Parenting Order

A Parenting Order sets out the day-to-day care and contact arrangements for tamariki. The order can identify one or two people as having day to day care or shared care of tamariki.

Day to day care involves the care and control of tamariki. This means having responsibility for day to day living arrangements – things like what time the tamariki go to bed, what to have for breakfast, how they get to school. Day to day care used to be called ‘custody’.

A Parenting Order can also set out the contact arrangements for tamariki with their whānau. The order can identify one or more people as having a right to have contact with tamariki.

Contact involves all forms of direct or indirect communication with tamariki ranging from having tamariki stay overnight to telephone calls, skype, emails, even the right to send mail or presents. Contact used to be called ‘access’.

Conditions can also be attached to Parenting Orders can also have conditions attached. For example, contact may need to be supervised or there may be conditions that the parents/whānau caring for tamariki, are not to consume alcohol or illicit drugs while tamariki are in their care.

Guardianship Order

Guardianship is the right to make the important decisions about a child’s life including:

  • Where tamariki can live?
  • What kind of school tamariki should attend – kura kaupapa, boarding, mainstream, religious?
  • What health care tamariki should have?
  • The right to consent to or refuse medical treatment,
  • What name tamariki should be known by?

The parents are usually guardians. Mum is a guardian because she gave birth to the child. Dad may or may not be a guardian depending on his relationship the Mum around the time the child was born or if he is registered on the child’s birth certificate.

In most cases, it is only the parents who are guardians, but sometimes other whānau can be appointed guardians by the court. Sometimes, but not often, the court appoints itself a guardian.

Family violence in CoCA

When there has been family violence and an application is made for a parenting order or a guardianship order, the judge has to think about:

  • Protecting tamariki from all forms of violence including patterns of behaviour that are coercive or controlling and may cause harm;
  • Temporary or final protection orders whenever they were made;
  • Any breaches of protection or property orders and safety concerns raised by an assessor (we talked about assessors in the family violence sessions);
  • Appropriate conditions to protect whānau during contact.

If the application for a parenting or guardianship order is made without notice because it is urgent, the court may make an interim parenting order or an interim guardianship order (interim means temporary). The interim order will probably stay in place until the judge has a chance to hear from everyone.

Interim or temporary orders can also be made when everyone agrees. This is usually to make sure the arrangements for tamariki are clear and contact arrangements are in place.

More information about Family Violence


Police Safety Order

Protection Order

Interim Care or Contact

Tamariki in Family Violence Proceedings

Information Sharing