Allen v Wade  NZFC 5189
Published 26 April 2018
Dispute between guardians — removal of child from New Zealand — alienation — abduction — breach of Court order — misleading the Court and Consular authorities — Hague Convention — United States of America — The Netherlands — reasons judgment — Care of Children Act 2004 — Finn v Poole  NZHC 1362.
In 2005 the applicant told the respondent she was taking their children to a barbecue. Instead she boarded a flight with them bound for America. The applicants actions kept the children away from New Zealand and the defendant for over two years. In 2006 the defendant initiated Hague Convention proceedings seeking the return of the children to New Zealand. The National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children wrote to the applicant requesting that she voluntarily return the children, but she declined to do so.
The issues the court had to consider were: 1. Are the children currently estranged from their father because he is abusive towards them? 2. Or has their relationship with their father been undermined as a result of the mother's repeated actions to undermine his parental role? 3. Should the guardianship disputes in relation to one of the children be determined now or adjourned to be considered with an application placing her under guardianship of the court?
In regards to the first issue the court found that the respondent does not pose any risk to the safety of the children. In regards to issue 2, the children have been unable to sustain a relationship with their father based on their mothers actions, and have therefore been alienated from him. The court noted that this case demonstrates a clear case of post-separation parental rejection. In regards to issue 3, the court found that one of the children was to be immediately removed from the mothers care and placed with the father. There is to be no contact between this child and and the mother pending further order. In regards to the second child, the application that she be placed under the guardianship of the Family Court was adjourned part heard for further directions to be made.
Judgment Date: 12 July 2017
* * * Note: Names have been changed to comply with legal requirements * * *