20 March to 23 March 2007

23 March 2007 – Family Integrity – It Isn’t True

It Isn’t True

I’ve listened to enough. People are way too polite in saying Green MP Sue Bradford’s motivations are pure and her heart is set on the protection of defenceless children from violence and abuse.

This is simply not true: it is only the smoke screen for her sinister agenda. It is obvious that this Bill does nothing to help abused children or nail abusive parents, but it will make criminals of the best parents in the country.

Physical violence and abuse toward children is not Bradford’s or Labour’s concern: it is the God-ordained authority and influence that parents have over their own children that Bradford is out to neutralise. She hates the idea that parents can legally inculcate and enforce their own traditional Christian family values into their children without being forced to give her radical-feminist-Green values equal time. So her Bill specifically targets “correction”: parents are to be forbidden to correct a child’s bad behaviour, attitudes, speech, grammar, dress or hygiene habits into good ones, regardless of how light or reasonable is the force they use to make the correction.

If parents cannot correct their children, who then can? Government agents getting their directions from the Top, where Sue Bradford intends to dwell. Truancy officers, social workers and police all have legal powers to use even unreasonable force to remove children from families and to ensure attendance at state schooling and propaganda centres (staffed by more Government agents known as school teachers), anger management and drug dependency courses as well as living where they’re told, be it in foster families or a prison.

While a simple dictator would be happy controlling the military and the economy and thickly lining his own pockets, Bradford’s & Labour’s agenda, like the worst Reds of Mao’s China and the USSR, is totalitarianism: they know what’s best for you and me and will control us, our personal thought lives and our children. In this way they hope to claim personal starring roles in Hegel’s idea that “the State is god walking on earth”.

Like Sue and Helen’s older sister Eve, they have a desire to be as god, knowing and determining for themselves – and everyone else while they’re at it – what constitutes good and evil. Eve fell for it. Looks like these two have fallen for it too. May God have mercy on us all.

22 March 2007 – Family First – Labour Decision ‘Smacks’ of Arrogance

22 March 2007 – Family First – Labour Decision ‘Smacks’ of Arrogance

Labour Decision ‘Smacks’ of Arrogance

Thursday, 22 March 2007, 5:11 pm
Press Release: Family First
22 MARCH 2007
Labour Decision ‘Smacks’ of Arrogance

Family First has been notified that the government is to give urgency to the ‘Anti-smacking’ bill due back in Parliament next week.

Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First, says that if this is the case, the Labour-led government will be showing incredible arrogance and disdain towards the views and concerns of NZ parents and families.

He says that it is unbelievable that Labour are willing to put aside far more pressing issues of health, education, and law and order, all demanding urgent attention, to bring in a law which targets good families, and will do nothing to lower our unacceptable rates of child abuse.

“This attempt to “stick it” to the voters should be ample evidence that this is a bill about forwarding an agenda rather than tackling child abuse in an effective way,” says Mr McCoskrie. “The government is not even willing to allow time for an appropriate debate on a bill that invades every home.”

“The government is panicking because of the overwhelming tide of public opposition, which will be further evidenced in marches throughout NZ and the signing of the petition demanding a Referendum next week.”

Mr McCoskrie says the fact that the Prime Minister is also having to ‘whip’ her MP’s to vote for the bill shows just how weak the bill is, and that she knows that the bill would be defeated if MP’s had their say. It is believed that up to as many as 19 Labour MP’s are unhappy with being forced to vote for the bill.

“This action of riding rough-shod over the will of NZ’ers will simply energise kiwis to voice their objection to this ‘wacky’ bill,” says Mr McCoskrie.

Family First calls on the United Future, NZ First, National and Maori MP’s who were supporting the bill to immediately withdraw their support, and for Labour MP’s to demand a conscience vote as was promised to the voters before the last election.

Petition forms demanding a Referendum on the issue of criminalising parents and tackling child abuse can be downloaded at http://www.familyfirst.org.nz. Petition forms can also be obtained from major daily newspapers next Tuesday.


You can also download the Petition forms from http://www.FamilyIntegrity.org.nz

22 March 2007 – NZPA – Govt wants to fast-track smacking bill

22 March 2007 – NZPA – Govt wants to fast-track smacking bill

Govt wants to fast-track smacking bill
By GRANT FLEMING – NZPA | Thursday, 22 March 2007

The Government is seeking support to fast-track legislation under urgency that would restrict parents’ right to smack their children.

Leader of the House Michael Cullen today said the Government had not decided whether it would move urgency, which could see Green MP Sue Bradford’s controversial bill passed into law next Wednesday.

But Ms Bradford said the Greens had already been approached by the Government and had indicated they would support an urgency motion.

Such a motion would require the support of a majority of MPs.

Ms Bradford’s bill would remove the legal defence of “reasonable force” for parents who physically punish their children.

The bill appears to have the numbers to pass into law, but opponents, who say it will outlaw smacking, are mounting a final push against it.

National MPs have managed to delay the bill at its committee stage, meaning that under normal parliamentary processes it would not face its third reading until late April or even May.

Debate on the bill’s committee stage, when MPs can attempt to insert amendments, recommences on Wednesday.

But National deputy leader Gerry Brownlee today said the Government appeared to be planning to move urgency so it could “railroad” the bill through Parliament.

Under urgency the bill could proceed to its third reading and be passed into law straight after its committee stage concluded.

Labour needed to make its plans clear.

“(Prime Minister) Helen Clark knows very well that the smacking ban is unpopular with the majority of New Zealanders, and that the public are frustrated that she has not allowed her MPs the opportunity to vote with their consciences,” he said.

“To limit the damage it is clear that Labour wants to steamroll this legislation through the House as quickly as possible.”

Using urgency would be an abuse of the process, Mr Brownlee said.

Dr Cullen would not directly answer Mr Brownlee’s questions in Parliament and afterward a spokesman would not say if the Government was even considering urgency.

He said no decision had been taken.

But, in response to a question from New Zealand First deputy leader Peter Brown, Dr Cullen said he would consult with parties if an urgency motion was to be taken.

“This bill is, of course, a conscience matter for some caucuses, not operating a party vote, and that complicates procedural matters in this respect, but I’ll certainly be consulting with either the leader of NZ First or the acting leader.”

Opponents of the bill will march on Parliament next Wednesday.

Ms Bradford yesterday said she was concerned some of them were being influenced by hysteria whipped up around the bill, which she believed would not criminalise parents who lightly smacked their children.

“Any sensible reading of the police guidelines on prosecution will show that police will exercise their discretion on this matter.”

The bill as it stands would allow parents to use reasonable force to protect their child, or others from harm, or to stop offensive or disruptive behaviour.

However, it would not allow parents to use force for punishment.

22 March 2007 – New Zealand National Party – Is Labour going to railroad the smacking ban?

22 March 2007 – New Zealand National Party – Is Labour going to railroad the smacking ban?

Thursday, 22 March 2007, 2:48 pm
Press Release: New Zealand National Party
Gerry Brownlee MP
National Party Shadow Leader of the House
22 March 2007

Is Labour going to railroad the smacking ban?

National Party Shadow Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee says cryptic answers offered in Parliament today lend weight to the suggestion that Labour is planning to “railroad the smacking ban under urgency”.

“Michael Cullen should come clean. Either Labour plans to take urgency and ride roughshod over our democracy next week or it doesn’t.

“Helen Clark knows very well that the smacking ban is unpopular with the majority of New Zealanders, and that the public are frustrated that she has not allowed her MPs the opportunity to vote with their consciences.

“The Prime Minister also knows that she has been caught out saying one thing about the smacking ban before the election, and giving a completely different story after the election.

“To limit the damage, it is clear that Labour wants to steamroll this legislation through the House as quickly as possible while Helen Clark is out of the country.”

What this means is that by Thursday next week Section 59 could be gone. “It is arrogant, it is cynical and Helen Clark should expect to be held to account by New Zealanders for abusing the process to serve her own ends.”


21 March 2007 – Family Integrity – By What Standard?

21 March 2007 – Family Integrity – By What Standard?
By What Standard?

Bradford’s bill to repeal parental authority is simply insane. The only reason anyone pays it any attention at all is out of a sense of being polite and unwilling to say in public that this idea is completely detached from reality. First, it demonises “correction” of children. This is a core responsibility of parenting. We correct our children’s behaviour, attitudes, speech, grammar, dress and even tone of voice. Bradford is clearly subversive toward parenting in her intentions.

Second, it is clearly unwanted by the vast majority of the population. To continue to drive it through is not just unrepresentative and undemocratic, it is highly irresponsible and exposes its thoroughly ideological rather than any logical or beneficial motives. It will wreck any chance of forming the social peace and harmony the MPs all say they want to develop.

Third, it is hopelessly vague and unenforceable. “Reasonable force” is allowed to stop offensive or disruptive behaviour. But the Bill fails to specify by what standard “offensive” and “disruptive” are to be judged? If the 13-year-old daughter wants to strut around topless in the privacy of her family house, how can the parents claim it is offensive if neither the police nor the city councils of Palmerston North, Auckland and Christchurch would declare toplessness in the centre of town at midday to be offensive, even though it was performed before pre-schoolers and some school children to promote pornography?

Will the parents be trusted to make the call, according to the dictates of their own privately held standards, or will they be forced to conform to some national standard deemed to be acceptable on an ad hoc basis? If it is Bradford’s standards – which include approval of prostitution, dope smoking, lowered drinking age and lesbians getting a guy at the pub to impregnate one of them and casting him aside so the lesbians can have a live baby to toy with – it will only prove that this country is no longer a good place to bring up kids. Dump Bradford’s Bill.

21 March 2007 – Family First – Yet Another Poll Shows Smacking is No Big Deal

21 March 2007 – Family First – Yet Another Poll Shows Smacking is No Big Deal

Yet Another Poll Shows Smacking is No Big Deal

Wednesday, 21 March 2007, 2:45 pm
Press Release: Family First
21 MARCH 2007
Yet Another Poll (yawn!) Shows Smacking is No Big Deal

In the latest of 15 polls run over the last 2 years on this topic, 71% of the 1850 respondents to the STUFF website poll said they had been occasionally smacked and it was no big deal. A further 21% said they were smacked hard but never think about it.

Only 5% said that a hard smack had affected them in a negative way.

Despite this poll not being scientifically accurate, it is consistent with every other poll run over the last 2 years, including a survey done by the anti-smacking lobby for their own Conference last year (Feb 2006) which found 82% support for section 59.

Family First National Director Bob McCoskrie says that parents should take heart from this poll.

Despite the claims of the anti-smacking lobby groups and MP’s, reasonable smacks don’t harm children. Parents should also ignore the accusations that when they smack, they are assaulting their kids and are guilty of violence.

“Reasonable smacking and correction in the context of a loving nurturing family does no harm, as has been confirmed by quality research done by Otago University and the Christchurch School of Medicine,” says Mr McCoskrie.

He says that NZ parents deserve credit for the job they have done, and are doing, raising their children, and they certainly don’t need Sue Bradford’s “education” or the Prime Minister’s “agenda” to fix something that ain’t broke.

Family First continues to call on the government to tackle the real causes of child abuse as identified by UNICEF and CYF reports, and international research – namely family breakdown and dysfunction, substance abuse, and stress and poverty.


20 March 2007 – The Dominion Post – Flawed backing for a flawed bill

20 March 2007 – The Dominion Post – Flawed backing for a flawed bill
Dominion Post Editorial gets it right on the anti-smacking Bill.
Flawed backing for a flawed bill

The Dominion Post

Tuesday 20 March 2007

Richard Long


Social engineering. Labour likes it, but the words send a shudder through the electorate. Accordingly, having got civil union and prostitution law reform on to the books, Labour decided to clear the slate before this third term and not buy into any more of the troublesome stuff.

Georgina Beyer’s transgender equality plans were quietly sidelined before the election and never revived afterward. That move would have made it illegal to discriminate against employing transgender, including in the police and armed forces, which would have resulted in continuing ructions.

Even the move to allow public access to waterways across private land was quietly put on the back-burner pre-election. Labour initially thought it was on a winner on this one, expecting it to come down to a fight between the general public and farmers. But the move instead roused support for private property rights. The proposal has just emerged in greatly watered-down form.

On the election campaign Prime Minister Helen Clark saw the dangers in supporting anti-smacking plans in a radio interview, which has just resurfaced. She responded when asked if she wanted to see smacking banned: “Absolutely not. Well you’re trying to defy human nature.”

Explaining her support now for Green MP Sue Bradford’s anti-smacking bill, Miss Clark says there has been no change of stance. “This is about people who thrash and beat children”.

Ms Bradford similarly argues black is white about her quaintly named The Crimes (Abolition of Force as a Justification of Child Discipline) Amendment Bill. It is not an anti-smacking bill, she proclaims.

It is too. The repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act, which allows parents to use “reasonable force” to discipline children, in effect makes it a criminal offence to smack. The only exceptions are cases where children are likely to hurt themselves – or when they are bashing other kids or animals. But in the latter cases the corrective smack can be administered only if the child’s actions are likely to cause injury (to siblings or the family pet).

In another words, in the split second before a parent has the chance to deliver an admonishing, corrective smack, they have to make this calculation without consulting a lawyer or doctor. The wrong choice means breaking the law.

Ms Bradford’s supporters argue smacking would be against the law, but argue the police would never prosecute. That’s great. So our MPs are passing a law which they acknowledge will be ignored. And even if the police don’t prosecute, they will have to follow up complaints. The waste of their time and resources will be immense.

Children are pretty resourceful. Some of the little devils, miffed with parents, are quite likely to dial 111 to claim they have been beaten.

What happens after an investigation clears the parents? Will they then be charged with allowing their child to waste police time?

So how did we get into this mess, with Parliament and the country so polarised on legislation which everyone expects parents will ignore?

Labour’s backing for Ms Bradford’s bill was not part of the formal confidence and supply agreement with the Greens, but the belief among many MPs is that it was part of an unofficial understanding, made when Labour saw parliamentary majority problems down the track with the likely defection of Mangare MP Taito Phillip Field.

That also explains why Labour MPs earlier said they were expecting a free vote on the bill. Then came the caucus instruction for a bloc vote in favour.

And why not support the sensible compromise amendment from National MP and former policeman Chester Borrows, which would still repeal Section 59, but allow corrective smacks for the temper tantrum and hitting other children? The problem is the Greens would then lose their sovereignty. Ms Bradford would rather burn her bill. Labour will not back the amendment because it would lose the Greens and give kudos to National.

The bill’s supporters are being cynically manipulative when they claim this will cure our appalling record of child abuse. The Lilly-bings, Kahui twins and Craig Manukaus are totally different tragic social problems not cured with this piece of paper.

Richard Long is a former chief of staff for National leaders Bill English and Don Brash

20 March 2007 – Grey Power New Zealand – Elderly Concerned About Bradford’s Bill

20 March 2007 – Grey Power New Zealand – Elderly Concerned About Bradford’s Bill

Elderly Concerned About Bradford’s Bill

Tuesday, 20 March 2007, 3:05 pm
Press Release: Grey Power New Zealand
Grey Power: Elderly Concerned About Bradford’s Bill
There is a fast growing concern amongst the majority of middle class and elderly citizens of New Zealand with regards to the “Anti Smacking Bill” bandied around Parliament recently.

“Not only are senior politicians, including the Prime Minister, unsure of the consequences of this legislation [Helen Clark’s statement, that this Bill will not alter the present situation] but Grey Power is confident that 75% or more of their membership are of the opinion that parents and or caregivers must retain the right to discipline children under their care in an appropriate way, which includes smacking, if necessary”, says Hamish Perry, Grey Power’s Law and Order, Justice spokesperson.

Grey Power definitely do not and will not condone beatings, but seriously consider this Bill will be a further stage towards the increase in violent offending as shown in a graph indicating a steady increase in violent offences following the introduction of similar “soft soap” legislation since 1970. Police records show 43,534 violent offences in 2001 with a projected 682,538 violent offences in 2010.

A public Referendum would be appropriate in this case.


20 March 2007 – Feilding Herald – MP to vote no on no-smacking

20 March 2007 – Feilding Herald – MP to vote no on no-smacking

MP to vote no on no-smacking
Feilding Herald | Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Rangitikei MP Simon Power will vote against Sue Bradford’s “no- smacking” bill when it comes back for a third reading in Parliament in May.

He says he has spent the past two or three months getting feedback from the electorate, speaking to police, church ministers, social workers, teachers, parents and retailers.

“This is an extremely difficult issue. I have been deeply concerned about the way some of our children are treated.

“Equally, I went into politics to make the state’s role smaller in families, not larger.”

Mr Power says that, in the eight years he has been in Parliament, this is one of the hardest issues he has had to deal with.

“But in the end, I trust the families of Rangitikei, and not the state, to raise our children.”

20 March – Society For Promotion Of Community Standards Inc. – Dishonesty and U-Turns in Anti-Smacking Campaign

20 March – Society For Promotion Of Community Standards Inc. – Dishonesty and U-Turns in Anti-Smacking Campaign

Dishonesty and U-Turns in Anti-Smacking Campaign

Tuesday, 20 March 2007, 4:32 pm
Press Release: Society For Promotion Of Community Standards Inc.
20 March 2007
Dishonesty and U-Turns in Anti-Smacking Campaign

Green Party MP Sue Bradford appears willing to misrepresent the law in a desperate bid to get her private member’s bill outlawing smacking, into law. On the recent TV1 programme Agenda, hosted by Lisa Owen, Sue Bradford stated:

“It’s actually illegal now to smack your child”.


She made this erroneous statement in an attempt to refute the claims made by critics of her bill, that if it is enacted into law, it will criminalise good parents who smack their kids using “reasonable force” for the purpose of correction. Bradford is wrong. It is NOT illegal now for a parent to smack their children if the action does not contravene the clear guidelines and purpose (“correction”) set out in s. 59 of the Crimes Act (1961) for the use of “reasonable force” (in “domestic discipline”). S. 59 provides a clear justification for the use of “reasonable force”, in the same way the other sections of the Act provide justification for the use of “reasonable force” (e.g. in self-defence s. 48 and s. 60 Force used by Ship Captains).

The concept of an action being “justified” (or “justification”) is clearly defined in s. 2 of the Act. A person is not guilty of an offence and not liable to any civil proceeding, for using “reasonable force” in circumstances specified under relevant sections of the Act. For example, when the law is properly applied, a parent cannot be convicted under s. 194 of the Crimes Act for “assault” against their child if the force used was “reasonable” in the circumstances and used for purposes set out in s. 59.

In the Family District Court in 2003, Judge Inglis QC put the matter simply:

“As a matter of law, the effect of s. 59 of the Crimes Act 1961 was that a parent’s action, or that of a person in the place of a parent, in smacking a child for the purpose of correction was entirely lawful if the force used was reasonable in the circumstances. Reasonable force used against a child for that purpose could not in law be categorised as physical abuse of a child.”

Prime Minister, Helen Clark, has also deliberately repeated Bradford’s misrepresentation of the law. She has called the s. 59 defence “ridiculous”.

In setting out her support for Sue Bradford’s bill that repeals s. 59 of the Crimes Act (1961), prior to it going to the select committee, she told Paul Holmes on NewstalkZB on Monday June 13th 2005:

“On the other hand, to have an actual defence in the law [s. 59] where someone can go and argue they used reasonable force, is also ridiculous.”

Most New Zealanders disagree with her. For over two years nation-wide polls have consistently shown that about 80% of New Zealanders want the defence for use of reasonable force contained in s. 59 retained and not repealed, the defence that Clark describes as “ridiculous”.

If Bradford’s bill with the amendments that have been added by the select committee, becomes law, ANY force used with one’s child for the purpose of correction will be unlawful and will open up a parent or the person in the place of a parent, to being charged for committing a criminal offence, and possibly lead to a prosecution. Use of force for correction does include light smacking. One effect of Bradford’s bill is clearly to ban light smacking, which both Clark and Bradford deceitfully deny. Clark has now gone on the offensive saying that she does not want smacking banned even though she opposes Chester Borrows amendment that seeks to safeguard parents from prosecution for light smacking for corrective purposes. It has now been revealed that in a live interview on Radio Rhema, before the election, Clark stated that she opposed any ban on smacking and yet Bradford has stated that her bill, which Clark supports, will ban all smacking for the purpose of corrective discipline.

