge made
    orders for:
    Extension of the non-violence order to 3rd April 1989
    Further counselling to be undertaken
    I nterim sharing of the care arrangements for Tiffany.

    At a further mediation conference on 13 March 1989 following agreement
    reached between the parties, the Judge made orders for:
    Variation of the shared access arrangements for Tiffany
    The discharge of the interim non-violence order
    The obtaining of a Social Welfare Report relating to the custody of


    Further counselling.

    On 14 April counsel was appointed by the Court to represent the child Tiffany
    in relation to matters affecting custody of the child. On 18th April an
    application for a non-molestation order was made by Christine Bristol again
    alleging assaults and intimidatory conduct by Alan Bristol. It was opposed by
    Alan Bristol. However the application never proceeded to a hearing and no
    order was made by this Court as counsel for the parties with the help of
    counsel for the child reached agreement on matters of custody and the Court
    on 13 July 1989 made an order by consent for shared access to Tiffany.

    A further order, by consent varying the access was made by the Court on 10
    August 1989.

    At this stage the first file was closed.

    It appears that in or about late November 1989 the parties were reconciled
    and resumed married life together. Two further daughters were born. Holly
    on 11.12.90 and Claudia on 19.8.92.

    In April 1993 the family moved into a home at Marybank Rd, Wanganui.

    The Second File

    The second file was opened on 13 July 1993. It discloses the following

    13.7.93 Alan Bristol applied to the Court for an interim custody order in
    respect of all three children
    19.7.93 Christine Bristol gave notice of her intention to defend the
    application and applied for an interim custody order in favour of
    The circumstances giving rise to these applications were alleged
    by Christine Bristol to be that Alan Bristol had taken her from the
    home at Marybank Rd and left her at her parents home at 4 Toi
    St, Wanganui, at the same time making it clear to her that the
    marriage was over. Alan Bristol kept the three children in the
    family home. Affidavits filed by the parties contained allegations


    of assaults and neglect of children by Christine Bristol and
    denials and allegations of infidelity on the part of Christine Bristol
    by Alan Bristol.
    28.7.93A pre-trial conference was held by the Judge. By consent the
    Judge made orders:
    1. That Mr Refoy-Butler be appointed as counsel for the
    children with the immediate task of overseeing interim care
    arrangements for the children.
    2. Counsel for the children was authorised to obtain a
    psychological report on the children directed to custody
    3. The Registrar to give the case priority for hearing on
    interim custody.
    At that conference the parties were each represented by
    senior counsel.
    11.8.93Christine Bristol applied to the court ex parte for a non-violence
    order and for a non-molestation order against Alan Bristol. The
    same day the Judge made an interim non-violence order and
    directed that the application for a non-molestation order proceed
    on notice to Alan Bristol at a date to be fixed after counselling of
    the parties had been completed. A date of hearing for a review
    of the interim order was given for 24.9.93.
    As the result of a conference of the parties which had been held
    by counsel for the children on the previous day (10.8.94) to
    discuss arrangements for the care of the children (although
    complete agreement was not reached on all issues) counsel for
    the child advised the Court of what he considered would be
    proper arrangements -for the care of the children and those
    arrangements were approved by the Court “until further order”.
    The order provided for a “shared care” regime.
    27.8.93Counsel for Christine Bristol requested the Registrar to give a
    fixture for a 2 hour hearing in respect of interim custody. The
    Registrar advised however that he was not prepared to set the
    case down for hearing until he had received all affidavits and
    reports required by the parties and the Court and had been given
    a time estimate for the hearing. He indicated that then the case
    would be given priority.


    The situation at this stage was that both parties had applied for
    custody of the children and an interim shared custody order had
    been made by this Court. A substantive custody hearing had yet
    to be held. Christine Bristol had applied for non-violence and

    non-molestation orders and the Court had – ex parte – granted an
    interim non-violence order but not a non-molestation order. Both
    applications were opposed by Alan Bristol.
    7.9.93 Alan Bristol filed formal notice of defence to the applications for

    non-violence and non-molestation orders.
    A psychological report on the three children relating to custody
    issues was sought.
    13.9.93 The Judge held a conference of counsel at which he directed that

    counsel for the children should file a memorandum regarding the
    domestic protection applications (non-violence and non-
    molestation) prior to 23.9.93 – being the date given for the interim
    non-violence order to be reviewed.
    20.9.93 Counsel for the children filed his memorandum which now set out
    1 n full.

    “1. It is my submission that the defended hearings for Non-
    Violence and Non-Molestation Orders should not anticipate
    any custody decisions made by the Court.

    2. The parties have made a number of allegations, and
    counter-allegations, in their Affidavits. I submit that any
    public hearing would only exacerbate their polarisation,
    and such would be of no assistance in their common
    dealing with the children. It is obvious that the children are
    going to be shared above the norm, and an atmosphere
    embittered by parental hostility will not be in the best
    interests of the children.
    3. Mr and Mrs Bristol separated previously. They have

    previously filed papers and allege the same faults this time
    as they did last time. Without making any attempt to
    comment on the veracity of those allegations, I can only
    submit, that without the matter being contested in Court,
    the parties reconciled and appear to have lived happily
    together for the intervening years. Two more children have
    been added in that time to the family.


    4. With respect, I doubt that the veracity of the allegations
    made will affect the decisions on the day-to-day care of the
    children. I note that Mrs Bristol makes no allegations
    against her husband in his role as a parent, in fact the
    reverse. There is no evidence against Mrs Bristol in her
    capacity as a mother, in her case also there is evidence
    that she is a caring parent.
    5. Finally, I can advise that I am concerned that the children

    may be drawn into this dispute on violence. I have already
    been asked to see one child concerning such allegations.
    I can only say that if what she said to me was accurate,
    then it is likely that the Court would want to be aware of
    such matters prior to making any decision on the Non-

    Molestation and Non-Violence Orders.”
    21.9.93 Christine Bristol as a result of information which she discovered

    which led her to believe that applications had apparently been
    made or were being made by Alan Bristol to obtain passports for
    the three children, with a view to removing them from New

    Zealand, made application to the Court, ex parte, for orders for
    the surrender of any passports and travel documents.
    22.9.93 An interim order was made by the Judge requiring the surrender

    of the children’s passports and/or travel documents to the Court.
    He also ordered that Alan Bristol and counsel for the children be
    served with the application and the order, and that the interim

    order be reviewed on 24.9.93 on which date the interim non-
    violence order was to be reviewed, the earlier date of hearing of
    that review – 23.9.93 – having apparently been changed to

    24.9.93 The parties represented by counsel along with counsel for the

    children appeared before the Judge. He made the following

    “1. The interim non-violence order to continue until further
    order. Hearing of the domestic protection application is to
    be deferred pending hearing of the Guardianship Act
    proceedings. (This was in accord with the

    recommendations of counsel for the children made in his
    memorandum of 20.9.93).


    2. Interim order requiring surrender of children’s passports is
    cancelled. The passports may remain in the safe keeping
    of the Registrar at the request of Mrs Bristol, but are not to
    be released to any other person without leave of a Family
    Court Judge.
    3. Counsel for the children is directed to inquire into the
    circumstances of the issue of passports for’ the children
    and to obtain copies of the relevant documentation on
    behalf of the children and to report thereon to the Court.
    4. The other directions of 13.8.93 (shared care of children)
    are to continue.”
    29.9.93 The report of the Psychologist was released to counsel. That
    report confirmed bonding and attachment of the children to both
    parents. The oldest child, Tiffany, expressed a clear preference
    to remain in the care of her father. Both parents were regarded
    as equally capable of caring for all three children, but the
    psychologist clearly preferred ongoing arrangements where the
    children remained in the family home with the father but spending
    regular time with the mother.
    29.10.93 The parties, their counsel and counsel for the children met and
    discussed care arrangements for the children and later that day
    met to sign a memorandum setting out matters agreed upon
    which were to be the basis of an application to the Court for a
    consent order.
    The same day counsel for the children wrote to the Court setting
    out proposals, “more or less acceptable”, for the custody of the
    three children and for dealing with the outstanding domestic
    protection applications and full custody hearing.
    Also on the same day Mrs Bristol’s counsel wrote to the Court
    advising that she had instructed him to proceed no further with
    the non-violence and non-molestation applications and to have
    them withdrawn.
    1.11.93 Counsel for the parties and counsel for the children filed in the
    Court the “memorandum of consent” signed by the parties
    agreeing to the making of certain specified orders. On the same
    day the Court made the orders “by consent”.
    The Court order provided:


    “1. The child Tiffany will be in her mothers care from gam
    Sunday to gam each Monday unless noted otherwise
    2. Claudia will be in her fathers care from gam Saturday to
    gam Sunday unless noted otherwise below.
    3. Holly will be in her father’s care from gam Monday to gam
    the following Monday. She will then for the alternate week
    from gam Monday to gam the following Monday be in her
    mother’s care.
    4. Both parties agree that the school holidays are to be
    shared in that all three children commencing at gam on
    Monday will spend a week with one parent. The alternate
    week will be spent with the other parent.
    5. Christmas and birthdays are to be shared together.
    6. All other applications before the Court relating to domestic
    protection and custody and access matters are to be

    7. Both mother and father agree that if either parent requires
    baby sitting assistance then the other parent will be the
    first port of call.
    8. This order is subject to review on or aboutl4 February

    It will be noted that that order of 1/11/93 provided for a shared
    custody regime. It was not however observed by Christine
    Bristol for long.
    8.11.93 She left Wanganui and went to Whakatane taking the two
    younger girls with her. The reason given by Christine Bristol for

    leaving Wanganui was, that Alan Bristol would not accept that the
    marriage was over and that he frequently arrived at her house
    and subjected her to physical abuse and emotional intimidation.
    11.11.93 Alan Bristol took steps through the Court to have the two younger
    girls returned to Wanganui so that he could exercise his shared

    custody in accordance with the Court order of 1.11.93.
    He applied ex parte for an order granting him interim custody of
    all three children and at the same time applied for a warrant to
    enforce the custody order when made. Although the applications
    were made ex parte copies of all documents were served on
    Christine Bristol’s counsel that same day and Mr Taylor


    telephoned Christine Bristol and told her he had received the
    applications. Both of those orders were made by the Court.
    Christine Bristol on 12.11.93 through a Whakatane solicitor, had
    an affidavit in reply to Alan Bristol’s applications sworn and sent
    to the Wanganui Court by fax. It arrived at the Court after the
    orders were made by the Judge.
    13.11.93On this day Christine Bristol having been advised of the making
    of the interim custody order in favour of Alan Bristol and also of
    the issue of the warrant returned to Wanganui with the two
    younger children and surrendered them to Alan Bristol at the
    Wanganui Police Station. (Thereafter all three children remained
    in the custody of Alan Bristol).
    17.11.93Alan Bristol fearing that Christine might be about to go overseas
    with the children made application to the Court ex parte for an
    order that Christine Bristol surrender the passports and travel
    documents relating to all three children. The passports had been
    uplifted from the Court by her on 4.11.93. The Judge declined to
    make the order sought ex parte and directed that the application
    be served on Christine Bristol. This was done and on 23.11.93
    Christine Bristol consented to an order being made that the
    passports remain in the possession of the Registrar of the Court.
    24.11.93Christine Bristol applied to the Court for orders:
    (a) Setting aside the interim custody order made on 11.11.93
    in favour of Alan Bristol.
    (b) Granting her interim custody of the two younger children
    Holly and Claudia reserving reasonable access to Alan
    (c) Granting her on an interim basis reasonable access to
    (d) Granting her on a final basis custody of Tiffany, Holly and
    Claudia reserving reasonable access to Alan Bristol.
    At the same time Christine Bristol applied ex parte for an order
    abridging to three days the time within which Alan Bristol should
    file a Notice of Defence to her custody application.
    25.11.93The Judge made an order abridging time for filing Notice of
    Defence as sought and directed:
    (a) That the application (relating to custody) be served.


    (b) That if opposing the application Alan Bristol should file and
    serve his affidavit in reply not later than 7.12.93.
    29.11.93Alan Bristol gave notice that he intended to defend Christine
    Bristol’s application for custody and filed his affidavit in reply.
    The two custody applications thus required a formal hearing by
    the Court before a decision upon them could be made.
    10.12.93As a formal defended hearing of the custody applications could
    not be held before Xmas, there was a conference of counsel with
    the Judge to resolve holiday access of all three children who
    were in the custody of Alan Bristol pursuant to the court order of
    11.11.93. Counsel appeared for the parties and for the three
    The Judge’s note records:
    “Counsel for children to arrange for urgent referral of both parties
    to a counsellor with a view to, at least, agreed access being
    decided upon.
    Short hearing to be made available on 22 December 1993 in the
    hope that the parties will then agree on holiday access, failing
    which, the Court will be able to make orders after hearing the
    recommendation of counsel for the children. (There will not be
    ti me for anything more.)
    Counsel will try to agree on a timetable order for 22.12.93.”
    20.12.93The counsellor appointed duly reported to the Court on an
    agreed access arrangement.
    22.12.93A memorandum of consent to interim orders as agreed by the
    parties before the counsellor was filed.
    The Court then made the following orders:
    “… By consent the applicant (Christine Bristol) and the
    respondent (Alan Bristol) shall have access to the children on the
    following terms:
    1. Both parties will share Christmas Day 1993 with the
    children together at the family home.
    2. Each parent will have an equal time during the school
    holiday period for travelling holidays or the equivalent.
    3. The applicant shall have access to the three children for
    two days and two nights per week from 1 January 1994


    1.2.94 Christine Bristol filed an application under the Matrimonial
    Property Act 1976 for orders determining the shares in and the
    division of the matrimonial property.
    That was served on Alan Bristol’s solicitor on 3.2.94.
    3.2.94 Counsel for the children wrote to the Court advising:
    “Some access is continuing although I understand there is not
    universal satisfaction concerning same. I am being urged by
    counsel for the mother to take further steps with regard to the
    welfare of the middle child ….”
    Also on the same date counsel for Christine Bristol wrote to the
    “This matter was last before the Court on 22 December 1993
    when interim access orders were made. Since that time there
    have been numerous negotiations regarding access.
    I n the meantime custody remains in dispute and we would
    appreciate the matter being placed back into the Family Court
    fixtures list for the purposes of a pre-trial conference. We seek
    directions at this pre-trial conference in order to timetable this
    matter to a defended hearing ….”


    Summary of the State of the Court Proceedings As At 3.2.1994

    The parties had on 1.11.93 agreed upon a shared custody regime and the
    Court had-made an order “by consent” on the agreed terms. Christine Bristol
    however on 8.11.93 left Wanganui for Whakatane taking the two younger girls
    (Holly and Claudia) with her. The eldest girl Tiffany was left in Wanganui with
    Alan Bristol.

    Alan Bristol, when he learned that Christine Bristol had gone to Whakatane
    with the two younger girls, applied on 11.11.93 for and obtained an order in
    his favour for the interim custody of all three girls and at the same time
    obtained a warrant to deliver the two younger girls into his custody.
    I n the event it was not necessary to act on the warrant, as Christine Bristol on
    being advised of the interim custody order and the issue of the warrant,
    voluntarily returned the two girls to Wanganui on 13.11.93 and handed them


    over to Alan Bristol in whose interim custody all three girls thereafter

    Eleven days after returning to Wanganui Christine Bristol applied on 24.11.93
    to set aside the interim custody order which had been granted ex parte in
    favour of Alan Bristol and in addition applied for a final custody order in her
    favour in respect of all three children.

    Alan Bristol gave notice that he intended to defend those applications and
    sought orders for final custody of the children in his own favour.
    With the hearing of the final custody applications being not possible before
    Christmas the parties on 10.12.93 sought a conference with the Judge in
    order to resolve questions of access to the children as an interim
    arrangement. This conference resulted in reference to a counsellor and to
    negotiations taking place between counsel culminating in the Court on
    22.12.93 making a consent order defining on an interim basis the access of
    the parties to the children over the holiday period.

    Those arrangements continued in force, albeit not to the general satisfaction
    of the parties, up until the tragedy occurred on 4/5 February resulting in the
    deaths of Alan Bristol and the three children.
    n the result, at the date of the tragedy the only matters then before the Court
    to be dealt with were:
    1. The applications by Christine Bristol and Alan Bristol each seeking
    custody of the three children, to be decided by the Court after a full
    hearing to be held at a future date.
    2. The matrimonial property proceedings filed by Christine Bristol which
    had not reached the stage where a date of hearing could be given.

    The Events Leading Up to the Tragedy

    I do not wish to dwell at length upon these matters but in order to consider
    adequately my second term of reference – “As to the need for any change in
    the law or in Family Court practice concerning any matter that arose in the
    proceedings” – it is necessary to inquire whether any aspect of the law or
    Family Court practice was deficient or ineffective and thus causative of the
    events which subsequently occurred. The actual cause or causes of the
    tragedy insofar as such can be discerned need therefore to be considered.


    The narrative of events which follows is based upon my examination of the
    court files and on my own inquiries of the Police, counsel for the parties and
    counsel for the child and Christine Bristol, and also from evidence presented
    at the Coroner’s inquest on 3 March 1994 and the findings of the Coroner.

    The three children were as a result of the interim custody order -made by the
    Court on 11.11.93 and the delivery up of the two younger children on
    13.11.93, thereafter in the custody of Alan Bristol. The parties had
    subsequently agreed upon holiday access for Christine Bristol to all three
    children and this agreement was embodied in a consent order made by the
    Court on 22.12.93. It provided for Christmas and holiday arrangements and
    from 1.1.94 gave Christine Bristol access to all three children for two days
    and two nights per week.

    Those arrangements continued throughout January and early February
    although not without considerable friction between the parties due Christine
    Bristol alleged to Alan Bristol’s obstructive behaviour and to his verbal and
    sometimes physical assaults upon her when she was collecting or returning
    the children. On 29 December 1993 Christine Bristol complained to the
    Police that when she arrived at the house in Maryland Road to pick up the
    children, Alan Bristol tried to force her into the bedroom intending to have
    intercourse with her. Alan Bristol was subsequently visited by a police
    constable who warned him that a complaint had been made although the
    matter was not going to be taken further.

    On 2 February 1994 Christine Bristol again made a complaint to the police to
    the effect that when she went to the house that day to drop off Holly and
    Claudia who had been with her for the day, Alan Bristol again assaulted her,
    this time the assault being accompanied by acts of indecency. The police
    investigated the complaint and also interviewed an independent witness who
    corroborated Christine Bristol’s account of events. Alan Bristol was arrested
    on 3 February 1994 and charged with indecent assault and assault upon a
    female. He was later bailed to appear in the District Court on Tuesday 8
    February 1994.

    Also on 3 February 1994 Christine Bristol’s solicitor in response to a
    suggestion by Alan Bristol’s solicitor that there should be fixed access


    arrangements (instead of the provision in the consent court order of 22.12.93
    which simply gave Christine Bristol access for two days and two nights per
    week.) faxed to Alan Bristol’s solicitor Christine Bristol’s agreement to such a
    course provided she have all three children on Saturday and Sunday of each
    week until 8.30am on the Monday morning.

    On 4 February 1993 Alan Bristol’s solicitor communicated with Christine
    Bristol’s solicitor and indicated that he believed that access should be on
    Sunday and Monday (being Christine Bristol’s non work days).
    At 11.30am Alan Bristol called on his solicitor and discussed with another
    member of the firm the handling of the defence to the criminal charges. He
    also discussed with his solicitor the proposed new access arrangements. As
    a consequence of those discussions a fax was sent to Christine Bristol’s
    solicitor confirming that access until further agreement would be on Sunday
    and Monday of each week commencing next Sunday with Mrs Bristol Senior
    delivering and picking up the children at the same times as under the current
    arrangement. At the meeting that day both Alan Bristol’s solicitor and the
    other member of the firm who was to handle the defence to the criminal
    charges, found Alan Bristol to be calm and rational and he did not appear
    distressed. When he left their offices at 1.15pm he appeared his normal self.
    Shortly after leaving his solicitors office Alan Bristol called on a male friend
    who he had known for’ many years. Alan Bristol discussed the charges laid
    against him and was concerned about having to spend 10 years in prison. He
    eft about 2pm. When he left his demeanour appeared quite good and he
    gave no indication that the tragedy which subsequently occurred was likely to
    happen. At approximately 2.10pm that same day Mrs Bristol Senior was at
    the house at Marybank Road looking after the two younger children when
    Alan Bristol arrived. (I now give a precis of part of Mrs Bristol’s statement
    tendered to the Coroner relating to Alan Bristol’s condition and concerns on
    his return.)

    He looked shocking. He was white from head to toe; his eyes looked tired:
    his face was sunken: he looked absolutely dreadful. He was concerned that
    if he was convicted he could get 10 years in gaol on the assault charge and
    20 years on the indecent assault charge. (Those penalties are in fact


    He was also concerned that the eldest girl Tiffany (with whom he appeared to
    have a very strong attachment) would be called to give evidence against him
    and that Christine Bristol had applied to the Court for custody of Tiffany (in
    addition to the two younger girls).

    Alan Bristol sat down in the lounge and made very little further conversation
    and in Mrs Bristol’s words appeared “as if he wasn’t with us for the rest of the
    day … he spent a lot of time just sitting there with his head back and his eyes

    About 5pm Mrs Bristol prepared a meal and she and Alan Bristol and all three
    girls (Tiffany had by then returned home) had tea.
    About 7pm Mrs Bristol left to return home. At that stage Alan Bristol in the
    words of Mrs Bristol “was still looking like death warmed up, very quiet and
    very tired.”

    Prior to Mrs Bristol leaving Alan Bristol never said anything to her or did
    anything that made her think he would hurt either himself or the children in
    any way.

    On 5 February 1993 at approximately 9.30am Mr Bristol Senior visited the
    house at Marybank Road. He found no-one about. He entered the garage
    and found Alan Bristol and the three children in the rear of a Suzuki hatchback
    motor car, all apparently dead.

    Subsequent police investigations showed that the deaths were planned and
    that the preparations must have taken some little time to accomplish. There
    was some evidence tending to indicate that Alan Bristol may have belatedly
    realised what he was doing and tried to take some steps to arrest the
    procedure he had initiated.

    The Coroner held an inquest into the deaths on 3 March 1994. His findings
    “… that the deceased Alan Robert Bristol died on the evening of 415
    February 1994 at 25 Marybank Road Wanganui as the result of carbon
    monoxide poisoning, death being self inflicted. The deceased Tiffany
    Anne Bristol, Holly Alyse Bristol and Claudia Abby Bristol all died
    during the evening of 4 February and early morning possibly of 5


    February 1994 at 25 Marybank Road Wanganui, each as the result of
    carbon monoxide poisoning.”

    The Coroner also observed:
    “It is to my mind reasonably clear that the deceased Alan Robert Bristol
    became deeply concerned, to the extent of being one might say,
    worried out of his mind perhaps, although there is no indication that he
    was mentally disturbed by the charges that were laid against him a day
    or two earlier. That presumably was the trigger but one can only



    1. The Statutory Provisions and Practices Applicable

    The statutory provisions applicable to the exercise by the Family
    Court of its jurisdiction in this case are:

    The Family Courts Act 1980
    The Family Proceedings Act 1980
    The Family Proceedings Rules 1981
    The Domestic Protection Act 1982
    The Guardianship Act 1968.

    Certain parts of those statutes and rules I now refer to, in order to
    highlight relevant procedures adopted by the Court which have been
    commented upon and been considered in my inquiry.

    First Nature of Jurisdiction
    The Family Court was established as a division of the District
    Court (Family Courts Act 1980 s.4). Family Court proceedings
    shall be conducted in such a way as to avoid unnecessary
    formality s.10.
    n all matters in issue between husband and wife in proceeding
    under the Family Proceedings Act or the Guardianship Act
    1968 it is the duty of legal advisers to promote reconciliation
    and conciliation (Family Proceedings Act 1980 s.8) mediation
    conferences chaired by a Family Court Judge are provided for
    (s.14) and it is the duty of the Court to consider reconciliation
    and conciliation between the parties (s.19).
    Second “Ex Parte” Applications
    Family Courts are authorised to hear and determine
    applications “ex parte”. That is to hear and determine them
    without notice to and without hearing the other party.
    That power derives from two sources. The first is the Family
    Courts Act 1980 which makes the Family Court a division of
    the District Court (s.4) and which authorises a Family Court


    Judge to exercise any of the powers of a District Court Judge
    (s.5(4)) and gives the District Court power to hear and
    determine any ex parte applications relating to proceedings
    heard in a Family Court (s.15).
    The second is the Family Proceedings Rules 1981 which
    provide that an order may be made or a warrant may be
    issued on an ex parte application made under stated sections
    of The Family Proceedings Act 1980 and of the Guardianship
    Act 1968 and in any other case if the Court is satisfied:
    “(i) That the delay that would be caused by proceeding on
    notice would or might entail serious injury or undue
    hardship or
    (ii) That the delay that would be caused by proceeding on
    notice would pr might entail risk to the personal safety of
    the applicant or any child of the applicant’s family or
    (iii) The application affects only the party moving or is in
    respect of a matter of routine or is of so unimportant a
    nature that the interest of the other party cannot be
    effected thereby.” (Family Proceedings Rules 1981 Rule
    16(2)(a)(i, ii, iii)
    Rule 16 goes on to say that any person against whom an order
    has been made ex parte under Rule 16(2) may at any time
    apply to vary or rescind the order.

