The child, a girl, was 6 1/4 at the date of the alleged wrongful removal. She had lived in England all of her life. The parents were separated. The mother had sole custody and the father access. On 5 December 1994 the mother and her new husband took the child to New Zealand.
On 13 January 1995 the father obtained an order from an English court preventing the mother from removing the child out of the jurisdiction. On 30 January 1995 the English Central Authority contacted the New Zealand Central Authority and on 27 February the latter applied for the return of the child.
On 23 March 1995 the District Court in Wellington, without knowledge of the Convention proceedings, granted the mother an ex parte interim custody order.