Minors (Court Consent to Relationships) Legislation Bill – Committee Stage – taken as one debate -..
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Minors (Court Consent to Relationships) Legislation Bill – Committee Stage – taken as one debate -..


Changez actually reflect the needs within our own society thank you I’ll call dr. Deborah Russell thank you madam chair this is the first time I’ve spoken on this bill and listening to the speeches this evening have raised a number of questions in my mind partly it raises questions Madame chair because I have 17 year-old daughters myself twins and they’re very precious to me and one of the things I know about them is that they do take notice of what I say and they do take notice of what I want and I know that as their mother I I am in a position to influence them deeply and and again of course partly too because you know as the adults and the household my husband’s their father and I the two of us we have MS know another way to put this we have enormous power over them as most parents do over their children so we can influence them deeply so I really understand the need for this particular bill and I congratulate Joe Hayes on the work she has done and getting this bill to this stage and I’m delighted to see that members of this house supporting this unanimously what I’m interested in is the cultural report you know the New Zealand if I grew up and was pretty homogeneous there you know we I guess didn’t even really see the difference with respect to Maori with to the Tony DeFilippo we’ve learned a lot better thank goodness but the New Zealand we live in now has many different cultures and ethnicities and of course those different cultures bring different understandings of what families are and the obligations of families and I’m finding this is it is worrying me in a sense in this particular bill we come from a very individualistic culture where we do expect people to make writing for a very individualist culture where we expect people to make decisions for themselves but I do know them some other cultures the natural affect family ties are very important that what the family wants really does override what the individual wants and I suppose I’m faintly worried that in obtaining this cultural report we might be imposing Western individualist values on cultures which do hold family values more dear now that’s not to say that I think that necessarily that those cut those adults and those cultures should override the rights of 16 and 17 year-olds I certainly don’t think about that but I am worried about the understandings which will be brought to the cultural report and in particular if I look at I think it’s cause 20 which I think was inserted in the bill it says that the judge may obtain a cultural report a written cultural report and by requesting a person whom the judge considers qualified for that purpose I’ll make the question that’s being raised in my mind now look I know our judges work hard I know they are people of great probity I know that judges who work in the Family Court necessarily consider a whole range of difficult issues but I also know that for the most part those judges in the Family Court do come from the same westernized individualist culture that I come from so when we’re talking about how the judge considers the person to be appropriately qualified I guess I’m interested in how it will ensure that judges are in a good position to make a good decision about that and it’s one of those things you could keep on going back and back and back but I’m interested in hearing some of those how a judge might go about assessing whether or not a person is qualified assessing I guess their own confidence to make that judgment what sort of resources a judge might think of calling on with respect to finding someone who is in a position to write that cultural report and I guess in terms of that cultural report so I wonder if it I suppose the judge could request this but maybe other advice if needed so I think there’s a whole set of issues to be explored there none of which should stop this going through and I support the whole concept of the spell and the concept of a cultural report but I am interested and some of the issues around that report and what could be done to address them and I would hope that the Honourable member whose bill das’s who’s worked so hard on it will perhaps be able to enlighten me and to give me a little bit of reassurance around some of those areas to make sure that all the cultures all the ethnicities in what I hope is our increasingly tolerant society will continue to coexist peacefully together in this country Matti thank you very much and I just want to extend my thanks to everybody who have

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