INDEPENDENT NEWS

Minister Didn’t Want Full Report On Abortion

Published: Thu 22 Nov 2018 09:30 AM
MEDIA RELEASE
FAMILY FIRST NZ
21 November 2018
Minister Didn’t Want Full Report On Abortion - Law Commission
The Law Commission has made a stunning admission today to the Justice Select Committee that the Minister of Justice Andrew Little didn’t want a full report on abortion laws, was only interested in a ministerial briefing paper for shifting the law in a liberal direction, and that the public were not fully consulted as to their views.
During the hearing today, the issue was raised to the President Sir Douglas White as to why there were 17 public meetings held around the country on property relationships, but that the same level of public engagement was not offered - and therefore the consideration of the issue has not been as wide and broad - when considering the abortion issue.
In response, Sir Douglas admitted that “it was made very plain to us that we were not required – indeed, not asked to look at the wider policy issues” around the abortion law. The Law Commission went on to admit that the Commission went out and engaged with the public on “a full-scale”review on property relationships, but not on abortion because of the direction of the Minister.
“The intentional lack of consultation with the public on their views of the abortion laws should concern all New Zealanders. A Law Commission member said in arecent media interview that the reviews that the Law Commission do best are where they consider them at length. Yet the consideration of abortion laws was referred by the Minister at the end of February and was due back “within eight months”,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director.
“In effect, what the government gave the Law Commission was not a request for a review of the law, but rather a specific direction on how to treat this hugely controversial social issue in law. While the Law Commission had been asked to consult with the general public – albeit in a very limited time frame - there was no requirement on the Law Commission to have to take into account the wide range of issues raised. There was certainly no allowance for the possibility that the Law Commission may actually believe that the current law is appropriate in the circumstances.”
“It also meant that the conclusion was reached before consideration have even taken place. This has the potential to create legal and ethical problems and ambiguities in the law. It seems fairly obvious that the Law Commission is being used as a smoke-screen for an agenda being rushed through by a government. The Law Commission deserves more respect.”
(The Review of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 has now been deferred another six months to make way for the abortion law review. In 2016, the Commission found nearly half the children born in New Zealand were to parents neither married nor in a civil union, and that a third of all marriages are remarriages. Therefore, these laws affect hundreds of thousands of families and people.)
ENDS

Next in New Zealand politics

Jacinda Ardern’s remarks following summit
By: New Zealand Government
NZTA Board refreshed and refocused
By: New Zealand Government
Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Assessment Framework
By: New Zealand Government
Mana whenua reach decision on Ihumātao land
By: RNZ
PM to visit Japan and attend the UN General Assembly
By: New Zealand Government
PM's Post-Cab 16/9/19: A Way Forward
By: The Scoop Team
Gordon Campbell on allegations of left wing media bias
By: Gordon Campbell
Tighter gun laws for the safety of all
By: New Zealand Government
New Zealand-Japan relationship strengthened
By: New Zealand Government
eGates open to Japanese travellers
By: New Zealand Government
Twyford is the issue, not the board
By: New Zealand National Party
Too little too late for funding switch from rail to road
By: New Zealand National Party
First national voluntary emissions offset guidelines
By: New Zealand Government
NCCRA a start but local focus needed
By: LGNZ
Forest & Bird calls for urgent action on ocean acidity
By: Forest And Bird
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media