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Submission on the Care of Children Bill

Peter Zohrab 2003

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Original Submission (on Domestic Violence)

Original Submission of the NZ Equality Education Foundation on the Care of Children Bill
(to Parliament's Justice and Electoral Committee)(edited)

Domestic Violence

Clauses 53-56 still suffer from the influence of old-fashioned, sexist Feminism, in that they
pretend that Domestic Violence involves just one perpetrator -- you guessed it: the man ! This is
the mind-set you arrive at if you let loose old-fashioned, sexist Feminists to work out their
fantasies on an issue, without input from men's groups. Section 3(2) of the Domestic Violence Act
1995 lists not just Physical Abuse and Sexual Abuse, but also Psychological Abuse, as included in
the meaning of "domestic violence". As far as Physical Abuse is concerned, all academic research
that has not been doctored by the Ministry of Women's Affairs shows that women hit men just as often
as men hit women (see: http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm). There is no point discussing
Sexual Abuse by women, since aspects of this activity have not even been a crime in sexist New
Zealand, so there will be no valid statistics on it. But even the most Femifascist university law
student must surely be able to admit that women are capable of Psychological Abuse, which the Act
describes as including, but not limited to, Intimidation, Harassment. Damage to property, and
Threats of abuse.

If you reflect on your own private life, you will surely be able to see that all/any incidents of
domestic violence occurred when both parties felt that they had been abused psychologically, if not
physically and sexually, by the other party. Of course, if the police got involved, their
old-fashioned, sexist Feminist training would have led them, in all probability, to look for the
point at which the man did something, and nail him for that -- totally ignoring any abuse leading up
to that which might have been committed by the woman. I suggest you reflect on the contrast between
what you know of the real world, on the one hand, and the old-fashioned, sexist Feminist fantasy
that domestic violence is something that a man (for no good reason) does to a woman, on the other.

It is time to reflect the reality of domestic violence in legislation, because to persist in
believing the old sexist Feminist myths is contrary to the Rule of Law, unfair, and unjust in the
extreme. This injustice has the capacity to undermine the stability of the State, unless it is
corrected. The words "bomb" and Men's Movement" have become linked in the United Kingdom, and we
would not want that to be the case in New Zealand as well.

Clauses 53-56 need to be amended to make it clear that domestic violence is something that happens
betwen people in situations -- not something that one person does unilaterally to someone else.


Supplementary Submission of the NZ Equality Education Foundation on the Care of Children Bill
(to Parliament's Justice and Electoral Committee)

In additional to our original submission (reproduced below), the NZEEF would like to make the
following Supplementary Submission on the Care of Children Bill:

We submit that the importance given in the Bill to the welfare and best interests of the child is

  • an instance and/or result of bad faith and/or guilt.and

  • impractical and unrealistic;

New Zealand's current no-fault divorce regime was introduced in the Family Proceedings Act 1980, and
the current Bill does not aim to tamper with the no-fault principle. It is clear to everyone that
the motivation for the change to no-fault divorce was motivated by a desire to free adults from
unhappy relationships more easily and discreetly than was achievable under the previous regime.

The change was clearly not aimed at improving the welfare and best interests of the child. In fact,
everyone who is willing to be honest about this matter will admit that keeping parents together --
even in a relationship that one party would at times wish to get out of -- is usually better for
children than making it easier for parents to split up. Anyone who has ever been a teacher will
have noticed that children of separated parents are unhappier than the children of (natural) parents
who are (still) together.

So the change to no-fault divorce was made despite its negative impact on the welfare and best
interests of the child, and the centrality accorded to the welfare and best interests of the child
in the Care of Children Bill is, arguably, just guilt-induced, hypocritical window-dressing.

It is also too much to ask, to expect judges or counsel for the child to have the wisdom and
predictive ability to know what arrangement will, over all, be in the best interests of the child,
in most cases. If one looks at the checklist of factors which courts take into account in relation
to the welfare and best interests of the child (from the case D v W (1995) 13 FRNZ 336 at p. 350, see also
:http://econ.massey.ac.nz/cppe/papers/cppeip04/cppeip4j.pdf on page 2), one sees immediately that

  • they could reasonably be supplemented by other factors,

  • that some of them are vague,

  • that it is virtually impossible to decide what relative weighting should rightly be given to each of them, and

  • that it is impossible for a court to know enough about the families, or about the future, to make a reasonable
    decision based on them.

However, in a Feminist society where a woman's "right to choose" has been given priority over the
rights of unborn children and their fathers to choose life over death, it is probable that hypocrisy
and euphemisms will remain all-powerful for the time being. Nevertheless, and for the record, the
New Zealand Equality Education Foundation hereby rejects the hypocrisy of the "welfare and best
interests of the child" criterion in the Care of Children Bill, and proposes a return to fault-based
divorce hearings in open court, because that is what is really in the best interests of the child --
and of fathers, as well.

Peter Zohrab
Acting President
NZ Equality Education Foundation



Peter Douglas Zohrab

Latest Update

7 July 2015