“The Property (Relationships) Bill must be one of the most acrimonious and ill-conceived pieces of legislation ever to
come before Parliament”, FARE spokesperson Darryl Ward said today.
“Much attention has been focussed on the same-sex and de facto couple provisions, but the real intent, namely the
normalisation by stealth of unequal property splitting, will prove to be this Bill’s bitter legacy”.
“The granting of an unequal share of matrimonial property in favour of the party who gains custody of children will
cause a massive increase in the cases of one parent being given an incentive to force their children’s other parent out
of their lives. Even more children will be forced to lose their fathers. This Bill will see parents who had sacrificed
precious time they could have spent with their children so that they could work to support their families, penalised by
a lucrative incentive for their partners to leave with the children and continue to enjoy the material benefits of their
“It is clear that the primary victims of the Government’s radical social engineering will again be the children who will
have one of their parents taken off them by a regime that places greed and self interest ahead of the welfare of
“If the Government really cared about the welfare of children it would have supported Dr Muriel Newman’s Shared
Parenting Bill, which made shared parenting the starting point for children’s care arrangements (as opposed to the 100%
to 0% split that is the current norm). However Hon. Laila Harre and Hon. Margaret Wilson refused to allow the facts to
get in the way of ideology, and made all sorts of erroneous comments trying to ignore the superiority of shared
parenting. The Government would not even allow the Shared Parenting Bill to have a conscience vote, yet it will allow a
conscience vote for the Property (Relationships) Bill. This shows that, in the words of Dr Newman, this Government is
more concerned about the welfare of fridges than of children”.
“Once again it will be lawyers who are winners and children who are losers in this latest destructive act of a
Government whose blind commitment to an extremist social agenda will put even more families at risk. Considering that
the real damage of this Bill will not start to happen until 2002, this Government may know already that it lacks the
courage to pick up the pieces”, Ward concluded.
ends Enquiries to Darryl Ward 025 230 1667