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Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki v MV [2022] NZFC 1817

Published 09 November 2022

Application for access order — Oranga Tamariki Act 1989, ss 5 & 121. The applicant grandmother sought orders for access to the child, her grandson. The child was in the custody of Oranga Tamariki and had transitioned to the care of his paternal grandmother. A year ago the child had moved into the care of his mother after a family group conference concluded that the child should have no contact with his father. The applicant grandmother had received limited supervised access since the uplift of the child from her care, and sought fortnightly weekend contact and equal school holiday care, shared with the child's mother. Lawyer for the child expressed the child's desire to spend more time with the applicant. The Court looked to the principles set out in s 5 of the Oranga Tamariki Act, which must be considered when determining issues relating to a child. It was held that mother's role as caregiver must not be underminded by the Court. While the grandmother's role in maintaining the child's link to his paternal whanau, hapu and iwi was recognised, the Court found that the child's relationship with the mother should be prioritised. Access orders were granted by the Court in the form of monthly weekend contact with the applicant, with fortnightly phone/video calls and four days allocated to her during school holidays. Judgment Date: 2 March 2022 * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *