Draft Terms of Reference

Text Box: Draft Terms of ReferenceA Royal Commission to respond to the referendum

 calling on the Government

‘to understand and address the wider causes of family breakdown, family violence, and child abuse in NZ.’


Using all relevant NZ and international research such as that compiled under the UN Doha Declaration on the Family, the Commission shall publish their findings and recommendations on:


Part One – Understanding the wider causes of:

A)    Family Breakdown


This will include an examination of the effect upon the family of relevant legislative changes such as:

  • the introduction of no fault divorce
  • the Matrimonial Property Act/Relationships Property Act
  • the Prostitution Reform Act
  • Civil Unions Act
  • the introduction of the Domestic Purposes Benefit.
  • tax policy


And the effects of

  • housing, including overcrowding and ownership versus renting.
  • stress relating to work/life balance including seven day trading.
  • changes in family form (married/defacto/sole parent/other)
  • family income adequacy


B)   Family Violence and Child abuse

  • drug and alcohol abuse
  • gambling addiction and the introduction and proliferation of pokie machines.
  • increased availability and access to credit leading to greater household debt
  • fatherlessness and its family form implications e.g. transient partners
  • the loss of parenting skills due to the breakdown of the intergenerational family.
  • pornography and its increased access via internet and TV
  • violence as portrayed through TV, video games, the internet, and music.


Part Two – Addressing those issues including the recommendation of viable, practical, “fence at the top of the cliff” solutions


These will include options like


A)   Educational initiatives such as:

i) through charities and other third sector organisations

§          marriage preparation, marriage and relationship enrichment

§          parenting education, pre and post natal right through to the teenage years

§          fatherlessness and related issues

ii) through schools

§          values and character training

§          civics and citizenship education including the role of males and females as parents

§          respect towards parents, teachers, police, and other  community authorities.

§          changing the approach to sex education so that it has an emphasis on “abstinence until



B)    Legislative change:


§         divorce, property entitlements, the domestic purposes benefit, liable parent contributions, custody arrangements and any other relevant legislation

§         the operation of the family court including associated processes around mediation and reconciliation

§         the drinking age and sale arrangements for alcohol

§         criminal penalties in regard to drug related offences.

§         pokie machines and gambling

§         the portrayal of pornography and violence


One response to “Draft Terms of Reference”

  1. I found your site on google blog search and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. Just added your RSS feed to my feed reader. Look forward to reading more from you.

    Karen Halls

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