Clark and Bradford claim that if the bill as currently drafted becomes law, police will not, or rarely ever pursue any formal complaints made against parents for lightly smacking their children, nor will the police lay charges for such smackings. This is not correct. The police authorities have already confirmed that if Bradford’s bill becomes law, they will have to deal with ALL such complaints as criminal offences. They will be treated as domestic violence and police are bound to lay charges in cases where victims who make dishonest yet “convincing” claims in order to “dob in parents” or savage a partner in a custody dispute, for example, will need to have their allegations tested in court.

Back in 2005 the NZ Herald (14/06/05) reported,

“She [Clark] stressed [to Holmes] that the Government would not legislate to ban smacking, saying it would be a “very silly thing to do”.”

In an interview with Bob McCroskie on Radio Rhema in 2005 Clark expressed strong opposition to any ban on smacking:

“…a lot of people are uncomfortable with the beating, ah, but they don’t want to see, ah, you know, stressed and harassed parents, ah, you know, called in by the police because they, they smacked a child, so I think there’s a debate to go on…”

McCoskrie: “…right … so, you don’t want to see smacking banned…”

Clark: “Absolutely not! I think you’re trying to defy human nature.”

Clearly she has made a complete U-turn in recent days by using her party whips (neither of whom have ever had children or even been married as National MP Maurice Williamson highlighted in the House), to force all Labour Party MPs to support Bradford’s bill that Bradford herself has conceded, bans smacking.

When accused by the National Party of doing a U-turn Clark denied it by claiming that she has always opposed the banning of smacking and that Bradford’s bill has nothing to do with banning smacking, but only removes the statutory defence against assault that applies to reasonable force used in correction.

The New Zealand public will not be fooled by such deceit and dishonesty.

To illustrate Bradford and Clark’s error of logic consider s. 60 of the Crimes Act (1961) that provides a statutory defence for the use of reasonable force by a ship’s captain.

“Discipline on ship or aircraft. The master or officer in command of a ship¦ or the pilot in command of an aircraft¦ is justified in using and ordering the use of force for the purpose of maintaining good order and discipline .. if he believes on reasonable grounds that the use of force is necessary, and if the force used is reasonable in the circumstances.”

If the statutory defence was removed by a repeal of s. 60, the use of reasonable force by ship’s masters and pilots in the circumstances outlined, would be made unlawful and effectively banned. The use of “reasonable force” against a passenger(s) by a captain or an officer designated by the captain, constitutes an assault under the law, if the force used is NOT reasonable AND is not used for the reasons given in s.60. Once s. 60 is repealed the captain has no defence that takes account of his special role and responsibility to maintain order. He is limited to using verbal persuasion, non-threatening hand gestures etc. to “force” people to maintain good order. If he uses any force he is committing an unlawful act.

Helen Clark and Sue Bradford are hell-bent on stripping parents of the only defence they have in law against a spurious charge of “assault” that may be brought against them for using “reasonable force” in correction. They most definitely seek to ban smacking by legislative means, despite their claims to the contrary, and refuse to concede that lightly smacking a child for the purpose of correction will be banned if Bradford’s bill becomes law.

Clark blames the media for the credibility gap created by her U-turn. Meanwhile deluded Ms Bradford is calling for millions of taxpayer dollars to be spent explaining her bill to the public for the purpose of proving, she hopes, that her bill does not ban smacking! She has already wasted millions of taxpayers dollars promoting her “ridiculous” and “silly” (words used by Clark to rubbish s. 59) bill that all sides of the debate including Bradford herself, concede will make no impact whatsoever in reducing child abuse figures in New Zealand.


20 March 2007 – Gisborne Herald – Public opinion building up against Bradford’s anti-smacking bill

20 March 2007 – Gisborne Herald – Public opinion building up against Bradford’s anti-smacking bill

Public opinion building up against Bradford’s anti-smacking bill

by Iain Gillies
Tuesday, 20 March, 2007

Opponents of Sue Bradford’s anti-smacking bill are optimistic they may yet stymie its intent through a groundswell of public opinion.

Parliament’s interrupted debate on the legislation has given a sense of urgency to petitioners striving for two citizens’ initiated referenda on related issues.