    The Family Court Practice Note relating to ex parte
    applications provides:
    “Where an application is filed ex parte in the Family Court,
    seeking substantive orders, particularly under the Domestic
    Protection Act, it must be accompanied by affidavit evidence,n
    which fully and frankly discloses all relevant circumstances,
    whether or not they are advantageous to the applicant.

    This information will include disclosure of any other relevant
    proceedings past or present in any court, and the identity of
    any legal advisdor acting for the respondent or for any


    It is not appropriate for counsel to proceed ex parte at the
    same time serving copies of the application on counsel for the
    respondent before the application is heard.

    I n every case where an ex parte application is under
    consideration counsel should decide whether the proper
    course is not rather to proceed on notice accompanied by an
    application for an abridgment of time for a defence to be filed.

    Where counsel is known to be acting for a respondent or
    children copies of the application and accompanying affidavits
    should be forewarded to such counsel immediately upon
    service of the, order of execution of any consequential

    Third “Consent Orders”
    Family Courts are given power (except in proceedings relating
    to the status of marriage) to make orders by consent. (Family
    Proceedings Act 1980 s.170).

    The reader of this report will have observed that my
    examination of the court files contains a number of references
    to the court having from time to time made orders “ex parte”
    and by “consent”.

    It is quite clear that the Court had power i.e. to make ex parte
    orders and consent orders. In the case of “ex parte” orders
    made under the authority of Rule 16(2) of the Family
    Proceedings Rules 1981 the only pre-requisite to the court
    doing so was that it be satisfied that the circumstances came
    within one or more of the provisions in subclause 2(a)(i, ii, iii)
    of that rule as set out ante. Once the Court was so satisfied,
    then, it was for the particular judge at the time to decide as a
    matter of judgment whether he would deal with the matter ex
    parte and make the order sought or drequire the application to
    proceed on notice but abridge the time for a defence to be


    In the case of “consent” orders, they may be made “by the
    consent of all the parties to the proceedings”. The Court is
    thus given a discretion as to whether it will make the order or

    Fourth Enforcement of Custody and Access Rights
    Where any person is entitled to the custody of a child a Family
    Court may on the application of the person so entitled to
    custody issue a warrant to a constable, social worker or
    person named therein to take possession of the child and to
    deliver him to the person entitled to custody or to some other
    named person on behalf of the person entitled to custody.
    (Guardianship Act 1968 s.19(i)) However where more than
    one person is entitled to the custody of the child no warrant
    issued under subsection 1 (ante) shall authorise the removal of
    the child from the possession of one of those persons and
    delivery of him to another of them (Guardianship Act 1968
    s.1 A).

    The effect of s.1A is that the warrant procedure cannot be used
    by one joint legal custodian against another; however it is
    available whether there is an order granting custody to both
    parties but at different times i.e. shared custody.

    Where there are practical difficulties in enforcing the return of
    a child for a ;short period, from a distance or where the childis
    taken away on what appears to be a permanent basis which is
    really an indication not to be bound by the order another
    procedure has been commonly adopted. That procedure is for
    the person whose custodial rights have been breached to
    apply ex parte for an interim order giving him full custody of the
    child and upon the making of such order to ask the Court to
    i ssue a warrant to take possession of the child and to deliver
    him to the applicant.

    Such order for custody is an “Interim” Order only until the issue
    of custody is further determined by the Court, and the interim
    custody order having been made “ex parte” may be subject to


    an application by the person against whom it is made to
    rescind or vary it at any time.

    2. An Examination of the Court’s Application of the Law and its
    Practices in the Bristol Case

    At the outset of this section of my report I wish to establish
    unequivocally the basis upon which my enquiry has proceeded.

    My inquiry is limited by the terms of reference which have been given

    They restrict my inquiry, after an examination of the Court files, to a
    consideration of “the need for any change in the law or in Family
    Court practice concerning any matter which arose in the

    I am not empowered to exercise a judgment as to whether the Family
    Court Judges who dealt with the case were right or wrong in the
    decisions they made or in the ways in which they exercised the
    powers given them under the various statutes which they applied. I
    am not entitled to second guess – or should I say second judge those
    decisions. I am not sitting as an appellate body. My inquiry is
    directed solely at whether there is any need for change in the law or
    Family Court practice.

    Having made those preliminary observations I now examine the
    course followed by the proceedings as disclosed by the files. This is
    necessary in order to see first, what matters arose in the course of
    the Bristol proceedings that I should consider, and second, whether
    the legal provisions which the Judges were required to apply were
    adequate to enable them to deal with circumstances that arose in this
    case and whether the practices of the court were appropriate or are
    in need of change.

    Two main issues concerned the Court in the Bristol case. They
    were: the protection of Christine Bristol from alleged assaults by the
    application of the relevant provisions of the Domestic Protection Act


    1982 and the making of orders relating to custody of and access to
    the children under the relevant provisions of the Guardianship Act

    t do not find it necessary for me to traverse the first file which closed
    when the parties were reconciled in 1989. The material on that file is
    merely historical. That phase of the Bristol case was long drawn out.
    It covered about 31/2 years during which time proceedings were
    brought before the Court for non-violence and non-molestation orders
    against Alan Bristol and for custody orders in respect of Tiffany .
    None of the proceedings ever reached the stage where a contested
    application was heard and decided by the Court. All matters were
    resolved by agreement and orders “by consent” were made by the
    Court. The significance of that is that the Court never had the
    opportunity to hear the parties give evidence or to test the truth or
    otherwise of the various allegations made. I commence my
    examination with the opening of the second file on 13.7.93. It
    discloses that on 5.7.93 whilst the parties were living at the family
    home at Marybank Rd, Wanganui Alan Bristol allegedly took
    Christine Bristol to her parents home and Wanganui, kept the three
    children at the family home and at the same time told her the
    marriage was at an end.

    The important events which followed – omitting those not greatly
    relevant to the decisions made by the Court are:

    The first occasion when the problems of the Bristol marriage came
    back before the Court was on 13.7.93 when Alan Bristol applied for
    i nterim custody of the three children. This was opposed by Christine
    Bristol who sought an order that custody of the children be given to

    A pretrial conference before a judge at which both parties were
    represented by counsel was held on 28.7.93 and by consent the
    judge made orders, pursuant to the Family Proceedings Act 1980
    s.162 appointing a senior family court counsel to represent the
    children. He authorised the obtaining of a psychological report on
    the children directed to custody issues pursuant to the Guardianship


    Act 1968 s.29A and requested the Registrar to give the case priority
    for hearing on interim custody.

    Before custody issues could be brought before the Court, counsel for
    the parties and for the children discussed arrangements for the
    Interim care of the children and on 11.8.93 the Court approved
    shared care arrangements to remain in force until further order of the
    Court. On the same day Christine Bristol applied ex parte to the
    Court for a non-violence order and a non-molestation order against
    Alan Bristol as provided for in the Domestic Protection Act 1982 ss.4
    & 13. The issue of violence within the domestic scene was once
    again raised by Christine Bristol – as had been done earlier in the
    relationship. There were allegations of violence made by Christine
    Bristol in her affidavits and denials of violence by Alan Bristol in his.
    The Court in accordance with its usual practice where there are
    al’egations of violence made an interim non-violence order to protect
    Christine Bristol to the extent that such an order can provide
    protection but directed that the non-molestation order application
    proceed on notice to Alan Bristol.

    The parties represented by counsel next appeared before the Court
    on 24.9.93 being the date fixed by the court for the review of the
    Interim non-violence order. At that time a memorandum from
    counsel for the children was tabled relating to the course that the
    court might follow in dealing with the matters which were before it,

    The custody applications by both Alan Bristol and Christine Bristol
    The hearing of Christine Bristol’s application for non-violence and
    non-molestation orders which application was opposed by Alan

    The Judge directed that the interim non-violence order continue until
    the further order of the Court and that the hearing of the Domestic
    Protection applications (for non-violence and non-molestation orders)
    be deferred pending the hearing of the Guardianship Act
    Proceedings (custody).


    No further proceedings relating to custody came before the Court
    until 1.11.93 by which time the report sought from the psychologist
    relating to the custody of the children had been received and
    considered by all counsel.

    Prior to that date the parties, their counsel and counsel for the
    children had all met and discussed care arrangements for all three
    children and a “memorandum of consent” had been signed setting
    out agreed arrangements for the care of all three children and
    requesting the Court to make orders by consent accordingly. It did
    so. The terms of those orders are set out in full earlier in this report.

    Apart from defining the care arrangements which established a
    shared custody regime, the Memorandum of Consent and therefore
    the order also, provided that “all other applications before the Court
    relating to domestic protection and custody and access matters, are
    to be withdrawn”.

    In making that order for the shared custody of the three children the
    Court was required to apply the provisions of the Guardianship Act
    1968 s.23:
    “Welfare of child paramount – (1) In any proceedings where any
    matter relating to the custody or guardianship of or access to a child,
    or the administration of any property belonging to or held in trust for a
    child, or the application of the income thereof, is in question, the
    Court shall regard the welfare of the child as the first and paramount
    consideration. The Court shall have regard to the conduct of any
    parent to the extent only that such conduct is relevant to the welfare
    of the child.

    (1A) For the purposes of this section, and regardless of the age of a
    child, there shall be no presumption that the placing of a child in the
    custody of a particular person will, because of the sex of that person,
    best serve the welfare of the child.”

    I n view of the report of the psychologist and the consents of the
    parties and counsel for the children to the orders sought the court
    would have had little doubt that the consensual arrangement


    proposed would best promote the welfare of the children as required
    by the section of the Act above referred to.

    That consensual arrangement followed by the court order effectively
    concluded all matters between the parties then before the Court.
    Except that the order was to be reviewed on or about 14 February
    1994. It should be noted that at the time when the order was made:
    1. There had been no formal contested hearings on their merits,
    of any applications made to the Court. The allegations of
    ;violence by Christine Bristol, the denials of Alan Bristol and
    counter allegations against Christine Bristol remained just
    allegations and no opportunity had been given to the Court to
    determine where the truth lay.
    2. Both parties and all counsel had received the report of the
    psychologist who considered both parents as equally capable
    of caring for the children but preferred ongoing arrangements
    where the children remained in the family home with the father
    whilst spending regular time with the mother.
    3. That although Christine Bristol had made allegations of
    violence against Alan Bristol there was no suggestion that the
    children would ever be in danger of violence at his hands.
    4. The Court had been asked to make the order on 1.11.93 with
    the written consent of the parties after both had been advised
    by competent senior counsel experienced in Family Court
    matters and after the interests of the children had been
    safeguarded by senior counsel having been appointed to
    represent them.

    That Court order should have ended the problems of the Bristol
    family. It didn’t. The reason it did not was, according to Christine
    Bristol, because immediately after the order was made on 1.11.93
    problems arose between her and Alan Bristol over the carrying out
    some of the arrangements agreed upon, Alan Bristol allegedly
    continuing to harass her and calling at her home on 5.11.93 and
    assaulting her. On 8.11.93 Christine Bristol left Wanganui with the
    two younger children and went to Whakatane. After he learned of
    Christine Bristol’s departure, Alan Bristol sought the assistance of the
    Court to have the children returned to Wanganui so he could resume


    the shared custody of them which had been provided for in the Court
    order of 1.11.93.

    On 11.11.93 he applied to the court ex parte for an order for the
    interim custody of all three children and at the same time sought a
    warrant under the Guardianship Act 1968 s.19 to have an appropriate
    person take possession of the two younger children (then in
    Christine Bristol’s care in Whakatane) and deliver them to him.

    When that application was made to the Court the only Family Court
    Judge then available to deal with the matter was one of the three
    Family Court Judges then located in the central region of the Family
    Court but who had traditionally a responsibility for the Hawkes Bay
    area and sat only occasionally at Wanganui. He was temporarily
    sitting at Wanganui on 11.11.93.

    Alan Bristol’s applications were placed before him to deal with as the
    matter was regarded as one of some urgency and the Judge who
    usually sat at Wanganui and who had dealt with the Bristol case
    earlier was not available.

    The matter was placed before the Judge as one where Christine
    Bristol had departed from Wanganui, and on the affidavit evidence of
    Alan Bristol had done so with the intention not to comply with the
    Court Order of 1.11.93 to which she had been a consenting party. In
    point of fact as at 11.11.93 Christine Bristol was not actually in
    breach of the Order of 1.11.93 as Claudia was not due to be returned
    to her father’s care until 9am on Saturday 13.11.93 and Holly to her
    father’s care until 9am on Monday 15.11.93. But the evidence before
    the Court was that she had left Wanganui and her stay in Whakatane
    “has some permanency”, and that she would be unlikely to comply
    with the Court Order of 1.11.93 to give the children into the care of
    Alan Bristol when required.

