Care of Children Act 2004

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Reprint as at 14 July 2017

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Care of Children Act 2004

Public Act
2004 No 90
Date of assent
21 November 2004
see section 2

Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Justice.


3Purpose of this Act
4Child’s welfare and best interests to be paramount
5Principles relating to child’s welfare and best interests
5ADomestic violence to be taken into account
6Child’s views
7Appointment of lawyer to represent child in proceedings
7ALawyers acting for parties
7BDuties of lawyer when giving advice
9De facto partner defined [Repealed]
10De facto relationship defined [Repealed]
12Act binds the Crown
13Act a code
14Administration of children’s property
15Guardianship defined
16Exercise of guardianship
17Child’s father and mother usually joint guardians
18Father identified on birth certificate is guardian
19Father who was not mother’s spouse, civil union partner, or de facto partner may apply to be appointed as guardian
20Declaration that father is guardian because of section 17
21Who may appoint additional guardian under section 23
22Restrictions on making appointments under section 23
23Appointment of eligible spouse or partner of parent as additional guardian
24Declarations required by section 23(5)(a)
25Appointments under section 23 take effect on approval
26Testamentary guardians
27Court-appointed guardians
28Time at which guardianship ends
29Court may remove guardians
29ARevocation of appointment as guardian
30Concurrent jurisdiction under section 31
31Application to court
32Notice to be given to chief executive in certain cases before Family Court
33Orders of court
34Powers of court
35Further provisions relating to powers of court
36Consent to procedures generally
37Immunity of health practitioners administering certain blood transfusions without consent
38Consent to abortion
39Purpose of sections 40 to 43
40Agreements between parents and guardians
41Agreements between parents and donors
42Definitions for section 41
43Agreements may be entered into by minors
44Disputes between guardians [Repealed]
45Family Proceedings Act 1980 dispute resolution provisions apply to certain proceedings [Repealed]
46Certain children may seek review of parent’s or guardian’s decision or refusal to give consent [Repealed]
46AConsent for de facto relationship
46BConsent where child has no guardian
46CCertain children may seek review of parent’s or guardian’s decision or refusal to give consent
46DMeaning of family dispute resolution
46EFamily dispute resolution mandatory before commencement of proceedings
46FFamily dispute resolution after proceedings commenced
46GCounselling after proceedings commenced
46HApproval of counselling organisation
46ISuspension or cancellation of approval of counselling organisation
46JDuties of approved counselling organisation
46KAppointment of counsellors
46MNumber of sessions of counselling
46NCounselling fees and expenses
46OJudge may direct party to undertake parenting information programme
46PPurpose of settlement conferences
46QSettlement conferences
46RDisputes between guardians
47Who may apply for parenting order
47AMandatory statement in applications
47BMandatory statement and evidence in applications
48Parenting orders
49Interim parenting orders
49AInterim parenting order where parent does not have day-to-day care for, or contact with, child
49BInterim parenting order may become final order on specified date
49CFinal parenting orders
50Parenting orders in respect of children of or over 16 years
51Court must consider protective conditions in certain cases
52Court must consider contact arrangements in certain cases
53Orders in proceedings under Family Proceedings Act 1980
54Orders in proceedings under Domestic Violence Act 1995 [Repealed]
55Content and explanation of parenting orders
56Variation or discharge of parenting and other orders
57Variation of final parenting order by consent memorandum instead of application
59Court may order supervised contact
60Costs of formal supervised contact
61Matters relevant to question in section 60(4) [Repealed]
61ACourt may make orders to ensure safety of child in other cases [Repealed]
62Costs of formal supervised contact [Repealed]
63Purpose and overview of sections 64 to 80 [Repealed]
64Guiding consideration and principles
65Request for counselling [Repealed]
66Procedure for request under section 65(1) or (2) [Repealed]
67Registrar may decline requests for counselling and recommend instead applications under section 68 [Repealed]
68Court may make certain orders or respond in other ways to contravention of parenting orders
69Court may require parties to attend for hearing of application under section 68
70Ordering party to enter into bond
71Costs of contravention
72Warrant to enforce role of providing day-to-day care for child
73Warrant to enforce order for contact with child
74Further provisions about warrants
75Execution of warrants
76Authority to use faxed copy of warrant
77Preventing removal of child from New Zealand
77AOrders under section 77(3)(c) in respect of children of or over 16 years
77BOrders under section 77(3)(c) may be suspended for specified period
78Contravening parenting or guardianship order
79Resisting execution of warrant
80Taking child from New Zealand
81Registration of overseas parenting orders
82Effect of registration
83Exercise of jurisdiction in respect of child subject to registered overseas parenting order
84Variation or discharge of registered overseas parenting order
85Registered overseas parenting orders not to be enforced in certain circumstances
86Evidence of orders made in overseas countries
87Costs of returning child: order for payment when warrant issued under section 72
89Proof of documents
90Depositions to be evidence
91Prescribed overseas countries
92Enforcement of New Zealand orders overseas
93Restrictions on right to make request under section 92
94Purpose of this subpart
96Application of this subpart
97Rights of custody defined
98Contracting States
99Certificates as to Contracting States
100Central Authority for New Zealand
101Courts having jurisdiction to entertain applications under Convention
102Child abducted from New Zealand
103Child abducted to New Zealand
104Authority may request further information
105Application to court for return of child abducted to New Zealand
106Grounds for refusal of order for return of child
107Applications to be dealt with speedily
108Interim powers
109No order or decision about role of providing day-to-day care for child to be made until application determined
110Contact with, and role of providing day-to-day care for, child, if application dismissed
111Request for declaration that child wrongfully removed
112Child outside New Zealand
113Child in New Zealand
114Translation to accompany application
115Evidentiary provisions
116Lawyer to act for applicant
117Preventing concealment of whereabouts of child
118Preventing removal of child to defeat application
119Enforcing order for return of child
120Security for costs, etc
121Costs of returning child: order for payment or refund when order under section 105(2) applied for or made
122Order under section 121 may be lodged in High Court
122ADischarge of order under section 105 for return of child
123Unfounded applications
124Other provisions not affected
125Jurisdiction of courts
126Personal jurisdiction
127Removal of High Court orders to Family Court
128Evidence [Repealed]
129Court’s power to call witnesses
130Appointment of lawyer to assist court
131Fees and expenses of lawyer appointed under section 7 or 130
131AAdvice from chief executive or social worker
132Reports from chief executive or social worker
133Reports from other persons
134Distribution, etc, of reports under sections 132 and 133
135Costs of reports requested under section 133
135AOrder requiring reimbursement of costs payments
135BEnforcement of orders made under section 135A
136Court may hear person on child’s cultural background
137Attendance at hearings generally
138Attendance at hearings of persons involved in counselling or conciliation under Family Proceedings Act 1980 [Repealed]
139Publication of reports of proceedings
139ALeave required in certain cases to commence substantially similar proceedings
140Power to dismiss proceedings
141Power to restrict commencement of proceedings if vexatious proceedings previously instituted
143Appeals to High Court
144Effect of High Court’s order or decision
145Appeal to Court of Appeal
146Rules of court
148Other Acts not affected
149Amendments in Schedule 2
150Amendments in Schedule 3
151Other amendments in Schedule 4
153Orders under 1968 Act appointing person as guardian
154Declarations under section 6A of 1968 Act as to guardianship of fathers
155Appointments of testamentary guardians under section 7(2) of 1968 Act
156Orders under 1968 Act about guardianship of court
157Orders under 1968 Act about custody
158Orders under 1968 Act about access
159Other references to custody and access under 1968 Act
160Existing proceedings under 1968 Act
161Appointments under section 30 of 1968 Act
162Applications under 1991 Amendment Act
163Appointments under section 23 of 1991 Amendment Act
164Orders saved by section 31(2) of 1991 Amendment Act
165Proceedings commenced before commencement of this section but not completed
Reprint notes