Kapi-Mana News : June 26th 2012
CITY FOCUS RESIDENT NEWSLETTER: PAGES 6 & 7 TUESDAY, JUNE 26, 2012 PORIRUA CITY & TAWA www.kapimananews.co.nz Fees will hurt women By ANDREA O'NEIL Women fighting former partners for child custody and property rights through the Family Court are likely to be hit hardest by fees introduced next week, a family law specialist says. From July 1, people taking child custody disputes to court will be charged a $220 filing fee, and prop- erty disputes will incur a $700 fee. Property disputes which need further applications will incur a further $700 fee and cost complain- ants $906 per half day in court if a hearing is required. Low income earners and beneficiaries will be exempt from the new fees. The only fees the court has pre- viously charged is $211.50 to dis- solve a marriage or civil union. The Ministry of Justice says the fees are needed to counter a 70 per cent rise in court costs, from $84 million in 2004/2005 to $142m in 2010/2011. Keeping cases out of court, especially conflicts involving chil- dren, is another reason for the introduction of fees, the ministry says. But Family Law Specialists director Catriona Doyle says most families try to avoid handing cus- tody and property decisions to a judge and only use the Family Court as a last resort in unresolv- able conflicts. The few people who waste the court s time by filing repeatedly or unnecessarily won t be put off by the fees because they ll either be wealthy enough to afford it or earn- ing little enough to have the fees waived, she says. It s going to hit the middle class and lower income families where $220 is a lot of money. Women especially will be hit hard, as they are often financially disadvantaged when a relationship breaks up, Ms Doyle says. Rather than trying to keep chil- dren out of court, the ministry should be aiming to resolve conflicts before children are affected by them, she says. Leaving children in a conflict situation where the parents are at war is neglect and abuse. The kids who live in that situation are damaged. A judge should be the person to decide if a case is genuine or flip- pant, especially when children are involved, she says. It s not something that should be addressed by Parliament or a court registrar. Court costs have risen not because too many people are filing flippant cases but because family structures are becoming more com- plicated, and society as a whole is becoming more litigious, she says. In any case the new fees will not turn around the court s finances -- property and custody cases make up about 38 per cent of the courts workload but many low earners and those in receipt of legal aid will apply for exemption, which will only increase the courts workload, she says. It s a revenue-earning scheme but it doesn t look like they re going to be earning a lot of money out of it, she says. It s going to actually increase the number of bits of paper the court has to deal with. The Green Party has complained to Parliament about the fees, saying they contradict the objectives of the Care of Children Act. INSIDE THAT'S FINAL Gully route all go 3 TAKING FLIGHT Kiwis' Mana Island home 4 MARKET PRICES How did your supermarkets fare? 12 BRUISING AFFAIR Tawa downed by Wainui 46 INDEX Editorial ............................ 10 Letters .............................. 10 Talking Politics ................... 11 School's Out...................... 21 Cinemaddict ...................... 27 Weekly Workout ................. 28 Education .......................... 30 Classified .......................... 39 Sport ................................ 45 CALL US Phone 04 237 8118 Fax 04 237 8552 Address Ground floor BNZ Tower, Hartham Place, Porirua Email firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com richard.gordon@ kmananews.co.nz Talent on a plate: Nga Aniwha Farrel, Eve Siania, Jean Williams, Shane Phillips, Sarah Mikaio and Petrina Siania in the kitchen at Eastwood restaurant. By KRIS DANDO Students bond over cooking The nerves would have been sizzling in the Eastwood Res- taurant last night. Ten students from The Bakers Club after-school programme cel- ebrated their graduation at the Porirua Club restaurant by cooking for invited guests and in front of television cameras. The 11 to 17-year-old students, from a host of local schools, come together once a week to learn cooking, budgeting and health and safety in the kitchen. One exercise challenged them to spend $10 on groceries and make a meal for four people. The programme is run through community service group Wesley Community Action. For the first time this term students had access to a restaurant, Eastwood, and its chef Shane Phillips. I wanted to change things up to give them a real feel for life in a working kitchen, says social worker Findlay Siania. They re loving it; they pay atten- tion to Shane and it s opening their eyes to new things. When Kapi-Mana News visited last week, the students learnt how to make spring rolls, one of the entrees for their graduation dinner, which will feature on television pro- gramme Close-Up . The kids put the menu together themselves. We re all bonding together. Having fun and working in an actual kitchen is such an awesome experience, student Sarah Makaio said. The club is in hot demand from schools and it is now a case of first in, first served , Mr Siania said. It s great -- they re learning lead- ership, getting more confidence, and can take real cooking skills into their homes now . . . I d love to see more boys taking part, though...
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