    The Judge because he had not dealt with the case previously,
    examined the Bristol file and the course followed by the proceedings
    leading up to the consent order 10 days earlier and finding nothing to
    indicate any reason relating to the children’s welfare or safety why


    the consent order should no longer be appropriate decided it would
    be better for the children to be returned to Wanganui. He therefore
    made the interim custody order in favour of Alan Bristol (to the extent
    that he did not already have custody) and ordered the issue of the
    warrant accordingly. The procedure which was adopted of making
    an order for interim custody followed by the issue of a warrant to
    enforce it was adopted because there is no procedure provided for in
    the Guardianship Act 1968 s.19 (relating to the enforcement of
    custody and access rights) other than by the issue of a warrant to
    take possession of a child and to deliver the child to the person
    entitled to custody. In the case of shared custody of a child and
    especially if the child is some distance away from the person entitled
    to custody, and such person is entitled to custody for only part of the
    ti me in short periods (as was so in the Bristol case) it is rather
    impractical to use a warrant to enforce a series of short periods of
    custody. I n such cases the Court commonly makes an interim
    custody order followed by a warrant to enable the child to be
    returned to the custodial parent. Once that has been done the other
    party can then apply to have the interim custody order varied to
    enable the shared custody regime to be reinstated or some other
    arrangement made.

    Shared custody which usually involves a child being in the custody of
    each parent for a comparatively short time relies on the cooperation
    of the parties for its success rather than the enforcement by warrant.

    The other factor which influenced the Court in making the interim
    custody order was that on the evidence before the Court Christine
    Bristol had taken the children to Whakatane’with some permanency”
    and had thus indicated an intention not to comply with the order for
    shared custody. In the event the warrant did not need to be executed
    because Christine Bristol on being advised of the Interim Custody
    Order and the issue of the warrant returned voluntarily to Wanganui
    on 13.1.93 and handed over the two younger children to Alan Bristol
    at the Wanganui Police Station.

    Now it is a feature of orders made ex parte by a court that the party
    against whom such an order is made can apply at any time to rescind


    or vary that order. This is a safeguard against orders claimed to
    have been wrongly made. Had Christine Bristol been concerned
    about the safety of her children, she could have applied promptly
    after she returned to Wanganui on 13.11.93 to have the interim order
    for custody rescinded. She did not do so however until 24.11.93. On
    that date she applied to the Court for orders: setting aside the
    Interim Custody Order made in favour of Alan Bristol on 11.11.93:
    granting her interim custody of the two younger children: granting
    her reasonable access to Tiffany and granting her final custody of all
    three children, reserving reasonable access to Alan Bristol. Alan
    Bristol gave notice that he intended to defend those applications.
    The whole issue of custody then awaited a court hearing but this
    could not be held by the Court before Christmas.

    Counsel for the parties and for the children therefore on 10.12.93
    arranged a meeting with the Judge, (who was the one who had
    mainly dealt with the earlier proceedings) to discuss access for
    Christine Bristol to the children over the Xmas period. The Judge
    directed that arrangements be made for urgent referral of both
    parties to a counsellor in accordance with the provisions of Part II of
    the Family Proceedings Act 1980 with a view to, at least agreed
    access, being decided upon. He also set a short hearing for
    22.12.93 in the hope that the parties would agree on holiday access
    but if they failed to do so the Judge indicated that the Court, after
    hearing the recommendation of counsel for the children would make
    orders for access.

    In the result the parties reached agreement upon access before the
    counsellor and at the hearing on 22.12.93 a Memorandum of
    Consent was filed and the court made orders in terms of that consent
    1. Both parties will share Xmas Day 1993 with the children
    together in the family home.
    2. Each parent will have an equal time during the school holiday
    period for travelling holidays or the equivalent.
    3. Christine shall have access to the three children for 2 days and
    2 nights per week from 1 January 1994.


    That was the last occasion on which the Court was to deal with this
    matter. Apart from the making of the Ex Parte Interim Custody Order
    and Order for the issue of the warrant on 11.11.93 all other orders
    had been made by the consent of the parties. The issues still
    outstanding before the Court to be dealt with were
    The separate custody applications of both Alan Bristol and
    Christine Bristol in respect of the three children: and
    The domestic protection applications.

    A subsequent application was filed on 1.2.94 by Christine for division
    of matrimonial property under the Matrimonial Property Act 1976.

    3. Is There a Need for any Change in the Law or in Family Court
    Practice Concerning Any Matter that Arose I n the Bristol

    Before change can be considered it is first necessary to see whether
    the law or practice of the Court failed or proved inadequate or
    I neffective to deal with a situation that arose in this case.

    n the previous section of this report I have set out in summary form
    how the Court dealt with the various situations that came before it.

    If there are found to be any applications of the existing law or
    practices which caused or contributed to the unfortunate deaths of
    the four persons in this case or there were any omissions in the law
    or practices which allowed them to happen then such would provide
    strong grounds for recommending change.

    However before I can make any decisions on those matters and

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Tue 21st February 2012 @ 10:45 pm

  72. decide whether there is need for change I must first decide whether,
    the existing laws as contained in the Domestic Protection Act 1982
    and the practices of the Court were adequate to protect Christine
    Bristol from the alleged domestic violence to her and next to decide
    whether the provisions of the Guardianship Act 1968 were adequate
    to protect the children in relation to matters of custody and
    access.the deaths might have been preventable it has been
    necessary for me to endeavour to establish why the deaths occurred


    and for that purpose to examine in some detail in my earlier narrative
    the known events which preceded them.

    Insofar as the protection of Mrs Bristol is concerned the evidence
    shows that a non-violence order made by the Court under the
    Domestic Protection Act 1982 remained in force from 11.8.93 until
    withdrawn by consent on 1.11.93. During that period . I find no
    evidence of violence by Alan Bristol having occurred. Following the
    withdrawal of the non-violence order on 1.11.93 however, Christijne
    Bristol made one allegation of violence on 5.11.93 supported by a
    medical certificate as to injuries, and she also made two complaints
    of violence to the police on 29.11.93 and 2.2.94. The absence of any
    violence during the period the non-violence order was in force and
    the allegations of violence after it ceased may be considered to
    support a view that the existence of the non-violence order had
    prevented violence. To that extent it does not appear that the
    application on the provisions of the Domestic Protection Act was
    inadequate to protect Christine Bristol when an order under that Act
    was in force. However I doubt whether the powers of arrest and
    detention provided for under ss.9-12 of the Act provide any great
    deterrent effect. A breach of a non-molestation order only incurs a
    penalty up to 3 months imprisonment or to a fine not exceeding $500.

    Heavier penalties may be incurred however if assaults are charged
    under the Crimes Act.

    nsofar as I must examine the protection of the children and whether
    the provisions of the Guardianship Act 1968 and the practices of the
    Court were adequate to protect them from the tragedy which
    overtook them I first need to know what caused the tragedy – not
    merely to know what was the mechanism which caused their deaths
    but why that mechanism was set in train by Alan Bristol and whether
    any application of the existing law and practices of the Court could
    have prevented it.

    Whilst it is not possible for me to be totally satisfied as to why Alan
    Bristol took the lives of himself and his three children, I believe the
    answer is to be found in the events which occurred on Wednesday


    2nd, Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th February 1994 as narrated earlier
    in detail in this report. Those events were the alleged assault by
    Alan Bristol on Christine Bristol on Wednesday followed by her
    complaint to the Police: his being interviewed by the Police on the
    Thursday and his subsequently being arrested and charged with
    i ndecent assault and assault on a female: his being bailed to appear
    in Court on the following Tuesday to answer those charges: and his
    interview with his solicitors on Friday when the likely consequences
    of those charges were discussed.

    The evidence given before the Coroner indicates clearly that a great
    change came over Alan Bristol after he left his solicitors at
    approximately 1.15pm on Friday and an old time friend nearly an
    hour later and returning to his home at approximately 2.10pm the
    same day. There is little doubt that by then he was of a disturbed
    state of mind – a condition which appeared to continue into the early
    evening when he was last seen. The Coroner in his findings as
    noted earlier observed that it was reasonably clear that Alan Bristol
    became deeply concerned to the extent one might say, worried out of
    his mind by the charges that were laid against him a day or so

    That leads me to ask the question – what Court could when dealing
    with the issues involved up until the last Court order on 22.12.93
    have reasonably believed that Alan Bristol posed a threat to the
    safety and the lives of his three children. Let me examine the known

    1. Although there were allegations by Christine Bristol of violence
    against her by Alan Bristol and denials of such by Alan Bristol,
    the Court on no occasion was required to hear evidence and
    adjudicate on the issue. So to that extent the allegations were
    unproven. However even if, for the sake of argument the Court
    accepted there was such violence against Christine Bristol
    there was absolutely no evidence of any violence against the
    children. On the contrary Alan Bristol appeared to have a
    deep affection for them and appears to have been a very good
    care giver.


    2. Christine Bristol had no fears that Alan Bristol would harm the
    children when they were in his care. Throughout the whole
    proceedings except for the interim custody order on 11.11.93
    arrangements for care were always resolved “by consent” and
    one would have imagined that had there been any such fears,
    that they would have been expressed in one or more of the
    affidavits filed in court in relation to custody proceedings and
    domestic protection proceedings or to counsel for Christine
    Bristol, counsel for the child or to counsellors or to the
    psychologist who reported to the Court.
    3. Counsel for the children who was appointed by the Court was
    senior and very experienced in Family Court matters and had a
    close involvement with the Bristol case over a number of years
    and he apparently saw no danger in the children being given
    into the care of their father as has been shown earlier in this
    4. The psychologist who reported to the Court preferred that the
    children remain in the family home with Alan Bristol.
    5. Neither of the counsel for the parties ever expressed any
    concerns for the safety of the children at the hands of Alan
    6. The domestic protection orders which had been made from
    time to time were discharged or withdrawn by consent, the last
    occasion being when the Court made the consent order on
    1.11.93 one of the terms of which was that all other
    applications before the court relating to domestic protection
    and custody and access matters be withdrawn. The
    withdrawal of Domestic protection proceedings would have
    tended to indicate to the court an absence of continuing fears
    of violence on the part of Alan Bristol towards his wife.

    Now in deciding what a court knew or should have known about a
    certain situation it is important to realise that a court is dependent for
    its knowledge of the facts of a case upon the information supplied to
    it by the parties and witnesses in evidence given orally or by
    affidavit: in reports supplied to the court such as from psychologists,
    counsellors, counsel appointed to represent children etc and from
    inferences properly drawn from that information.


    n my opinion there was nothing whatever in the material placed
    before the court from which a Judge could have been alerted to the
    probability or even the possibility that to give the children into the
    custody of their father might create a situation of danger for them.

    The trigger to the unfortunate events on 4/5 February 1994 appears
    to have been the assault allegedly committed by Alan Bristol on
    Christine Bristol on 2.2.94 resulting in her laying a complaint with the
    police, and to Alan Bristol being subsequently arrested and charged
    with the two offences earlier referred to. The evidence before the
    Coroner clearly indicates the concerns Alan Bristol had about those
    charges and the state in which he appeared at his home at
    approximately 2.10pm on 4.2.94 shortly after a meeting with his
    solicitors and a visit to an old friend.

    What he did later that night may not be thought to be violence or
    assault of the type commonly found in domestic situations. It was not
    of the same type of violence alleged by Christine Bristol to have
    been committed against her. In effect however it was the ultimate
    violence. It appears that Alan Bristol was worried out of his mind and
    for reasons best known to himself – which one can only guess at –
    decided to take his own life and to take those of his three children
    also. There was nothing before the Court which could have alerted it
    to the possibility of Alan Bristol acting as he did.

    It might be suggested that had Alan Bristol not assaulted Christine
    Bristol on 2.2.94 and thus been charged with assaults then he would
    not or might not have become worried out of his mind and done what
    he did. But from the court’s perspective, Christine Bristol had
    withdrawn by consent on 1.11.93 all domestic protection applications
    then before the court. In any event it was not reasonably foreseeable
    that even if Alan Bristol were to assault his wife and be charged
    before the Court that that would cause him to act as he did and to
    take his and the children’s lives. If he were to vent his anger on
    anyone it would surely be more likely to be on Christine Bristol.


    I commenced this section of my report by considering whether the
    deaths in this case could have been preventable by any action of the
    court. My conclusion is that under the law as it presently is and with
    the current practices of the Family Court the deaths in the
    circumstances of this case were not foreseeable and were not

    They were not preventable simply because the law and practices did
    not deal with a situation where a parent, although he had allegedly
    been violent to his spouse was otherwise e-regarded bar II whorls alts- w, ,
    with him including ‘ s children and there was no requirement of the c-
    law or practice of the Court that it should investigate his fitness to do -i-
    so when faced with an application to make the orders sought by

    But that conclusion goes only part way to answering the question
    posed earlier or whether there is any need for any change in the law
    or in Family Court practice.

    The conclusion gives rise to the further question of whether had the
    law and practices been different might the deaths have been
    preventable – with the consequence that the law and practices should
    now be changed so as to avoid possible repetitions of the events of
    the Bristol case in the future. Whether such changes should be
    made is in my view dependent upon there being a willingness of
    society to recognise the seriousness of domestic violence and to be
    prepared to adopt a quite different philosophical approach to dealing
    with it.

    The present law and practices are adequate to deal with cases
    where domestic violence is not an issue but I believe that the
    increase of such violence over the years, the growing public
    awareness of it and the recent examples of some of the horrific
    consequences that have ensured have brought about a situation
    where there will be general approval for the law to be changed to
    provide for new rules relating to custody and access to be laid down
    to deal specifically with the person who uses violence and abuse in a
    domestic situation.


    For myself I believe that there should be changes to both the
    Domestic Proceedings Act 1982 and to the Guardianship Act 1968.

    What Changes Should be Made?

    Before I consider any changes to law or practice I propose first to consider
    what circumstances require change and then decide what changes if any
    should be made to deal with such circumstances. I do this under several

    1. Does Violence to a Spouse Indicate a Potential for Violence to

    I n my examination of the circumstances of the Bristol case and
    particularly in relation to issues of custody and access I have noticed
    that no great significance appears to have been placed upon the fact
    that Alan Bristol was alleged to have used violence to Christine
    Bristol in spite of the numerous allegations she made and the non-
    violence orders issued. It seems as though it was generally
    assumed that even although Alan Bristol might have used violence to
    his wife he had not done so to his children and that he could still be
    regarded as a suitable custodial parent for his children. It was not
    thought necessary to investigate the alleged use of violence further.
    The psychologist reporting to the Court apparently did not consider
    the matter at least it is not referred to in his report and counsel for the
    children and counsel for Christine Bristol did not raise objections on
    these grounds when various consent orders were being sought. And
    of course the matter not having been raised before it the Court did
    not raise the matter when faced in the circumstances with
    applications to make consent orders for custody. A study of reported
    decisions in domestic cases indicates that it is not uncommon for
    courts to allow a person who has been a spousal abuser to be a
    custodial parent to a child and that violence towards a spouse is
    regarded as not necessarily detrimental to being a custodial parent.
    It also appears to be a commonly held view that it takes two parties
    to create circumstances resulting in violence and abuse by one party


    to the other and to use an expression I have encountered in my
    researches – it takes two to tango.

    I have wondered how it can be accepted that a person can use
    violence to a spouse and yet so long as he has no record of violence
    or abuse to a child or children be regarded as no danger to the child
    or children if he is allowed to become the custodial parent or even
    have unsupervised access to them.

    Various studies from around the world have concluded that children
    from homes where a wife is battered are in a very high risk category
    in terms of child abuse. In a study carried out by the US Department
    of Health Education and Welfare in 1990 half the women interviewed
    related that their children had been abused by their fathers. (Bowker
    Arbitell & McFerron “on the relationship between wife beating and
    child abuse”).

    In a paper delivered to the (US) National Family Violence
    Conference in 1984 Starke & Flitcroft examined direct links between
    violence to children and violence to mothers by screening the
    medical records of abused children for indications of violence to their
    mothers. They found that “battering is the most common context for
    child abuse” and that “the battering male is the typical child abuser’.
    The same authors in a publication “Women and Children At Risk”
    (1968) found that 45% of children had mothers who had also been
    abused. A further 25% were identified as coming from families
    where there was “conflict” within the family. A similar result was
    obtained in a 1988 study conducted by the Paediatrics Department of
    Boston City Hospital. In that study 60% of mothers of child abuse
    patients had themselves been battered.

    In another study, of a volunteer sample of 1000 battered women
    Bowker, Arbitell & McFerron found that men who battered their wives
    also abused children in 70% of the families in which children were

    These findings have been replicated by research in the United
    Kingdom on child protection


    The findings recorded in the overseas literature have been mirrored
    in New Zealand. In a study carried out by the National Collective of
    Independent Women’s Refuges in 1991, of the 6668 children who
    were admitted (with their mothers) to womens refuges in 1990 50%
    had been physically (non-sexually) abused: 12% had been sexually
    abused: 80% had been verbally abused and 80% had experienced
    other forms of abuse, isolation, intimidation and neglect. So far as
    weapons were concerned 72.5% of children had fists used against
    them: 22.5% guns: 17.5% knives: 17.5% bottles: 30% by burning
    cigarettes and 42.5% had been abused by other weapons, including
    belts, sticks, cattle prods and stove elements.

    n the recent “High Profiles” child homicide cases (Ratima children,
    the Poli children, Craig Manakau, Delcelia Witika) the mothers were
    all victims of spousal abuse.

    If one accepts as a generalisation that studies show that a large
    proportion of persons who use violence to or abuse their spouses
    use violence to and abuse children of the family or the relationship
    also, one must surely ask the questions:
    1. Is there a factor in the make up of a spousal abuser that he
    has the potential to abuse children also?
    2. Can one safely assume that such a spousal abuser will not
    abuse children where they are in his care after he has
    separated from his spouse?

    I do not presume to be able to identify all the possible behavioural
    factors which cause one person to use violence and to abuse another
    I n a domestic situation but surely elements of power, domination,
    control, anger and punishment must feature amongst them. There
    may in some cases be some psychiatric disorder present (probably a
    small minority) but I do not believe they are by any means the root
    cause of domestic violence.

    I believe that in the great majority of such cases the violence or
    abuse is triggered off by situations arising where circumstances give
    rise to one or more of the elements I have referred to above.


    I have not in the time available to me been able to conduct more
    detailed research into any studies which might deal with this
    particular topic nor to see whether cases in NZ throw light upon it.
    But this is a subject upon which it may be thought proper to
    commission further research.

    It does however seem to me that there is good cause to suspect that
    factors which trigger off violence in a domestic situation aimed at
    punishing a spouse when they are living together may also cause
    violence to children when the parties are living apart even though
    there was no evidence of violence to the children whilst the parties
    were living in the same household.

    Could not a situation which triggered violence when parties were
    living together also trigger violence if they are living apart if such a
    situation then arose? Is not the Bristol case an example of that?

    There was evidence of violence by Alan Bristol to Christine Bristol
    before and after separation but no evidence of violence to the
    children. An alleged episode of violence to Christine Bristol occurred
    on2.2.94 and Christine Bristol reported the matter to the police, who
    subsequently arrested Alan Bristol and charged him with two
    assaults and bailed him to appear in court to answer the charges the
    following week. The next day Alan Bristol killed the children who
    were in his custody. Why did he do so? One can only speculate.
    There was no apparent psychiatric dysfunction. What triggered his
    actions? In all probability it was something to do with his being
    arrested and charged and the anticipated effect of his being
    convicted upon his chance of obtaining custody of the children. Was
    it that Christine Bristol went to the police with the consequences that
    followed that caused him to decide to deprive her of her children?
    Was he seeking to punish her? or had he adopted the attitude – ‘If I
    can’t have the children then neither will you?” Whatever the reason
    Alan Bristol might have had for killing the children does that case
    itself not provide an example of the risk which may be involved in
    permitting children to be given into the care of or even allowing
    unsupervised access to one alleged to have used violence to his


    spouse until such time as one can be satisfied that the risk of harm
    probably no longer exists.

    know that there are those who quite rightly would argue the
    I mportance of maintaining the parental relationship between father
    and child and in allowing a father to participate to the greatest
    possible extent in the upbringing of that child but what is in the best
    interests of the child? Is it not that its safety should first be ensured
    as far as possible and then that it enjoy the development of a
    relationship with the father.

    2. Do Times of Access and Changeover Times Create Opportunities for
    Conflict and Even Violence Between Spouses?

    One of the difficult problems in the case of a broken marriage or a
    broken relationship where there are children is to make satisfactory
    arrangements for access to the non-custodial person so as to ensure
    that antagonisms are avoided at changeover times when there is
    opportunity for the former partners to meet face to face.

    Evidence placed before me indicated that in terms of NZ homicide
    statistics, domestic violence is a major cause of homicide in NZ with
    almost half (24) of the 55 deaths in 1993 a result of such violence.
    As well it was said that approximately 80% of assaults attended by
    police were domestic assaults and that within the domestic homicide
    statistics the highest risk occurs during access changeover times.

    A recent example of domestic homicide during an access
    changeover is found in the R v Keogan (CA unreported 29.9.93
    CA266/93) again the Bristol case is another example of conflict
    during access changeover.

    It was on Wednesday 2.2.94 that Christine Bristol whilst returning the
    children after access, claims she was assaulted by Alan Bristol and
    reported the assaults to the police with the consequences that then
    followed. In fact it may be thought that it was the alleged assault on
    that occasion, and what followed from it, that provides some insight
    into the reason for the deaths of the children.


    3. The Current Community Attitude to Domestic Violence

    I believe that the incidence of domestic violence in NZ has reached
    the point when the community as a whole recognises that drastic
    steps must be taken to protect as far as possible those persons at
    risk whether they be children or adult. Recent high profile cases
    involving domestic violence have appalled serious thinking people
    and there is agitation afoot for appropriate action to be taken to
    curtail it.

    I n considering laws relating to domestic protection and to protection
    of children in custody.and access situations I believe that they are
    inadequate to deal with the types of domestic violence that we are
    currently faced with.

    The present laws and practices dealing with domestic cases where
    violence and abuse are not factors to be considered, seem to me to
    be quite adequate.

    I n order to deal with cases involving domestic violence however a
    completely new social philosophy needs to be adopted.

    First Domestic violence must no longer be considered on the basis
    that the other spouse in some way induced or provoked the violence
    or abuse. No-one has a right to use violence to or abuse another no
    matter what the circumstances. Domestic violence must not be
    regarded less seriously than violence committed in a non domestic

    Second Penalties for violence committed in breach of non
    violence orders and non-molestation orders should equate with
    penalties for assaults under the Crimes Act.

    Whilst I do not believe that deterrence will of itself be sufficient, it
    must be considered as one factor. A major improvement will only be
    brought about by such things as anger training and by education
    aimed at showing young people that violence is not an acceptable


    form of conduct. I wonder how many children witnessing violence in
    the home come to believe that such is acceptable as the norm. One
    only has to recall the numbers of young people brought before the
    courts charged with offences of violence for whom the plea in
    mitigation is often made that they came from a broken home and
    were themselves subjected to violence in their home environment.
    They would likely carry their notions of violent conduct into their own
    domestic situation. That cylce of violence must be broken.

    Third There should be stricter enforcement or laws relating to
    domestic violence.

    Fourth In the areas of custody of and access to children, once a
    person has been shown to have used violence in a domestic
    situation either to his spouse or to a child or to both, then such
    person should be presumed (unless exceptional circumstances are
    shown to exist for deciding to the contrary) to be unsuitable either to
    have custody or unsupervised access to the child until such time as
    such person can establish that it is safe for the child to be given into
    his/her custody or for him/her to have unsupervised access to that

    Fifth It should be recognised that there are danger periods during
    access arrangements when persons one of whom has been
    subjected to violence by the other are required to meet at
    changeover time. Ideally I suppose children should be delivered and
    collected by an independent person or the delivery and collection
    should be supervised by an independent person. There may be
    occasions where that person is a family member but that is not an
    i deal situation as it would depend on the availability of the family
    member from time to time and further there may arise friction
    between that member and the person to whom or from whom the
    child is to be delivered or collected.

    A social service officer would appear to be the ideal person.
    Whether such would be feasible – I have not had time to investigate.


    Sixth Where access to a child is granted to a person shown to have
    used violence in a domestic situation, it should initially be supervised
    access until such time as that person can show that it would be safe
    for the child to allow that access to be unsupervised. The violent
    person, who has been shown to have used violence to his spouse
    may well prove to be a good parent who can safely care for the child.
    But he should first satisfy a court that such is so before he can be
    given the opportunity to have the child in his uncontrolled care.

    It would be hoped that the adoption of the principles referred to
    above would go some way to deterring domestic violence first by
    reason of the heavier penalties suggested and secondly by sounding
    a warning to would be abusers in a domestic situation that violent
    conduct could make it difficult for them to have free control and
    access to any child should the parties separate and questions of
    custody and access become issues before the Court.

    It may be thought by some that adoption of the foregoing principles
    would be too hard on the violent spouse or that they would deprive a
    child of the opportunity of benefiting from a close relationship with his
    or her parent. However I see no middle course which could be
    adopted if we are to try seriously to reduce the amount of domestic
    violence we are experiencing in this country and to protect those
    persons that society deems in need of protection.

    I recognise that there are strong views held that a child should not be
    deprived of one parent. A recent decision of the Family Court
    illustrates this:

    ‘The approach is prescribed by law and that is that the welfare of the
    children is of paramount concern. While the man is a poor partner if
    he is a good parent it would be wrong to deprive the children of the
    father as a matter of moral condemnation of him in respect of his
    conduct towards his partner. Moreover, once the parties have
    separated, the problem of violence occurring in front of the children
    may no longer be present. The focus is on the children. All the facts
    need to be considered. It is usually in the interests of the children to


    have access to both parents. It is a dramatic thing and an extremist
    thing, to deprive the children of one parent.”

    I n another statement the Court said:
    “Now that it is accepted that the marriage is finished the real
    question is the quality of the parenting each of these people will be
    able to offer in the future. As I have already indicated there has been
    no suggestion that the father’s qualities as a parent should be judged
    by the events between the husband and the wife which led to the
    recent crisis.”

    have no great quarrel with the opinions so expressed except to say
    that the question of the safety of the children if given into the care of
    a violent parent (albeit violent to the other party only) is not really
    addressed by the Court. The existing laws governing this topic were
    enacted before cases of violence had grown to the numbers being
    experienced today. Possibly there are more cases now coming to
    public notice. I do not know. It seems to be assumed that if one
    party has shown violence to the other party only – then he is still a
    suitable person to be given the care of a child or children. In many
    cases he may be. But I think in order to provide a greater element of
    safety for the child he should be presumed not to be so until he
    satisfies a court to the contrary. If one accepts the possibility, even
    in a small proportion of cases that a person using violence to his
    spouse may when the parties are separated if the right trigger to do
    so exists also use violence to a child, then persons who have used
    domestic violence to a spouse should be screened, as it were, by
    being required to satisfy a court that it is safe to be given custody of
    the child or unsupervised access to the child.

    Seventh The Family Proceedings Act 1980 s.170 empowers a
    court to make orders by consent. Many orders were made by
    consent in the Bristol case. This is in line with the philosophy behind
    the practices and procedures of the Family Court. However where
    there have been allegations of domestic violence or where such has
    been shown to have occurred I believe that all persons involved in
    Family Court proceedings – the parties, their counsel, counsel for the
    child – psychologists, counsellors and other disciplines reporting to


    the court should be required specifically to take into account such
    violence and the safety of the child when considering whether or not
    the Court should be asked to make consent orders.

    Evidence given before me has indicated that it is not uncommon for
    parties who have been subjected to violence may be overborne by
    the conduct of their partner to the extent that a consent given in a
    domestic proceeding may not be given freely and of the persons own
    volition. It is often given after a bargaining session – you agree to
    this and I will agree to that.

    What Changes in the Law are Suggested?

    I do not intend to act as a draftsman and draft suggested law
    changes but simply to indicate the nature of the suggested law
    changes themselves. They are:

    1. Penalties for breach of non-violence orders and non-violence
    orders should be increased to indicate the seriousness with
    which the law regards such breaches.

    2. Where proceedings come before the court relating to the
    custody of and/or access to any child and allegations of
    violence and/or abuse in a domestic relationship are made the
    court shall forthwith satisfy itself whether they are true or not.

    3. The Guardianship Act 1968 s.23 provides that “welfare of a
    child is paramount”. There should be incorporated a
    presumption that a parent who has used violence or to a child
    i n a domestic situation is not to be regarded as a fit and proper
    person to have custody of/or unsupervised access to that child.
    However such presumption may be rebutted at any time if
    such parent satisfies the court that it is safe for the child to be
    entrusted into his care or if there are established exceptional
    circumstances which require the child to be given into that
    parents care. (A case of exceptional circumstances may arise
    if for example the other parent is living in a situation which
    gives adequate protection for the safety of the child.)

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Tue 21st February 2012 @ 10:49 pm

  73. Thank you Murray, that very biased piece from Waikato university (Neville Robinson) is also interesting!

    Comment by Gwaihir — Tue 21st February 2012 @ 10:55 pm

  74. Interesting, or just sad in what it says about the authors?

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Tue 21st February 2012 @ 11:30 pm

  75. A sign being used at the ports of Auckland Protest reads
    Random Hours = Dead Dads
    It is a very real concern that male dominated industries do not produce an adequate wage. Not because the man is still the bread winner of the family but because he can be traded for the DPB. It is a conflict of policy in the current government which, as it states is trying to reduce the numbers of women on the DPB, yet it supports the ports of Auckland move to more productivity. This is no small dispute; it is being watched with interest around the world. This same story goes back a long way. In the 19th century most enterprise and development was privately owned and initiated, less government and laissez-faire was very much the policy of the day, except in New Zealand. The world watched with interest as more government and unions and an arbitration system unfolded in the social laboratory. In fact the concept was enthusiastically greeted in America with the publication of a book called, A Country Without Strikes Interestingly New Zealand is often held aloft for its contribution to women’s rights, but not for its contribution to the rights of men and their families. Once again we are seeing the hard work of our forebears trodden on by private enterprise. But hang on aren’t the ports owned by the council, the centre of our community?

    Comment by Down Under — Mon 12th March 2012 @ 3:17 pm

  76. Or more simply, more fatherless children. The example I saw today, if a ship was due to arrive at 2am water.siders had to be there to load/unload. Its called turnaround time. Now facts of the Rena’s grounding emerge, was this pressure to turn around ships figuring? How long will it be before there is another death? Bet the real cause (Stress and exhaustion) is glossed over.

    Comment by Gwaihir — Mon 12th March 2012 @ 3:29 pm

  77. At the link below ( is a great interview with Wendy McElroy relating our economic circumstances and feminism. I have been promoting more discussion of this relationship and dollarcollapse finally got to it.

    Economists like Doug Casey have made indirect reference to relationship between the two (like when he mentioned that suicide of Thomas Ball is a very important symptom of our economic problems), but few have made a direct connection.

    For those of you not familiar with Wendy, she is a popular feminist author but has objected openly about its abuses, especially with regards to false rape allegations, divorce and child support and the general culture of chronic victimhood defining feminism.

    All the best.

    Comment by Darryl X — Tue 13th March 2012 @ 3:53 am

  78. @ Darryl X. Dollar-collapse. Well surely that is because our Governments have been replaced with Givehermints.

    Comment by Down Under — Tue 13th March 2012 @ 4:22 pm

  79. @Down Under – LOL

    Comment by Darryl X — Wed 14th March 2012 @ 8:38 am

  80. @Murray Bacon re #57 – “…why, despite the goings on in familycaught, that the public hasn’t demanded changes earlier?”

    Because so much of the public benefits or profits in some way. It’s that sick.

    Comment by Darryl X — Wed 14th March 2012 @ 8:43 am

  81. @Darryl X. I don’t think it is that simple? I think you are missing at least two important points, and you do a disservice to men by getting into the blame game rather than providing good analysis.
    First is the perception of a court. He went to court, there must be something wrong. Courts historically and even now still deal with mostly men rather than women. The perception arises even in the family court – albeit a civil court – that the woman is the witness and the man is the offender. The media tends to report mostly criminal cases so the public doesn’t differentiate between civil and criminal courts. This makes it easy for the media to sell the victim status of women. I call it the broken wing effect.
    The second is who benefits. The public doesn’t. A small collective of pro family court participants benefit. The public at large doesn’t benefit. If you measure the results of family court cases on revenue streams back to the state, it is a negative equation. It is actually costing the state to benefit a female section of society who aggressively pursues men in the family court. Normally people wouldn’t behave like this; they would sit down and do the sums, and deal with reality. This is not what is happening and what we are seeing is a tolerance of negative impacts on an economy because we are not reigning in recalcitrant females. Dealing with the economic failings of feminism is a huge subject but it won’t be progressed by blaming the ‘the public.’

    Comment by Down Under — Wed 14th March 2012 @ 4:49 pm

  82. Dear Darryl, I agree strongly with Down Under. I would add that visibility is an important issue. We may see thousands of suicides, but what caused them? The solution is not readily visible to most of their families, let alone distant members of the public. Government statistics show who is committing suicide, but fail to shed much light on why? Even parents and children of the suicidee cannot access their familycaught$ records, so even the people with the strongest right to know, in practical terms are denied access. This certainly serves to protect the guilty, the traitors among us.

    Most of the downstream costs of familycaught$ are not easily linked back to their causes.

    The list of problems is quite long: fatherlessness, teenage pregnancies, poor discipline, crime, failure to protect children from neglect by their parents, poor allocation of Government benefits eg paying too high wages to judges so that they get lazy, poor child protection decisions in familycaught$, poor custody decisions, manipulation of relationship property decisions to pressure parents to long drawn out fights in caught, misrepresentation of familycaught$ to the public….

    If our society wants to improve the quality of services to families, among these services familycaught$, then a large amount of evaluation work is required. This amount of work is larger than Government will want to commit to.

    The only workable solution, is to unhide the raw information and allow or force all citizens to share in the evaluation work. In an open marketplace, customers are almost forced to shop around, for price, for quality of service, for low rate of driving suicides among their customers. Then let each customer make their own well informed decision. Let people pass on recommendations of who is good or warnings of who is too hungry on price or too lazy to deliver good work.

    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Wed 14th March 2012 @ 8:07 pm

  83. @ Down Under and Murray Bacon – I agree with both of you 100%. Please forgive my lack of analysis. You are spot on. However, let me elaborate on my last comment.

    The reason I wrote that the public is to blame (in part) is this: At least in the US to a great degree and certainly to a degree in other countries (although maybe less in some than the US), the public benefits from fatherless children (at least in the most short-sighted way) and from the suicide of fathers and politicians pander to the majority for votes.

    When a father is falsely accused of domestic violence or child abuse or rape or whatever in the US and loses custody of his children and is forced to pay child support in great excess of his means and is forced into poverty, there are important benefits to others.

    The father in approximately half the instances is not eligible for any public assistance, including unemployment, food stamps, housing voucher, medicaid or social security (among others) because he will never be able to pay off the child support in his life time (or if he did, the excess he pays is more than any public assistance he would ever receive). These have all been safety nets for people who have been disadvantaged somehow, whether by their own fault or not.

    What has happened in the US at least is that fathers who lose custody of their children are no longer provided that safety net. That’s bad enough. Many of these fathers are responsible men who made there own way in the world, worked hard and served their communities.

    But it’s worse than that because the resources that should be afforded those fathers in hard times but are denied them are given to someone else because now there are more resources to give and give more to someone else. By denying fathers the safety net and giving it to someone else, the politicians can get more votes. Of course, the reason fathers are such targets is because they are men and they can be falsely accused of all sorts of crimes and either no one well care or everyone will believe the accusations. I have met many people who have actually explained to me (so they know) that by depriving a hard-working and honest man (father) these safety nets, they get more. So they vote for the politician who will take the safety net away from fathers and give it to someone else more shiftless, lazy and irresponsible.

    I owe so much child support that I will never be able to retire and collect any social security. If I can’t collect it, then that money is available for politicians to give to someone else. Like women. At the same time, I don’t make enough money to live and all the child support and federal subsidies attached to them are available for someone else’s public assistance (only a small fraction of the child support I pay actually goes to my children). The rest goes to the mother and other people (our public) to support their excessive lifestyles while I live in poverty.

    In our current economy, those who are willing to take on huge amounts of debts (whether they need to or not – say a yacht versus necessary surgery) benefit more than someone who saves and invests his money responsibly. It used to be that those who went into debt for things they did not need paid a steep price and those who saved and invested in the future were rewarded for their sacrifice and responsibility. Today it is just the opposite.

    Warren Buffet is not the first or only economist to observe that many responsible people will be paying for the irresponsibility of others. Fathers who have lost custody of their children are just one of those responsible demographics who will be paying for everyone else.

    So, when a father who has lost his children and owes so much child support that he cannot live above the threshold for poverty ever and is ineligible for public assistance of any kind kills himself, the public does not have to afford him ANYthing (let alone public assistance). He is not contributing to overpopulation or strain on our water supply or anything like that. The public benefits. Some are consciously aware of this effect of eliminating fathers. It’s a kind of genocide.

    Now, of course, I don’t need to explain to any of you what the consequences of these developments are. In the long term, they are disasterous. But in our short-sighted and narcissistic culture, no one is thinking that far ahead. They’re just thinking about what’s in it for them in the short term.

    So, I do blame the public, in part. And I think that blame is justified. Our governments are robbing Peter to pay Paul in exchange for Paul’s vote and political power and influence. The government is snatching children and holding them hostage for ransom and exchanging part of that ransom with various special interest groups (including feminists and the divorce industry, retired people, among many others) for political power and influence.

    Also, public does not have to share its collective resources with the fathers anymore. And if the father dies as a direct result of their persecution of him (either by suicide or because he was denied needed medical care or because of exposure on the street or violence in prison) they still benefit. The public has created so many layers by which it benefits from persecuting fathers that it doesn’t matter what happens, the public gains and the fathers lose (and their children lose too but whose thinking about them).

    And that is why there is so much disagreement in the US about jailing fathers who owe child support. Much of our public is stupid and wants these men punished for their egregious crime of not being able to support their children to excess in compliance with expectations by bureaucrats who can’t do simple math. But some recognize that these fathers cost the public while they are in jail more than if they are dead. So, the argument has nothing to do with Constitutional rights of the fathers or best interests of children but with how best to exploit fathers and their children for excessive lifestyles of the public. It really is that sick.

    Actually, it is pretty simple. And evil. Which is why I’m always so disappointed that more people do not do the little they need to and stop it. I agree that no one is tracking the long term costs. I think my analysis has considered the long term costs more thoroughly and with more sophisitication than most.

    Comment by Darryl X — Thu 15th March 2012 @ 12:23 am

  84. Dear Darryl, I agree with what you are saying. I put it down to excessive trust in Government wisdom, apathy and the situation being unbelievable, so they don’t believe it, until it strikes very close to home. This unbelievability is also why this situation is such a powerful suicide driver.

    This is quite similar to the dynamic of women understanding what denying access between children and their father is about [who did it themself], when they cannot see their grandchildren because their daughter in law is doing it to their son. Suddenly, they cannot see their grandchildren.

    Dare they complain?
    Dare they be silent?

    We need to go right through our Social Security and redesign it to avoid perverse incentives. This also involves rethink about prosecution for social security fraud, such as judges spinning out hearings to get more income for legal-workers.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Thu 15th March 2012 @ 5:53 am

  85. @Darryl X #83. I have to disagree with you again. First I think there needs to be a separation of the manner in which we approach these arguments.
    “Many of these fathers are responsible men who made [their] own way in the world, worked hard and served their communities”.
    That is an emotive argument, as is
    “forced to pay child support in great excess of his means and is forced into poverty, there are important benefits to others”
    They are also self-excluding arguments. I can accept that a father’s perception is one of being excluded from society. Resenting the injustice and blaming ‘the public’ everyone who is NOT a father in this position is not good.
    The argument alienates the proposer which as you say is exactly what ‘some people’ want.
    “He is not contributing to overpopulation or strain on our water supply or anything like that.”
    This is a self sacrificial argument.
    What you have said here is one less water user “the public benefits.”
    The Public is all of us, the community in general. As a member of the public I or you are equally entitled to sufficient water to sustain life, we all are. If there is a cost to be accounted for, in providing water, the cost to each person is a fraction of their economic output. Economy of scale dictates that the more that participate the lower that fractional cost. If you have a non participating father, whether that is through suicide, disinterest, illness, absence (left the country) or in jail, it is a cost to the public – non participating men are a cost factor in any economic equation.
    The expectation is that men will comply. Remove the safety net, threaten sanctions and punishment. This is slavery -all you have to do is shut up and work. This is also not in the public interest. Historically, slave societies that do not have an effective breeding programme are short lived. There is a continual need for new slaves which is not being provided by our next generation in western societies.
    If you look at a man as an economic unit when he is continually removed, non participation as I mentioned above. In a healthy economy the initial impact is negligible – we can cope with normal attrition. Economic structures are not designed to cope with adverse attrition, e.g. epidemics or disasters. The effect of child support on an economy has not only adverse attrition but also intergenerational consequences. When you combine these negative inputs, there are negative outcomes for an economy and ‘the public,’ all of us. The combined negative effects of child support legislation internationally would dwarf the cost of the Japanese Tsunami and nuclear disaster, however there appears to be an irrational stumbling block when it comes to economists and child support.
    We are all familiar with the deadbeat dad argument. It is an emotive argument not a constructive economic argument. It is not good to answer a moronic feminist emotive argument with an unconstructive emotive male argument – this is not in the ‘public interest.’
    The second wave of feminism is not in the ‘public interest’ however when we do receive support from the third wave (the radical new age feminist) who says “we are being too hard on our men!” It is another emotive argument. That’s nice; we always wanted sympathy – God I don’t want to sound ungrateful for small mercies, but here are three waves back. It hasn’t addressed the economic equation.
    Fathers are not being exploited for the lifestyles of ‘the public.’ Males have lost their constitutional and human rights. This has changed the quality of life of some men and the future outcomes for their children. The financial degradation of those men is funding the uneconomic advancement of a feminist society. That is not in the Public Interest it is the pecuniary interest of a small sector of society.
    That can be divided into three categories. Those directly employed in the Family courts. Those who gain a pecuniary advantage from said court. Those who are employed in fallacal positions that do not benefit society – if they weren’t doing this they would be doing something else. It is not in the public interest to allow these positions to exist, or the situation to continue when they deliver a negative impact on society. We could build a leaking pesticide factory in the middle of New York. Some people would work there, but it wouldn’t be in the public interest.
    In conclusion I believe it is necessary to separate the economic and emotive arguments and to include ourselves in the equation rather than appear to be throwing rocks from outside. Darryl at this point I am quite sure you’ll be sitting there saying – that’s what I just said. The question I would ask is what would another member of the public think?
    This doesn’t mean individuals shouldn’t have a personal grumble, state their individual cases, which are important information, and important evidence. When we step from individual to observer debater promoter, we are not trying to relate to this sector of the public that does understand, but that which doesn’t.

    Comment by Down Under — Thu 15th March 2012 @ 10:06 am

  86. @ Murray Bacon re # 85 – Yes, I think I just said that – LOL.

    But dead men don’t use water (and this is just one of many examples) so in times of water shortage and overpopulation the fewer users there are the more there is and the less shortage for everyone. There is no benefit concerning access to water if there are more users but fewer.

    Also, feminists are not a small minority but a large majority.

    I disagree that “fathers are not being exploited for the lifestyles of the public”. Of course they are. Child support is being used to fund the excesses of the public.

    Am I missing something? Fathers who are educated and hard-working and responsible generally have more resources to steal and are more vulnerable to false allegations that can be used as excuses to steal from them. Of course, as they are robbed, it sets a bad example for other young men who are then discouraged from pursuing educations and jobs and being responsible.

    “If you look at a man as an economic unit when he is continually removed, non participation as I mentioned above. In a healthy economy the initial impact is negligible – we can cope with normal attrition. Economic structures are not designed to cope with adverse attrition, e.g. epidemics or disasters. The effect of child support on an economy has not only adverse attrition but also intergenerational consequences. When you combine these negative inputs, there are negative outcomes for an economy and ‘the public,’ all of us. The combined negative effects of child support legislation internationally would dwarf the cost of the Japanese Tsunami and nuclear disaster, however there appears to be an irrational stumbling block when it comes to economists and child support.” – No disagreement from me. You’re spot on.

    “As a member of the public I or you are equally entitled to sufficient water to sustain life, we all are.” This is not the case. As a non-custodial father who owes child support, I have been excluded from the water supply (think wildebeasts around a watering hole) as I have been excluded from medical care and many other necessities for survival. In the Bible, this would be the plank versus the twig argument (I’m not going to explain it because it would take too long). But the essence is that the public has pointed at the eyes of the father and hollered plank when it’s really a twig and ignored the plank in their own eyes. Meaning that the public which are comprised mostly of chronic debtors funding their excessive lifestyles has pointed at the responsible father who denied himself debt and cried plank when it’s really a twig (responsible with no debt) but ignored the plank in their own eyes (excessive debt and lifestyles) and now they use this excuse to burden the father to pay for their own excesses. And holding his children hostage to do it. This is a typical expression of malignant narcissism.

    “The financial degradation of those men is funding the uneconomic advancement of a feminist society.” I don’t know but maybe we’re writing past one another. The financial degradation of those men IS funding the uneconomic advancement AND the economic advancement (at least in the short term) of a feminist society. I think you and I agree that the benefits are VERY short-sighted though. And long-term consequences are catastrophic.

    I didn’t think my arguments were emotive in the least. I thought they were very practical. Our economy and most of the people who participate in it are driven by huge debts and what if the long-term consequences of that lifestyle could be off-set by sacrificing or exterminating men. I don’t believe this but lots of people do I think.

    Comment by Darryl X — Fri 16th March 2012 @ 12:30 am

  87. @Darryl X #86, I am not sure if you are suggesting Murray and I am the same person, we’re not.
    Let me put it this way. When I expressed an economic argument you agreed with me. Where we are talking past each other is when you express a discrimination argument or a law and justice argument disguised as an economic argument. I understand what you are saying, because I understand the situation. If you say to Joe public – my position is your fault – they will deny the accusation, simply through a lack of understanding. You don’t need to convince me, I already agree with you.
    In a similar way brining forth religious arguments will preach to the converted. They are moral arguments from a sacred society. Today, like it or not, we live in a world of the individual, which deals in the ethics of the secular society.
    Yes, I know there is a narrow line between morals and ethics, but not in current perception – which see morals as derived from a structured belief and ethics as a common understanding of thinking individuals. To me it is a bit like reading old English from the 13th Century – hard to make sense of. In the last 50 years we have seen a rapid development in language and perceptions.
    We need to speak the current dialect, particularly in want to relate to the younger generation.

    Comment by Down Under — Fri 16th March 2012 @ 8:40 am

  88. Darryl, I think we are the same person, but don’t annoy Down Under about this. Its only an awareness issue. He will get used to it, in the end! It took me a long time too.

    You are suggesting that the public are consciously (with awareness), taking advantage of fathers. I suggest that it is largely without awareness and also it is mixing up different father’s situations, that is fathers who decamp to escape their responsibilities and fathers who have always honoured their responsibilities.

    I “enjoyed” listening to judge green [later trading under the name clarkson, now retried], who communicated to me that in previous hearings she hadn’t done as much for the woman as she wanted and thus she was going to do as much as she could in my ex-wife and I’s hearing. Her communication said this as clearly, as if she had it printed on a placard and held it up. I was astonished, as I didn’t see how this would help come to a just, practical outcome that would respect all of the parties involved, including our children?

    On the contrary, to have previous case frustrations form an element in the decision making in our case, seemed to me to be a form of prejudice and non-optimum decision making. I have since heard other litigants make similar comments about other “judges” too. Thus, it seems that this form of decision making is fairly common.

    When the public make their decisions by mixing information from different cases, they are usually unaware of what they are doing. It would take a lot of time and effort for them to separate these issues out and make more valuable decisions and this additional effort is usually not going to be put in, when the alternative uses of time are work, relaxation, socialising, exercise……….

    While fathers are generalised to be irresponsible, rich, powerful, then there is little care for father’s rights to a fair trial, to natural justice. If they are depersonalised, then it is easy for shallow greedy people to self-justify cheating them, or abusing them. Unfortunately, there is some truth in both types of fathers, so this makes it very difficult to get any sympathy for the responsible fathers.

    It is difficult to draw people’s attention to these issues, as none of us enjoy having our shortcomings pointed out. My experience of trying to open people’s eyes to such prejudice, is that they have got bored and left, before I had got 1/4 of the way through the explanation…..

    Advocating for your own interest, in public, is ok if you have public sympathy. At present, women/mothers have public sympathy, but I suspect that this is eroding, under the increasing public awareness of benefit fraud, child neglect, child abuse carried out by mothers. This awareness seems to take 25 years to build up and about the same to ebb away. Unfortunately, the public sympathy is very slow to respond to changes in reality. I suspect that maybe we are in for 25 years of sympathy for fathers, to the point of it going too far.

    Presently, often women can advocate more effectively for men, than they can for themselves, mothers, grandmothers, second wives, daughters…..

    Down Under is drawing your attention to the difficulty of advocating for yourself, in the wider world when it has little or no sympathy.

    NZ has a somewhat different child support system to USA. The rates are set much higher (I believe?), but are adjusted up or down as income changes (though IRD are playing more games than they used to in this area). However, in USA, if there is a drop in income this generally isn’t seen as a reason to change the child support award, resulting in sometimes very harsh situations.

    To me the fundamental stupidity is seeing fathers as only offering finances for the child. Child protection knowledge shows that in many parenting relationships, fathers play an important role, to protect the children from personality disorders in the mother (same is true the other way too in many cases). Surely what is sensibly required, is that both parents contribute towards the care of the children, in time, skills, wider family relationships, resources and finances. (Thus the financial contributions from mother and father should be based on their household incomes.)

