Brooks v Knowles [2021] NZFC 12352

Published 10 February 2022

Variation of parenting order — COVID-19 vaccination — Care of Children Act 2004, s 5. The parties had previously been in a six-year relationship and had two children, who were subject to a parenting order. Both parties sought a variation of the parenting order, with the applicant mother claiming that one of the children had raised concerns about the care provided by the respondent father. The respondent in turn cited the fact that the applicant had unilaterally prevented contact between the respondent and the children. The applicant had ceased the contact because she was concerned that the respondent and his wife had chosen not to have a second COVID-19 vaccination. Although the Court was unable to order the respondent and his wife to be vaccinated, it made an order that they produce a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of each contact visit, and that they inform the applicant of the results. The Court made further orders relating to the respondent's drug use and habit of playing electronic games while the children were in his care, and confirmed a directions conference to occur in the new year. Judgment Date: 7 December 2021. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *