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

The Formation of Union of Fathers

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 10:17 am Wed 22nd July 2015

Reading through the previous post, NZ Men Fed up with the Family Court, it occurs to me that some history from a few years back may be of interest to some of the commenters.

At the time I arrived on the scene of the Family Court chaos and corruption, the North Shore Men’s Centre had already been formed. I was in Auckland, it was my point of entry, to what was happening at the time.

(Of course, that was in the dark ages, when this site didn’t exist, and Men’s Issues was a good old paper pamphlet post-out that arrived in the mailbox once a month.)

At the same time there were other groups popping up all over the country. (The I’m not putting up with this shit groups) and behind the scenes there was another set of men’s groups that maintained a select, invitation only membership, which the likes of little of moi was never privileged to be invited to, but that’s ok, I don’t think they achieved much, or I missed anything worthwhile.

There was the occasional person that managed to walk that fine line which allowed them to exist in this privileged environment, and keep contact with ‘the undesirables’ – if nothing else there was information available.

It was Jim Bailey (hailed by some and hated by others) that organised a national meeting on the North Shore, that brought about fifteen individuals and representatives of men’s groups from around the country, together in one place.

It was from that meeting that that Union of Fathers (UOF) was born.

Once formed, the organisation grew rapidly, and the names of many people who have never been mentioned here, did an amazing amount of work. There were public meetings in any place there was a dangerous judge, that’s why Napier was such an active place, (and they were well attended) and there were numerous other prongs of attack, from organised meetings with the Family Law Section to loud protests outside courts.

We were a credible organised force, with a nationwide network. We went as far as hiding men and their children in cases that were clearly out of control. That forced the then Principal Family Court Judge Patrick Mahoney into negotiating with us.

This is the stuff that never made the news, but it happened.

Here’s the bottom line. If you want to make a change, you have to get out there as a group, and just do it.

It’s never going to be resolved by discussing the prons and cons on this site.


  1. Yes that is of interest.
    I’ve seen you’ve referenced uof in other posts and I had no idea who they were. /are .
    I once googled uof to find some info but couldn’t find any.
    What years were their most active ?

    Comment by Voices back from the bush. — Wed 22nd July 2015 @ 10:43 am

  2. Quite agree. No change comes without action. As long as John Key and his corrupt cabinet prevail it will need more than a Martin Luther King to effect change. John Key and his corrupt cabinet have their heads firmly planted in the sand which explains why they’re still in NZ … plenty of sand:)

    Back in 1979 when I was battling the FC system I came across a group called Families Need Fathers. Their secretary kindly introduced me to ex parte applications and from then on I dispensed with money hungry lawyers and did all my Family Court stuff.

    Fortunately when my kids turned 16 in the early 90s and left their mother behind I ceased to be cursed with FC crap and WINZ hassling for $$$ and even better I got out before IRD took over the gestapo CGA.

    The most comical part was that in 2009 the mother who stuffed me around over access for my daughters had to take those same daughters to Court fighting for access to her grandchildren. She lost!!!

    Comment by JONO — Wed 22nd July 2015 @ 10:50 am

  3. What is referred to above occurred in a time period from 1998 to 2004.

    Comment by Downunder — Wed 22nd July 2015 @ 10:50 am

  4. UOF managed to get some success and to lock in the gains they made they were probably put into the position that they had to stop rocking the boat. They deserve credit for what they achieved, they even got media attention etc. It is probably the case that those involved have moved on as their individual issues are resolved or like many men looking at the issues we do, have become disillusioned and moved on to other things in life.

    Since then Law has slowly been eroded in regard to the rights of men. Police safety orders, evidence act changes, electronic monitoring, removing of provocation as a defence, DV statistic gathering changes by the police, etc etc.
    It is still the case that we have no Minister for Men. This inherently results in law, policy, funding, research, services that is biased against men. If no government entity is permitted to examine how the crown treats men then we have no choice but to do the job for them, even if the only resource we have is our limited personnel time.

    UOF may have had its heyday but the reality is that the issues it fought against still occur. NZBF may be an entity that will fill the void. If so we should support it in any way that we can. Presently it makes comments that is organising protests etc, but I can’t find info as to when and where. It would be an advantage to both groups to have info sharing, co-ordinated actions etc. They may have 20 activists that could send in a submission that we have developed, and as individuals were possible we could attend there protests in support.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Wed 22nd July 2015 @ 4:16 pm

  5. Union of Fathers didn’t fix anything, but it certainly stopped what was happening at the time.

    Given what was going on, that was a major achievement.

    You’re right that those involved gradually moved on.

    There was a vacuum of new recruits, segmentation, politics, lack of funding.

    Remember also, that those involved made a multi-million dollar contribution in the absence of funding.

    It there is a need to rise up against the beast again, then, as before, it will take, cooperation, organisation, and if you don’t use the same branding that was achieved with UOF, then you need to reinvent the wheel.

    Comment by Downunder — Wed 22nd July 2015 @ 6:16 pm

  6. WoW,, UOF was amazing,, what must you think now and of the situation,,,

    Comment by mama — Sat 11th August 2018 @ 8:44 pm

  7. I asked that question a while back but since I didn’t get any response, they must be grumpier than me.

    Comment by Downunder — Sun 12th August 2018 @ 10:58 am

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