Co-ordinator Larry Baldock — a former United Future MP — told The Gisborne Herald the response has been “overwhelming”.

“The biggest challenge is getting it in front of people,” he said. “Once we do that, we’re getting a response of 80-90 percent.”

The petitioners then have to gather the 300,000 signatures necessary to require a referenda, not an impossible task.

The first petition is: “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?” It is in the name of Aucklander Sheryl Savill, a mother-of-two who works with Focus on the Family and whose husband is a policeman.

Mr Baldock’s petition is: “Should the Government give urgent priority to understanding and addressing the wider causes of family breakdown, family violence and child abuse in New Zealand?”

Organised groups and churches are helping; some radio stations have the petitions on their website, and individuals are downloading and distributing it.

It appears that a strong public response could be evident before Parliament resumes its interrupted debate on the bill on March 28, and a possible third and final reading on May 2. By that time, there could be enough evidence to suggest that a referendum is coming.

Mr Baldock has been visiting various South Island centres this week, reinforcing his work, on a previous circuit.

“The Government cannot be allowed to get away with this arrogance of not listening to the people of New Zealand,” he said.

There is no doubt that the intention behind the bill — to protect children from violence — is well-founded. Children have been abused far too much in this country. But, sadly, nobody seems to know exactly where this bill starts and ends.

20 March 2007 – Nanny State’s fascist anti-smacking bill

20 March 2007 – Nanny State’s fascist anti-smacking bill
Nanny State’s fascist anti-smacking bill

Submitted by Mitch on Thu, 2007-03-15 02:25.
In response to the dictatorship’s intention to take away a parent’s right to smack their children, a march on Parliament is being organised for March Wednesday 28th March. Reports from the media suggest that up to 80% of people are opposed to Sue Bradford’s bill, and in a somewhat pleasing development, some MPs have finally started kicking up a fuss.

For more information, or to help with the organisation of this march, please e-mail antiantismacking@gmail.com.

If something isn’t done about this now, next they will be telling us that due to high rates of “child abuse” (i.e. parents smacking their children for correctional purposes), you now need to apply for permission to HAVE children, and as an extension of this, you may need a permit for any act likely to lead to children.

If you have children, intend to have children, or are just flat out opposed to Nanny State, you MUST support this cause.

UPDATE: The March will start at 12pm at Wellington’s Civic Square. NOTE: Wednesday the 28th! I don’t want people turning up a week early. Another strong rumour is that Bob McCoskrie of Family First is organising an Auckland March. More details as they come to hand…

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Oh My! The Fascists Are Fearful!! 🙂
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Tue, 2007-03-20 00:31.
Just out from the Green Party:


20 March 2007

Fear on the march

Green Party MP Sue Bradford is concerned that some of those planning to join next week’s marches against her repeal of the S59 defence for assaults on children, are not being told the full story by the organizers.

“I fully support the right to free speech, but am concerned that some of those marching may be responding to needless fears whipped up about the Bill, and its consequences,” Ms Bradford says.

“My Bill does not, and will not criminalise parents who lightly smack their children. It removes a defence for what has always been a technical assault. In addition, any sensible reading of the Police guidelines on prosecution will show that Police will exercise their discretion on this matter.

“This latest round of hysteria seems to have united the Christian fundamentalists with the libertarians – who normally baulk at anyone claiming to have a ‘God-given’ mandate for anything. It may be news to the libertarians, but the state has long had a role in the home, well before my Bill first saw daylight.

“Laws on incest, on domestic violence, and the requirements around ensuring the health and education of children are all examples of the state taking action within the home, to protect the vulnerable.

“This Bill is about the rights of children to grow free up from violence. My concern is that some people will be marching against phantom fears – and not against what the Bill really means,” Ms Bradford says.

“The press release announcing the march cites current polls showing 80 per cent opposition to my Bill.’ In fact, the 80 percent figure seems derived from a 2002 Justice Ministry report that found 80 percent of New Zealanders felt smacking a child with an open hand is acceptable. In its amended form my Bill does remove the right to use reasonable force for correction – but it contains four clauses stating other contexts where reasonable parental force is permitted.

