Snider v Frazier [2019] NZFC 9186

Published 24 November 2021

Application for removal of guardian — prevention of removal from New Zealand — welfare and best interests of child — Care of Children Act 2004, ss 4, 5, 6, 15, 16, 29 & 77 — Dalal v Alfarsi [2016] NZFC 10653. The applicant mother sought to have the respondent father removed as a guardian of the parties' child. He had left New Zealand a week before the child's birth (taking two other children) and had not been back. It was clear he intended to have nothing to do with the child. Further, the child had a serious medical event at age five and the father had been no help at all which had risked the child's welfare and best interests. The order could only be made if the Judge was satisfied the respondent was unwilling to perform or exercise the duties, powers, rights and responsibilities of being a guardian, or that, for some grave reason, he was unfit to be a guardian. The order also had to be in the welfare and best interests of the child. Given the father's complete lack of interaction with the child, difficulty communicating with him and the delay caused when the child had a medical event, the Judge was satisfied it was appropriate to make the order. The respondent father was removed as a guardian of the child. There was also an order in place that prevented the child's removal from New Zealand. This was necessary as the father had removed two other children. This was varied to allow the applicant to take the child overseas, for holidays and the like. Judgment Date: 6 November 2019. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *