Care of Children Act 2004

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Ministry of Justice
16 Exercise of guardianship


The duties, powers, rights, and responsibilities of a guardian of a child include (without limitation) the guardian’s—


having the role of providing day-to-day care for the child (however, under section 26(5), no testamentary guardian of a child has that role just because of an appointment under section 26); and


contributing to the child’s intellectual, emotional, physical, social, cultural, and other personal development; and


determining for or with the child, or helping the child to determine, questions about important matters affecting the child.


Important matters affecting the child include (without limitation)—


the child’s name (and any changes to it); and


changes to the child’s place of residence (including, without limitation, changes of that kind arising from travel by the child) that may affect the child’s relationship with his or her parents and guardians; and


medical treatment for the child (if that medical treatment is not routine in nature); and


where, and how, the child is to be educated; and


the child’s culture, language, and religious denomination and practice.


A guardian of a child may exercise (or continue to exercise) the duties, powers, rights, and responsibilities of a guardian in relation to the child, whether or not the child lives with the guardian, unless a court order provides otherwise.


Court order means a court order made under any enactment; and includes, without limitation, a court order that is made under this Act and embodies some or all of the terms of an agreement to which section 40(2) or section 41(2) applies.


However, in exercising (or continuing to exercise) the duties, powers, rights, and responsibilities of a guardian in relation to a child, a guardian of the child must act jointly (in particular, by consulting wherever practicable with the aim of securing agreement) with any other guardians of the child.


Subsection (5) does not apply to the exclusive responsibility for the child’s day-to-day living arrangements of a guardian exercising the role of providing day-to-day care.

Compare: 1968 No 63 s 3; Family Law Act 1975 s 61C (Aust)