“ The press release for the march also raises fears about good parents having their babies taken away under my Bill. Let me clear about this. Unless parents were seriously abusing their children that bogey – the Politically Correct are coming for your baby – will be no more likely if my Bill is passed than it is now.

“ The march spokesperson goes on to allege that my Bill compels the Police to get involved where they have no place and leaves them no discretion. In fact, we want the Police to investigate genuine cases of child abuse, where they most certainly do have a place.

“As the Law Commission has said, the Police have ample grounds for discretion, stated in their prosecution guidelines, to decide whether the public interest would be served by a prosecution,” Ms Bradford says.


Me: Uniting Christians and libertarians?! It unites everyone who objects to Nanny State poking her nose in when it’s not justified. The present law allows for “reasonable force” before Nanny steps in. That’s as it should be. Parenting is for parents.

Won’t criminalise light smacking? This is 100% contrary to what Sue Bradford has said previously, particularly in response to the Chester Borrows amendment. On countless occasions she has been quite clear—ALL smacking (which she calls “assault”) will be illegal:

“I remain absolutely committed to changing a law that, in its current state, allows a legal defence for parents who assault their children, when no such defence exists when we assault other adults, or animals. ” (Greens’ S 59 website.)

From Bradford’s speech to Parliament, Feb 21:


As a result of the Committee process my original bill has been substantially amended. However, I would like to make it very clear that the bill which has come back to the House still clearly reflects my original intention, to abolish the use of parental force for the purposes of correction.

Some supporters of repeal of s59 have been concerned that somehow the bill now waters down that intention, or in some way allows parents to legally still use force as punishment.

This is not the case. The intention of the new amendment is simply to clarify that no parent will be prosecuted for restraining their children when – for example – they are acting to prevent them from hurting another person or themselves, or to stop them from engaging in offensive or disruptive behaviour. The new amendment does not provide a justification of the use of force for the purpose of disciplining a child.

On the other hand, my Select Committee colleague from the National Party, Mr Chester Borrows, has made it very clear that he intends to put up a different amendment during the Committee stages in the House aimed at defining reasonable force for the purposes of correction.

I will be fighting that amendment tooth and nail, as I believe it is the worst possible thing we could do in terms of legitimising the use of force against our children. I know that Mr Borrows is well meaning, but unfortunately, he, like others who want to somehow define reasonable force, doesn’t seem to accept or understand that this is the worst possible thing we could do.

The effect of any attempt to define reasonable force, including Mr Borrows’, is that we then have the state telling parents that we should hit our kids in some ways and not in others, and that it is still perfectly OK to use force on children and babies that we wouldn’t consider using on adults who are actually much more able to look after themselves.

Defining acceptable force also undermines the fantastic work being done by church and community groups all over New Zealand teaching and supporting parents to use other ways of bringing up their children that don’t involve the use of physical discipline.

Our country has made some progress in ensuring domestic violence against adults is unacceptable and illegal even inside the privacy of the home. It is high time we gave children the same protection as we give adults, and bring an end to the situation in which police are able to prosecute a husband for assaulting his wife but do not prosecute him for assaulting his child because he has a defence under section 59. …

Finally, a few words on criminalisation. Much of the opposition to this bill has been driven by those who are spreading the message that if section 59 is abolished suddenly tens of thousands of loving parents will find themselves arrested by police and prosecuted by courts for lightly and occasionally smacking their child.

While it is true that, if this bill succeeds, use of force for correction will technically be an offence, this does not mean that our already very stretched police force will be taking this kind of action. Police investigate maltreatment of a child only after a complaint. The investigation takes into account a whole series of guidelines such as the facts of the case, how serious the offence is and whether there are alternatives to prosecution.

Many minor and technical assaults take place in this country every day that are not investigated, and/or where no prosecution eventuates. This situation will not change with the passing of this bill.


Me: Police won’t prosecute? The police have said unequivocally that the Guidelines will require them to arrest every parent about whom a complaint is made. Greg O’Connor, Police Association: “If it is family violence and there is evidence of violence, the policy is quite clear—the offendeer must be arrested. That means an admission or a witness saying they saw someone smack. Police will have no choice but to arrest a person acting on a complaint.”


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