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This time, Ruth Dyson ignores the pleas of a blind mother.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on March 14, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

This time, Ruth Dyson ignores the pleas of a blind mother.
Wednesday, 14.03.2007, 01:59pm (GMT12)

Blind mother flees NZ with her child

By NATALIE AKOORIE – Waikato Times | Wednesday, 14 March 2007

A blind Hamilton woman is believed to have fled the country with her young daughter to escape a bitter custody dispute – with her own mother.

The Hamilton woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is believed to have taken her five-year-old daughter to Europe in a desperate bid to escape the custody battle.

She has been fighting her mother and stepfather since last May for full custody of the girl.

The woman, in her late 20s, went blind suddenly following the removal of a benign brain tumour when her daughter was almost two. The girl went to live with her grandmother while the woman rehabilitated.

It took almost two years for the woman to regain sole custody of the child, though the Waikato Times understands custody is now officially shared.

The dispute is before the Family Court. The woman’s mother could not be contacted and the stepfather declined to comment on why they are seeking custody, but the woman believes it is because of her blindness.

In a letter in November last year to Disabilities Minister Ruth Dyson, she pleaded for help.

“Ms Dyson, I do not know what to do or where to turn,” she wrote. “I pray that you, the disabilities minister of New Zealand, can do something to help our dire situation. I am about to lose my daughter. The only crime I committed was going blind.”

A friend of the woman, who the Times has agreed not to name, said she was a competent and confident parent who had tried hard to maintain an amicable relationship with her mother.

She said the woman had undertaken hours of parenting classes since going blind in a bid to provide a loving and stable environment for the child. “She has gone to huge lengths to rehabilitate and huge lengths to ensure that child’s safety and wellbeing.”

The friend believes that while the woman was recovering from her operation she signed over guardianship of her daughter to the grandmother which, under the Care of Children Act 2004, gives as many rights as a biological parent.

The friend said that while she could not condone “kidnapping”, she understood why the woman had fled. She understood the woman and her daughter could be “lying low” in Spain or France where her British father – who supported the woman’s right to sole custody – had property.

The woman’s former partner and father of the child recently relocated with a new partner from Wellington to Hamilton to support the woman and be nearer his daughter. The 51-year-old said he did not know the woman was planning to leave but he was glad she did.

“I’m 100 per cent behind (her) and 100 per cent behind her actions.”

A Hamilton police spokeswoman said police had not yet been alerted to the fact any child was missing.


2 Responses to “This time, Ruth Dyson ignores the pleas of a blind mother.”

  1. Hampton said

    Where does it say she did not receive a reply to the letter? The woman would have received a reply as everyone who writes to a minister does. Your headline is wrong.

  2. jay said

    Sadly; a lot do not always reply.
    the Act leader is typical, opposition maori spokespeople come a close 2nd.
    P.M. passes the buck, usually to the jerk you are having problems with or complaining about.
    Write to labour mps about your problems with cyfs> total denial as to problems.
    Lawyers tell us to get MPs to change the laws concerning cyfs. MPs have to me; “We do not make the laws.” ‘(I kid you not)! And most suggest ;get your lawyer to sort it in family court.
    Hands up, who can afford a lawyer.
    Now more people are eligible for legal aid, meaning less in the pot!
    While the likes of Cyfs can employ top class lawyers, with your taxes, to screw you over.

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