    I think that Darryl and Down Under are talking past each other, partly due to the different styles of child support in each country, but I am not going to suggest they are the same person.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Fri 16th March 2012 @ 7:51 pm

  89. OMG, we are all the same person. No, not really. Men are too independent than to think and speak and promote ourselves with any autonomy. I think one could argue that women are all the same person but one with multiple personalities or an identity disorder – LOL.

    “NZ has a somewhat different child support system to USA. The rates are set much higher (I believe?), but are adjusted up or down as income changes (though IRD are playing more games than they used to in this area). However, in USA, if there is a drop in income this generally isn’t seen as a reason to change the child support award, resulting in sometimes very harsh situations.”

    Yes I agree but these differences are symptoms of the same fundamental problems presented by feminism. I like my arguments to emphasize not the symptoms but the fundamental problems. It’s hard to do that because as oblvious as most people are to the symptoms, they are even more oblivious of the fundamenal problems.

    We do disagree about the public and whether or not it is conscious of its extreme prejudice and discrimination against fathers and men in general. Although I am receptive to the argument that the public lacks sufficient analytical skills to be conscious of its prejudice and discrimination, I believe that it has a choice to exercise those skills and doesn’t. So, I guess you can argue both ways, that the public is conscious or not of its participation in misandry. But I prefer to hold them accountable. If they don’t do what they do consciously, then they are still responsible. There’s no excuse. Describing the public as not conscious of their evil behavior is like excusing it. And I will not excuse it.

    Comment by Darryl X — Sat 17th March 2012 @ 12:29 am

  90. Dear Darryl, I like to test viewpoints, by lifting them up from the situation presently of interest and drop them onto other roughly similar situations, but rotated around, or maybe back in time too.

    Taking your frustration about treatment of men today, lets compare it to treatment of single young women who became pregnant 20, 30, 40, 100, 200 years ago. There are many women alive today, who have been through the condemnation and lack of support. I am not sure how much time you have spent with them, listening to their own version of history? Usually, you have to show a degree of awareness, before they will open up. It is very easy to miss the opportunity to learn, if you haven’t already made the first steps.

    Was this lack of support justified? Did the young woman have a right to be supported so that she could bring up the child “alone”? Even if she had sufficient financial support, was she able to reliably parent the child to adulthood alone? [The answer to this question was guessed at, but not known by statistics until about 1980.] Did the child have a right to a better family life, than the single mother could provide on her own? Would it be alone, or would the child just be absorbed into the mothers family?

    We could also look at racial prejudice, in USA or in NZ, or in Germany. Religious prejudice also has a long history…. Treatment of people with mental health problems is an ongoing issue in our society….

    The time period for the emotional realities to be widely understood, is rarely under 25 tears. Racial prejudice has taken hundreds of years to quieten down, but isn’t dead yet.

    OK, so understanding is scarily slow. But decisions require understanding of all of the realistic alternatives. This is where slow comes into its own.

    Having said that, generally people are becoming more willing to discuss their private feelings and frustrations, even where this might bring huge condemnation down on themselves. It is easier to shoot the messenger, than to listen to them.

    Besides, their own conduct may have contributed to the outcome, are they declaring their own responsibility?
    Are they decrying their own responsibility, because they didn’t know about something, or didn’t listen to warnings?

    Through electronic communications, people of like interests can discuss, even across a city, or different continents. Its not just communications, but being able to find and connect to a few people out of billions. So there is a lot of hope. The price of hallucinogenic drugs is dropping!

    We now can use more sensitive methods of measuring emotional trauma. Suicide rates can tell us the degree of trauma, as seen by the most vulnerable groups. Migrations also indicate the degree of acceptability of the social pressures.

    My own guess, is that present pressures on men are low to medium, compared to past pressures on pregnant young single women, or racial prejudice in USA or pre WW2 Germany. I am not making light, but trying to have a wider perspective. We can also look at how long positive change took to complete and the factors that aided or hindered positive change.

    When considering the public’s analytical skills, you are assuming that there is a sensible solution waiting to be found. In a greedier society, it is more difficult to get everyone to the happy point. (Reality is a crutch for people who can’t handle drugs.) If two parents hope to maintain a similar lifestyle, but separated, then a huge increase in income would be required. Where could this come from? What would the consequences be for the children?

    Quick application of analytical skills requires first the identification of several sensible alternatives, preferable many. If the expectations are un-meetable, then we don’t really have any workable alternatives to choose from, at all!

    If the public are weak at identifying and analysing options, in the longer run they are good at weighing them ethically and in fairness. Trouble is, by the time they have caught up, the underlying situation has probably changed………

    “We do disagree about the public and whether or not it is conscious of its extreme prejudice and discrimination against fathers and men in general. Although I am receptive to the argument that the public lacks sufficient analytical skills to be conscious of its prejudice and discrimination, I believe that it has a choice to exercise those skills and doesn’t. So, I guess you can argue both ways, that the public is conscious or not of its participation in misandry. But I prefer to hold them accountable. If they don’t do what they do consciously, then they are still responsible. There’s no excuse. Describing the public as not conscious of their evil behavior is like excusing it. And I will not excuse it.”

    While you have a harsh attitude of blame, I suspect that you will alienate neutral observors and only be able to communicate with people already sympathetic. So, we are just one person!

    If you want to change public perceptions and behaviours, you need to persuade the unsympathetic, the other person, maybe even the enemy…

    MurrayBacon – sympathetic axe murderer.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sat 17th March 2012 @ 7:13 am

  91. Wow! Great piece, MB.

    “Taking your frustration about treatment of men today, lets compare it to treatment of single young women who became pregnant 20, 30, 40, 100, 200 years ago. There are many women alive today, who have been through the condemnation and lack of support. I am not sure how much time you have spent with them, listening to their own version of history? Usually, you have to show a degree of awareness, before they will open up. It is very easy to miss the opportunity to learn, if you haven’t already made the first steps.

    “Was this lack of support justified? Did the young woman have a right to be supported so that she could bring up the child ‘alone’? Even if she had sufficient financial support, was she able to reliably parent the child to adulthood alone? [The answer to this question was guessed at, but not known by statistics until about 1980.] Did the child have a right to a better family life, than the single mother could provide on her own? Would it be alone, or would the child just be absorbed into the mothers family?”

    I agree that it is always a good idea to juxtapose circumstances upon one another and sit down and eat a bag of salt with someone. I seldom judge but when I do it is only after this excruciating effort. I am unsympathetic to these women about which you write as almost all chose to drive the fathers of their children from their lives in exchange for public assistance. Men did abandon women and their common children but it was and still is very rare. And often when they did it was because the mother really was so insane and destructive that he had to abandon her and the children. Many times he took the children with him but many more he was not allowed to.

    “My own guess, is that present pressures on men are low to medium, compared to past pressures on pregnant young single women, or racial prejudice in USA or pre WW2 Germany. I am not making light, but trying to have a wider perspective. We can also look at how long positive change took to complete and the factors that aided or hindered positive change.”

    I disagree with this conclusion. Pressures on men are extremely high. Their children are snatched and held hostage for ransom. The ransom is exchanged by women for poltitical power and influence. The men are enslaved because their labor is forced under threat of prison (at least in the US). If they are unable to pay the ransom they will be imprisoned. These are real practical problems men face today. Emotions are irrelevant. Only practical consequences. Holding someone hostage with emotions is solipsism because as we all know women can feel whatever they will themselves to no matter how irrational it is. There have never been any past pressures on pregnant young single women because they are solely responsible for their circumstances and if they take that responsibility seriously, then generally things work out. But since they don’t do that for the most part, they are holding the children hostage for ransom with their emotions. For the most part, the consequences of their actions are exclusively emotional. The circumstances of men today are the consequences of imposition upon them by someone else for which they are not responsible and are practical and have very serious practical implications for everyone else. If women want to vote and own property and have jobs then they have to demonstrate responsibility. They have failed to do so. There are no rights without responsibilities.

    “If you want to change public perceptions and behaviours, you need to persuade the unsympathetic, the other person, maybe even the enemy”¦”

    I agree with this strategy or conclusion. Unfortunately, most of the people we aspire to pursuade do not have the capacity to learn or sit down and eat a bag of salt with someone or be pursuaded (especially if they are being bought-off by the government and discouraged from pursuasion by rational arguments). Malignant narcissists and/or psychopaths have no analytical skills. They are manipulative and opportunistic and solipsistic and parasitic and predatory. They are short-sighted and can’t plan ahead. They are irresponsible and blame others for their mistakes. They are basically three year olds but without the capacity to grow. Trying to pursuade someone who does not want to be pursuaded and is not open to other possibilities is a futile effort. Malignant narcissists and psychopaths rule over people by fear because it is all they know. Therefore, they may only be pursuaded by fear. However, any argument which can be imposed upon them concerning our dilemma is very far-sighted, and any fear that those arguments might pursuade them with is mitigated by their short-sightedness and lack of analytical skills and their predatory and parasitic and opportunistic disposition. As I’ve written before, trying to pursuade a malignant narcissist with complaint about the consequences of their actions only inspires them to do more wrong – they interpret your complaint as success of their oppression of you. Throughout history, no one has ever pursuaded leaders like the ones we currently have to do the right thing (stop trafficking and abusing children and stop enslaving fathers and other men). The only thing that has ever worked is revolution.

    “While you have a harsh attitude of blame, I suspect that you will alienate neutral observors and only be able to communicate with people already sympathetic. So, we are just one person!”

    I do not believe there are many if any neutral observers. Too many people have are invested in trafficking and abusing our children and enslaving our fathers and other men. I do not have a harsh attitude of blame. I have an objective and realistic interpretation of the motives of other people and appreciate that throughout history pursuading people motivated by greed or ego or power is never successful. We’re discussing people who are for the most part unconscionable monsters. And that unconscionable monstrosity is institutionalized in politics, law, society and finance. The problem of second-wave feminism has been plaguing men for more than forty years now and not only has the problem gotten better but it has gotten worse and continues to degenerate even today.

    I admire your optimism but I do not share it. As I’ve written before, feminism and all its machinations will likely not be destroyed by good arguments or pursuation of neutral observers but by the weight of its own decay and hubris. That’s not to say that I don’t engage people in discussion and am not afraid to speak the truth. Just that I don’t have any expectations that it will help. If so much “pursuasion” is required, then you kind of have to wonder about the nature of those whom we are trying to pursuade. It’s not rocket science. These people are evil. And if they are not convinced of their evil by their own observation, somebody pointing it out to them likely won’t help much if any. By being so stupid and evil and requiring people like me to point out the obvious mistakes they make is a form of slavery in itself. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    “If you want to change public perceptions and behaviours, you need to persuade the unsympathetic, the other person, maybe even the enemy”¦”

    My goal is not to pursuade the unsympathetic or even the enemy, but to destroy them. I just like to be able to remind them that when they are destroyed that it is by their own hand and that I told them so in advance and they didn’t listen.

    Comment by Darryl X — Sun 18th March 2012 @ 3:25 am

  92. Dear Darryl, my comments are only generalisations. I don’t know you personally and I cannot make any comment about your own situation. Also, I have noted that I believe generally child support is harsher on men in USA.

    So, thank you for your tolerance. I challenge you to keep thinking through these issues and see if your impressions change with further thought and time and listening.

    “My goal is not to pursuade the unsympathetic or even the enemy, but to destroy them.”
    Diversity is the strength and the beauty of human society, so we cannot afford to alienate, let alone destroy our enemies. Oscar Wilde suggested “Forgive your enemies, for nothing infuriates them so much”. He makes out it is a choice, but more realistically, it is just making the best of a hard situation.

    Anyway, I had better shutup and allow more space for Down Under….!

    Best regards, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sun 18th March 2012 @ 9:33 am

  93. See

    Could this be male suicide?

    Comment by Gwaihir — Sun 18th March 2012 @ 3:03 pm

  94. Dear Gwaihir, this thought sure went through my mind, especially the early morning time. It is a beautiful road, but perilous, cliff up one side and cliff down the other. I got to a locked gate and had to back along it, all around the curves. I eventually managed to do a 25 point turn and go forwards out. I was looking for iceskating, in the middle of winter, but it wasn’t frozen enough. Unless you were living out there, I cannot imagine why someone would be driving there, especially at that time of the night/morning. He obviously had a key to get through the gate, or maybe it was only locked in wintertime. Could also be drunken carelessness, chancing a suicide.
    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sun 18th March 2012 @ 4:07 pm

  95. It’s the sought of death one wonders. A local, drives the road, maybe with innocent intent. It will be unlikely to be flagged even as a possible suicide, which it could well be. It is this type of death that leads to speculation, and points at the official reluctance to investigate suicide.

    Comment by Gwaihir — Sun 18th March 2012 @ 4:43 pm

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