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Family Law Conference 2019

Family Law Conference 2019
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From the Chair

He mihi nui ki a koutou and welcome everyone to this year’s Conference. Our theme is The Winds of Change: Mā te hau tōrua. Whilst this acknowledges that we are in the “windy city” it also alludes to the many changes we are experiencing, both in our legislative framework, policy and practice in the courts and in society. To quote Socrates: “the secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new”. 

I invite you to embrace the diversity and range of opportunities the speakers and presentations offer. As family lawyers we need to be resilient and adaptable and I hope you will find the programme stimulating and thought provoking. Enjoy meeting old friends and making new ones. Take time to enjoy our beautiful waterfront if you can and use the time away from client demands to renew and refresh your outlook. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible. Tēnā tatou katoa.

Chair: Rachael Dewar - Rachael Dewar Law, Wellington

Programme outline

Pre-Conference workshop:  Wednesday 6 November - 1.00pm - 5.00pm
The Impact of Entrenched Interparental Hatred on Children

“High-conflict” divorce cases – especially those involving entrenched interparental hatred – have been consistently identified as difficult, complex, time consuming, and costly. They place great strain on individuals (including children), practitioners and courts, as well as on the family law system more generally. In this session the presenters will: explore “interparental hatred” as a key relationship dynamic driving some high-conflict cases; discuss strategies for lawyers working with parents in the grips of entrenched hatred; and offer strategies for working with cases where children may be resisting or refusing contact as a consequence of a parent spreading the culture of hatred on to children. Download the conference brochure for a full outline 

Conference sessions 7 - 8 November
Download the conference brochure for a full outline of each session

* Please note: only the most popular breakout sessions will be web streamed
Day 1
  • Keynote: Opening Address 
  • Keynote: The Role of Law in Family Disputes
  • He Taonga te Tamariki - representing Māori in the Family Court 
  • Breakout Session 1*
    - Understanding Intimate Partner Violence
    - Anarchy and Analysis - applying the rules to child-related evidence
    - Hague Convention - an update
  • Family Law Section Update
  • The Resilient Lawyer
  • Breakout Session 2*
    - "We Just Want What's Fair" - helping clean up after the winds of change have blown through a relationship
    - "Kidz Rule OK": Children's capacity for decision-making
    - Hair Drug Analysis - getting to the root of the problem
  • Absorbing Radiation Over Time: The cost of exposure to disturbing material and the importance of prevention
Followed by conference dinner and dance
Day 2
  • Continuous Change: A creator of future opportunities
  • Reform of the Property (Relationships) Act - the Law Commission's Recommendations
  • Breakout Session 3*
    - Making the Changes Happen
    - Parenting With a Mental Disorder
    - Quiz! Do you really know your stuff?
  • Oranga Tamariki Act Changes - Update
  • Breakout Session 4*
    - Family Protection Act and PRA
    - Children's Participation in the Family Justice System: Purpose and Process
    - Falling Through the Cracks: Alternative perspectives on family violence
  • What's Love Got to Do With It - it's all in the Section 21 my love!

Learning objectives

In this Conference you will be:
  • Updated on topical issues, legislation and case law.
  • Able to apply this knowledge in your practice.


Pre-Conference workshop - Wednesday 6 November
  • 1.00pm - 5.00pm
Conference Day 1 - Thursday 7 November
  • 8.15am Registration
  • 8.45am Sessions begin
  • 5.30pm Sessions end
  • 7.00pm - 12.00am Conference dinner and dance
Conference Day 2 - Friday 8 November
  • 8.45am Sessions begin
  • 4.30pm Sessions end 


Accommodation in Wellington can be in high demand, so we advise you to book your accommodation as early as possible. We have secured some discount deals for conference delegates - please click here for more information.


Please indicate your selection upon registration:
  • Hard Copy - Your book will be given to you when you register on the day* - no extra charge 
  • PDF - You will be emailed a PDF copy of the book 3 working days before the event - no extra charge 
  • Both Hard Copy & PDF - You will be emailed a PDF copy of the book 3 working days before the event, and you can collect the hard copy book when you register on the day*  - additional $30 charge

*Live web stream attendees - if you select hard copy or both - your book will be couriered to you.

Fee (incl GST)

Pre-Conference Workshop - (Face-To-Face only)

  • $195

Conference Face-To-Face

Earlybird - by 14 October 2019
  • $1,205 - NZLS members and Associate members
  • $1,305 - Non-members

Registration - after 14 October 2019

  • $1,255 - NZLS members and Associate members
  • $1,355 - Non-members

Additional Dinner Guests

  • $150 per extra guest

Live Web Stream

Earlybird - by 14 October 2019
  • $1,045

Registration - after 14 October 2019
  • $1,095

Download PDF Brochure & registration form here.
Pre-conference workshop - Wellington 6 November
Wellington 7 - 8 November
Live Web Stream 7 - 8 November
I can't attend, but please let me know when the book is available to purchase.

Cancellation and refund policy

Please note: Minimum and maximum numbers apply. Registrations will be accepted on a first-come/first-served basis. Registrations close 10 working days before the presentation date (the closing date). NZLS CLE Ltd reserves the right to cancel any session that does not reach the budgeted minimum number of registrations. This decision will be made on the closing date and a full refund will be made to each registrant of the cancelled session. If you cancel your registration before the closing date, a refund will be made, less a $200 administration fee. After the closing date, there will be no refund. You may transfer your registration to another person until five working days before the presentation. Please advise NZLS CLE Ltd in writing of the change.

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freephone (within NZ)
0800 333 111


04 472 7837

04 463 2986

DX SP 20202
PO Box 5041
Wellington 6140
New Zealand