Lei v Lei  NZFC 7686
Published 11 May 2022
Application for relocation — safety of children — objectionable material — pornography addiction — Care of Children Act 2004, s 5 — Films Videos and
Publications Classification Act 1993, s 131A — Kacem v Bashir  NZSC 112,  2 NZLR 1 — D v S  NZFLR 116 — Stadniczenko v Stadniczenko 
NZFLR 493 — S v O  NZFLR 1 — Brown v Argyll  NZFLR 705 — L v A (No 2) (2003) 23 FRNZ 602 — United Nations Convention on the Rights of the
The applicant mother sought permission from the Court to relocate the parties' children from the North Island to the South Island. Both parties had repartnered
and the applicant was pregnant with her partner's child, and the partner lived in the South Island. The respondent father opposed the application.
In considering an application for relocation a court had to take into account the principles in s 5 of the Care of Children Act. Of particular relevance here was the
issue of the children's safety in s 5(a). There were allegations from the mother that the father had engaged in inappropriate online relationships with underage
girls and had objectionable material on his electronic devices. An investigation by Oranga Tamariki and the Police concluded that there was no objectionable
material and there were no care and protection concerns for the parties' children. The respondent did admit to an adult porn addiction; however, this was not
In assessing the mother's reasons for wanting to move, the Judge found that there was some inconsistency with her submissions: she claimed the father posed a
risk to the children, but that if permitted to relocate she would allow the father to have unsupervised contact with the children for the duration of the holiday
periods. The Judge noted otherwise that the mother's reasons for wanting to move were genuine, given that her new partner with whom she was about to have a
child lived in the South Island. The Judge noted concerns with the fact that the applicant's new partner had twice contacted Oranga Tamariki about the
respondent father, without consultation with the mother. Social workers noted that the mother harboured negative views about the father. If permitted to
relocate it was a concern that the mother may not adhere to contact arrangements and would make it difficult for the father to see the children, thereby
negatively impacting the relationship between the children and their father.
The Judge concluded that the balance fell in favour of the children remaining in the North Island. The application for relocation was dismissed, and the Judge
directed new contact arrangements for the children between the parties.
Judgment Date: 18 September 2020.
* * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *