The Salvation Army supports this Bill. We recognise that the original Bill was first put in the ballot nearly five years ago by former National MP Dr Jacqui Blue, current Human Rights Commissioner. The Salvation Army is glad to see cross party support for this Bill.
We also wish to acknowledge the advocacy and tireless work of Shakti Community Council Inc., who through its member organisations has been providing culturally appropriate domestic violence intervention services to women and girls of Asian, African and Middle Eastern origin who have been subjected to and threatened with forced marriage. Shakti has also been instrumental in raising awareness of the practice of Forced Marriage in New Zealand which led to the development of this Bill.
The right to ‘free and full’ consent to a marriage is recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with the recognition that consent cannot be ‘free and full’ when one of the parties involved does not have the capacity to make an informed decision about a life partner