Durak v Barnes [2020] NZFC 7287

Published 01 June 2021

Application for removal of guardian — travel requirements — unwilling to perform or exercise guardian duties — Care of Children Act 2004, s 29 — BLB v RSC [2012] NZFC 7162, [2013] NZFLR 25 — Dalal v Alfarsi [2016] NZFC 10653. The applicant mother sought an order for the removal of the father as guardian of their child, pursuant to s 29 of the Care of Children Act. The father had never met the child and had no interest in her upbringing, health, or supporting the mother in any way. The mother had been unable to travel to her home country due to the stringent travel requirements in both New Zealand and South Africa which require consent of both guardians to travel. In order to grant an application for the removal of a guardian it must be shown that the parent is unwilling to perform or exercise the duties, powers, rights, and responsibilities of being a guardian. The Judge was satisfied based on the evidence that the father was unwilling to perform his duties, and that an order depriving him of guardianship would be in the welfare and best interests of the child. The application was granted and an order made removing the respondent as guardian. Judgment Date: 14 January 2021. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *