Wilder v Keith [2020] NZFC 5074

Published 26 March 2021

Application for relocation — primary carer — welfare and best interests of child — salary considerations — Care of Children Act 2004, ss 4, 5, 6 & 46R — Kacem v Bashir [2010] NZSC 112, [2011] 2 NZLR 1 — S v O (relocation) [2006] NZFLR 1 — S v L (relocation) [2008] NZFLR 237 — Williams v Norton [2020] NZHC 1438. The applicant mother applied for permission to relocate the parties' children from New Zealand to Australia. In order for a court to grant permission for relocation, it had to take into account the principles and considerations in ss 4, 5 and 6 of the Care of Children Act. A child's welfare and best interests were paramount. The mother was the primary caregiver (following an interim parenting order) of the children and her main submission in favour of relocation was that she would receive a better salary in Australia. There were some relatives in Australia too, but none that the children were particularly close to. By comparison, the children had strong friendships and relationships with family members in New Zealand and were established at school. The Judge considered the s 5 principles and took into account the views of the children (pursuant to s 6), and noted that they were best met by remaining in New Zealand. The Judge determined that the children were to stay in New Zealand and made a final parenting order in favour of the mother, with stipulated contact arrangements for the children with the father. Judgment Date: 3 July 2020. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *