INDEPENDENT NEWS

Govt Ties The Knot For Couples Without Asking

Published: Tue 23 May 2000 02:18 PM
Govt Ties The Knot For Couples Without Asking Their Opinion First
Thousands of New Zealanders will find themselves financially married under new matrimonial property laws without the chance to say I do or I don't, says National's Justice Spokesman Tony Ryall.
National is joining with Act and United in calling for the Government to refer its changes to a select committee.
"The Government's proposals will have a huge impact on the lives of many New Zealanders and the changes should not be bulldozed through without a chance for them to have their say. We will agree to a shorter consultation process but the proposals must go before a select committee for public comment.
"National has a number of concerns about the Bill. If passed in its present form, it will see most matrimonial disputes ending up in court - only 10% do now. These cases will take years to solve and will be a new gravy train for legal aid lawyers.
"The Bill undermines the long-standing 50/50 split rule, and changes the clean break principle so that one partner will end up paying alimony way beyond the boundaries today.
"The Government should relent and refer the Bill to a select committee before it irrevocably wreaks havoc on unsuspecting New Zealander's property rights," Mr Ryall said.
Ends

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