Chadwick v Walton [2022] NZFC 2045

Published 17 May 2022

Guardianship — COVID-19 vaccination — global pandemic — best interests of child — Gillick competence — Care of Children Act 2004, s 46R. The proceedings related to the parties' two children. The applicant mother sought an order that the children be vaccinated against Covid-19. The respondent father did not technically oppose the application, but in discussion with the Court had stated that he could not support the children getting vaccinated and wanted the applicant to take responsibility for anyone consequences to the children arising from vaccination. The children both favoured vaccination. The older child was old enough to be "Gillick Competent" (not requiring parental consent for this type of medical procedure), and according to Ministry of Health policy the younger child was also old enough to give his consent. The Court found that it was in the children's best interests to get vaccinated, and made an order giving the applicant full authority to make the decision about whether to vaccinate the children. This option would allow the children to change their mind about vaccination, as the applicant would respect their wishes. No costs orders were made against either party. Judgment Date: 8 March 2022. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *