23 March – 27 March 2007

27 March 2007 – Ruby Harrold-Claesson – Bradford’s Bill will create new criminals

27 March 2007 – Ruby Harrold-Claesson – Bradford’s Bill will create new criminals

For immediate release
Dear Editor,

I the undersigned, Ruby Harrold-Claesson, attorney-at-law in Gothenburg, Sweden and president of the NCHR (www.nkmr.org) am hereby sending you my reaction to the article “Get It Straight: Repeal Section 59 And Cut Crime” that was printed in the Scoop on March 26, 2007.

Very truly yours
Ruby Harrold-Claesson
Attorney at law
President or the NKMR/NCHR

Bradford’s Bill will create new criminals
Ruby Harrold-Claesson
President of the NCHR

In an attempt to ridicule the Sensible Sentencing Trust, Anne Else writes in her piece, “Get It Straight: Repeal Section 59 And Cut Crime”. She continues: “Wilful (sic!) stupidity is really hard to deal with”. I agree with her 100 per cent.

Being a lawyer and researcher I usually use neutral, sober language, otherwise I would use Anne Else’s own words that she “has just managed to pull off a difficult feat. In a strong field of stupid statements, its [her] latest one on Sue Bradford’s Bill stands out for its utter idiocy.”

How can someone who wants to appear to be in his or her right mind equate smacking with child abuse? The research that she cites from The US indicates that “child maltreatment, which includes both child abuse and child neglect” lead to children becoming criminals. This research is not about smacking; it is about child abuse. (http://www.nber.org/papers/w12171)

There are two very important historical Swedish sources that Swedish professor in Legal history at Uppsala University, Mats Kumlien, referred to in his PhD thesis (1994) on the subject “Upbringing and punishment”. The sources are Havamal and The Hälsinge Law.

Havamal says: He who lives lawless and without smacking, he dies without honour. (Den agalös lever och laglös, han ärelös dör). A section in The Hälsinge Law says: He who lives without smacking, he dies without honour. (Den agalös lever, han ärelös dör).

Mats Kumlien showed historical examples of unpunished children who ended up as criminals. One mother was compelled to be present at her son’s execution, and he spat on her and accused her of not giving him a good upbringing ie she had not smacked his bottom when he did wrong.

Anne Else is certainly not aware of the errors in logic in her piece. “Repeal Section 59 and cut crime”, she writes. Well, the result will be the opposite. Repealing Section 59 will not cut crime but it will create young criminals and also a whole new category of criminals: the parents who take their responsibility and smack their unruly children when words and admonitions prove insufficient to correct their deeds or omissions.

Paul Craig Roberts wrote the article “Targeting parents”. I recommend careful reading of the article.


I also recommend reading of the Newman weekly “The Smacking Bill A Con job” http://www.nzcpd.com/weekly74.htm

In all human societies parents have – during the history of our different civilisations – smacked their unruly children. Had smacking been detrimental to children and turned them into criminals, then the world would have been full of criminals. Instead the great majority of people in the world are sensible, well-behaved and responsible people. The greatest problems with some so-called modern societies for eg Sweden, is that they have too many undisciplined children. Their parents have no control over them at home, their teachers have no control over them at school and very few adults have enough courage to talk to them when they display disruptive behaviour in public.

In Sweden schools are being shut down because of violence and threats among the students. The first one was in Malmö in April 2006. http://mobil.svt.se/svt/jsp/Crosslink.jsp?d=22620&a=577543&lid=puff_577985&lpos=extra_0.

A second school, this time in Gothenburg was closed in February 2007


A third school, also in Gothenburg, was closed on March 21, 2007


These are unprecedented happenings.

If New Zealand wants to be at the forefront of civilisation then you should learn from the mistakes that have been made by Sweden – not strive to make similar mistakes.

Gothenburg, Sweden, March 27, 2007.

26 March 2007 – TVNZ – Vast number against smacking bill

26 March 2007 – TVNZ – Vast number against smacking bill

Vast number against smacking bill

Related Video
(Go into link above to watch these video links)

New blow for smacking bill (2:18)
Fury over smacking bill fast-track (2:12)
PM questioned on smacking (3:47)
Smacking debate remains divided (5:20)
Parents may defy smacking ban (1:13)
Sharples on smacking debate (5:41)
Labour loses ground despite plaudits (3:32)

Related Articles
(Go into link above to listen to audio links)

Anti-smacking fight heats up
Fury over smacking bill fast-track
Move to fast-track smacking bill
Former cop wades into smacking debate
Kiro told to keep nose out of politics
Smacking debate remains divided
One News Colmar Brunton poll: March 2007

(Go into link above to vote in this poll)
Will a smacking ban stop you from smacking your children?

Mar 26, 2007

Anti-smacking campaigners have been dealt a fresh blow, with a new poll showing an overwhelming number of New Zealanders support parents’ right to smack their naughty children.

The news comes as MPs prepare to once again debate the controversial bill banning smacking, and those against it are promising to keep turning up the heat.

A ONE News Colmar Brunton poll has found 83% of those surveyed believe it is okay to smack naughty children.

Just 15% disagreed with that, but supporters of Sue Bradford’s bill say it is not aimed at those who lightly smack their child.

“The point of the Bradford bill is to enable the police to successfully prosecute serious child beaters,” Prime Minister Helen Clark says.

It is already illegal to hit children but if prosecuted you have a legal defence that you were simply using reasonable force to correct their behaviour. The bill removes that defence because Bradford and others believe it was being wrongly used to get people off the hook for hitting their children with a riding crop or wooden sticks.

But there does not seem to be much faith that the bill will actually help those children. Just 18% say it will cut child abuse rates while 78% say it will do nothing.

With the bill to be debated again on Wednesday, the pressure is being racheted up.

A new advertising campaign against it kicks off on Tuesday. Family First, For the Sake of our Children, the Sensible Sentencing Trust and Grey Power are placing a full page newspaper advertisement to encourage people to sign a petition against the bill.

So far the petition has received more than 50,000 signatures. The aim is to hit 300,000 so the government is forced to hold a referendum.

More protests are also planned and one party is even threatening its own MPs with the boot next election if they do not vote against the controversial law.

Results supported

The Colmar poll results are backed by a Research New Zealand survey, which showed that of the 497 people polled 73% disagreed or strongly disagreed with the anti-smacking bill.

The poll also showed that 72% of New Zealanders thought that if the bill were to be passed into law, it would be unenforceable.

The poll also found those aged 15 to 29 were more inclined to support the legislation, with a quarter strongly supporting the bill.

Fourteen other polls conducted by various organisations show on average about 80% of people oppose the legislation.

A text message poll run by Bay of Plenty Times over the weekend found a staggering 94.6% opposing the legislation.

“Supporters of the bill have always tried to argue that the 14 polls done over the past two years, and averaging 84% support for section 59, are not accurate,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Yet here is yet another independent poll showing that 83% of Kiwis either strongly disagree or disagree with the bill, or have no clear support for the anti-smacking bill.

“The message is clear to our politicians,” says McCoskrie. “Reject the bill, don’t criminalise our good parents, come back to the drawing board, and let’s tackle the real causes of child abuse as identified by UNICEF reports, CYF reports and national and international research – namely family breakdown and dysfunction, drug and alcohol abuse, and poverty and stress.”

26 March 2007 — News Talk ZB – Urgency on anti-smacking bill dumped

26 March 2007 — News Talk ZB – Urgency on anti-smacking bill dumped


Urgency on anti-smacking bill dumped

26/03/2007 19:28:02

The government has confirmed that it will no longer seek urgency on Sue Bradford’s anti-smacking bill.

Labour had been seeking support for the final stages of the private member’s bill to be considered under urgency on Wednesday.

But a spokesman for the office of Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen says that will no longer happen.

Amendments to Sue Bradford’s bill will still be debated by Parliament on Wednesday.

26 March 2007 – Bay of Plenty Times – Smacking law gets thumbs down in Bay


Smacking law gets thumbs down in Bay


Green MP Sue Bradford’s controversial anti-smacking bill has received an overwhelming thumbs down from Western Bay residents.

A special Bay of Plenty Times text message poll on Saturday asked readers Do you think smacking should be outlawed? A staggering 94.6 per cent of the 354 respondents said “no”, with only 5.4 per cent saying “yes”.

The Government will this week decide whether they will attempt to fast-track legislation that would restrict parents’ right to smack their children.

If they do so Green MP Sue Bradford’s controversial bill could be passed into law by the end of the week.

The bill would remove the legal defence of “reasonable force” for parents who physically punish their children but opponents say it will outlaw smacking.
Opponents of the bill will march on Parliament this Wednesday.

Ms Bradford said the Government had sought the Green Party’s support for an urgency motion, which requires a majority.

But the Government would still need others to back the move before it could take urgency to pass the bill through its remaining stages.

To do that it would need the Maori Party, which supports Ms Bradford’s bill, along with the six Green MPs, plus at least one other _ one of the two New Zealand First MPs who support the bill _ to get the 61 votes it needs to bring the matter before Parliament under urgency this week.

NZ First and the Maori party both said their parties would discuss the issue at their caucus meetings tomorrow. National MP for Tauranga Bob Clarkson said the anti-smacking bill was an “extreme case of bad law” and Prime Minister Helen Clark would achieve little in agreeing to have the bill fast tracked.

“Helen’s got herself in a corner and she can’t back out now or she’ll upset the Greens,” he said.

Mr Clarkson said by fast tracking the bill before Easter, Helen Clark perceived the issue would have cooled down after Parliament’s three-week break.

“You can’t take the control away from the parents, it’s just ridiculous. Parents should have the right to control their children in a fair way and not beat them, of course,” he said.

Mr Clarkson said 96 per cent of parents in New Zealand wanted the right to control their children.

“Sue Bradford talks about stopping parents beating their children, that is rubbish. The bill stops them touching their children and that is just silly. This is an extreme case of bad law.”

Tony Ryall, National MP for the Bay of Plenty, said the Bay of Plenty Times poll reflected the feedback he was getting from the community. “Parents are angry that sticky beak Government is telling them how to run their families. Parents know the difference between a smack and a smash.”

Mr Ryall said the bill would not stop one child from being beaten and it is was only being fast tracked because Miss Clark didn’t want New Zealanders to know “how out of touch” she was.

Sue Bradford drafted legislation early last year seeking to repeal the law that allows parents to use reasonable force to punish their children.

She described the current law as “barbaric”.

26 March 2007 – Society for the Promotion of Community Standards – Section 59 defence thwarts attempt to split family


Section 59 defence thwarts attempt to split family
Monday, 26 March 2007, 12:52 pm

The Society for Promotion of Community Standards Inc.
P.O. Box 13-683 Johnsonville

Press Release
26 March 2007

Section 59 defence thwarts attempt to split family

Judge Inglis QC did not support Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) determined efforts to remove four foster boys from an outstanding foster parent “Mrs C” based on CYFS overblown “reservations” presented to the Family Court, over her very limited historic use of mild smacking for “correction”. In the Family Court in Auckland in July/August 2003 the Judge accepted Mrs C’s “evidence about the three occasions [she had smacked her boys] and that they were the only occasions on which the children had been smacked at her home.” The specific incidents came to light when a psychologist interviewed the boys. (CYFS have regularly instructed their social workers to inform parents that smacking is “child abuse”, “violence” and “hitting” and for years have deliberately and dishonestly conflated mild smacking with “child abuse”). The Judge accepted that section 59 of Crimes Act (1961) provided a justification for Mrs C and all foster parents to use “reasonable force” for correction of their children, despite the fact that CYFS had a policy against the use of corporal punishment. (Sue Bradford’s private members bill that all Labour MPs are being forced to support, in some cases against their conscience, would remove this justification/defence if it became law).

“The first [incident involving Mrs C]: was when she had parked her car, with all four children in it, on a slope, and one of the children mischievously let off the handbrake so that the car rolled back and there was nearly a serious accident. After reapplying the handbrake she gave that child a smack with her bare hand. The second was when she found two of the boys pocking pieces of paper into the electric radiator so as to start a fire. She gave each of them a smack with her bare hand. The third incident happened when it became known that one of the smaller boys had formed a habit of spreading faeces over the toilet seat and other available surfaces. She warned him of what would happen if he did it again, emphasising health risks, and when he did so she gave him a smack with her bare hand.” The Judge noted that “the psychologist, in her evidence, wished to record that she had detected no indication of excessive smacking, no signs of fear, that none of the boys appeared to be bothered about the incidents, and that there was in her opinion no question of physical abuse.” [Family Court, Auckland. CYFS 004082-086D 01, July 29, 30, 14 August 2003, par. 40].

If Ms Bradford’s ridiculous anti-family bill, that makes the use of “reasonable force” (including smacking) for the purposes of “correction” of a child, a criminal offence, becomes law; loving parents like Mrs “C” will have no legal defence against allegations of criminal activity leveled against them by CHEFS or any other agency or individual, once charged by police. Judge Inglis ruled that given the nature of the offences committed by the boys under Mrs C’s care, ‘ “correction” was necessary and that each child was smacked in that honest – and indeed justified – belief.’ He stated: “I am left in no doubt that each child would have clearly understood the reason why that punishment was necessary and would have seen it not as rejection by a loved and trusted adult or an arbitrary abuse of power, but as decisive, instant, necessary and fair correction… in each instance… the degree of force used was mild and reasonable within the context of the circumstances as they presented themselves as true.” [par 45] “In her oral evidence Mrs C acknowledged, with complete candour, that she had smacked one or other of the children on three separate occasions. I had no difficulty accepting the accuracy of her evidence that all those occasions were long before the present hearing, and that once the children understood – to their surprise – that she was capable of giving them a smack, she has never had occasion to do the same.” [par. 40]
Judge Inglis is one of the most highly respected and senior family court judges in New Zealand. He acknowledged that CYFS had “good reasons” to have a policy against the use of corporal punishment “given its responsibility for sometimes seriously physically abused children”. However, he noted that “there was some debate during the hearing on whether in circumstances of the present case the Department’s policy could be legally operative because of the provisions of the Crimes Act 1961, s 59”.

If Ms Bradford’s bill becomes law, the force of the amendments added during the select committee stage will be to ensure that whenever a parent or person in the place of a parent faces charges in court for using any form of force for the purposes of correction on a their child; once that purpose is established, there is no defence or justification they can appeal to in law. Even if the purpose involved other factors beside correction, for example safeguarding the health and well-being of the family, the component of correction, however slight, removes any defence they might have had if the purpose was ONLY that of stopping a dangerous behaviour/habit.

Judge Inglis commended “Mrs C” in the 2003 case for her outstanding parenting skills with the boys. He awarded her full custody of the boys to her and negated the custody order vested in the Chief Executive of CYFS that had made them custodians of the state. That department, so obsessed with its concerns over the ‘smacking’, had taken the ‘allegations’ of smacking (= “assault” in the assessment of CYFS) against Mrs C to the family Court in order to prove them and in the hope of blocking Mrs “C” from ever having custody of the boys again. Thank God Judge Inglis found that section 59 provided a defence for Mrs C’s loving and corrective actions.

The Society is calling on all MPs to vote against Sue Bradford’s “silly” and “ridiculous” bill. These pejorative words have been used by the Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Helen Clark, to rubbish s. 59 of the Crimes Act. (The Society chooses to apply the same words to apply to Bradford’s flawed bill). Bradford and Clark have both been guilty of lying to the New Zealand public by claiming that if the bill becomes law, it will not ban smacking outright and will not criminalise good parents who apply a mild smack to a child for correction.

The case involving “Mrs C” was presented to the Justice and Electoral Committee by the Society in its written and oral submissions on Ms Bradford’s flawed private member’s bill. The Labour and Green MPs on the committee exhibited no interest whatsoever in any aspect of the Society’s well-researched and comprehensive submission. It was very clear that their minds were not open to any viewpoint other than their own: the complete repeal of s. 59.

A summary of the Society’s submission can be found at: http://spcs.org.nz/content/view/97/41/


26 March 2007 – Family Integrity – Selling Out

Selling Out
Sunday, 25 March 2007, 12:52 pm
Press Release: Family Integrity
Press Release For Immediate Distribution

Selling Out

The Maori Party is really in the gun. What they’ve done to their own culture, selling out to a radical form of feminism that most Pakeha won’t even endorse, letting two other political parties direct their own party’s steps over the clear wishes of 80% or more of their own people is really quite reprehensible, even more reprehensible than the goose-stepping-on-your-face distain Labour shows for its constituents.

Bradford’s Bill to criminalise the act of parental correction of children will re-define the entire parent-child and child-family relationships. Cutting the child out of the context of its own whanau, separating it from its parents and bestowing upon the child a set of “rights” determined by the political state without consulting the parents, whanau or cultural norms is a completely foreign way to treat tamariki.

“The best interests of the child” is the mantra of these Internationalists who fawn at the hand of the United Nations…and that means a child considered on its own, without reference to parents, whanau or cultural links. The child is not just seen as an autonomous individual, but one with individual rights. Who bestows these rights? The state. Who will protect these rights? The state and its agents (social workers, police, teachers and increasingly the staff of Plunket, Barnardos, doctors’ offices, etc.). And from whom does the child need protection that its rights should not be infringed? Parents. Parents are the prime suspects at all times in the eyes of nanny state and its agents.

Be afraid, parents, of Bradford’s Bill to criminalise you. Be very afraid. Be outraged, Maori people, for you have been sold over to bondage.


24 March 2007 – NZ Centre for Political Debate – The Smacking Bill a Con Job

24 March 2007

The Smacking Bill a Con Job

New Zealand is being conned over the so-called anti-smacking bill.

Touted as being the way to prevent child abuse, this bill is part of an international movement designed to undermine parental authority and increase state control over children. While a dozen or so countries have succumbed to the pressure of the anti-smacking lobby and the United Nations, the overwhelming majority have not (see “Smacking Laws in other Countries” BBC News http://news.bbc.co.uk/nolpda/ukfs_news/hi/newsid_3866000/3866747.stm

The promoters of the Crimes (Abolition of Force as a Justification for Child Discipline) Amendment Bill want to remove section 59 of the Crimes Act, so that parents who discipline their children using “reasonable” force will no longer be protected from the charge of assault. They claim this is necessary because section 59 is being used as a shield to protect child abusers. Yet since 1990 there have only been seven successful defenses using section 59!

The public can recognize a con job when they see one. That is why they are fighting back with email campaigns, newspaper advertisements, marches, meetings, petitions and debates. It is this organised opposition that is threatening Labour to such an extent that they are now plotting to undermine the democratic process by calling the House into urgency. If they succeed, the bill will be fast-tracked through Parliament with the rest of the committee stages and the final third reading all held this week.

At the centre of the controversy over the bill is the Prime Minister. She reassured the country before the last election that she would not support a smacking ban: “As you know I do not support a ban on smacking. I am opposed to that because I think it defies human nature. No one wants to see a stressed and harassed parent who in exasperation lightly smacks a child dragged before the court.” (see http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/411749/1024326 )

The Minister of Justice at the time, Phil Goff agreed saying that while he supported the bill going to a select committee, he did not want to make criminals out of parents (click here to read the Herald article http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10329981).

When the bill was first introduced into Parliament, Labour MPs were asked to support it to a select committee on the understanding they would be given a conscience vote for the subsequent stages. However, when Philip Field resigned and Labour needed the Green Party’s support to stay in power, all of that changed and the Prime Minister now expects all Labour MPs to vote with the party.

But in a Parliamentary democracy they don’t have to do that. MPs have sovereign rights and history is rich with stories of brave MPs who cross the floor over important matters putting the best interests of their constituents and the country ahead of party politics.

When the anti-smacking debate started, the government funded a Canadian anti-smacking advocate Dr Joan Durrant to visit New Zealand to promote her controversial view that Sweden’s smacking ban – introduced in 1979 – had reduced child abuse to “virtually zero”. It is a view that had been discredited a few years ago by other researchers (see Herald http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10368213).

Ruby Harrold-Claesson, a Swedish attorney and President of the Nordic Committee for Human Rights, was brought to New Zealand (by private interests), to address the Select Committee and put the record straight about Sweden. She is this week’s NZCPD Guest Commentator. In an article entitled “The Smacking Ban: A Dangerous Law”, Ruby states:

Thinking New Zealanders have known all along that the proposed law would lead would lead to policing and criminalising responsible parents. Being a lawyer in Sweden under the regime of the anti-smacking law, I have known that all along, and I am still trying to warn New Zealand before it is too late: The anti smacking bill will turn parents into criminals. If the Bill becomes law it will mean the abolition of parental authority. (To read the article click http://www.nzcpd.com/guest46.htm)

The abolition of smacking in Sweden has resulted in children being taught their rights to such an extent that many parents are now afraid of them: children freely use intimidation, threatening to report parents to police and social services, if they don’t get their way. Tragically, when these children finally realise the disastrous effects that police and social service investigations are having on their families and try to withdraw their accusations, they are unable to do so (for more details see “When Parents Become Victims” click http://www.nkmr.org/english/anti_smacking_law_consultation_paper.htm)

A summary of some of the cases that have been taken against parents since the law-change took place in Sweden makes for chilling reading: shoppers calling the police when parents restrain their children in the supermarket; pre-schoolers taken into care for asking questions about smacking; parents prosecuted for insisting teenagers help around the house; unsubstantiated claims of abuse by neigbours and work colleagues forcing police and social service investigations; foster parents arrested for restraining their violent charges (to read the “Case Law” details click here http://www.nzcpd.com/Swedish%20smacking%20cases.pdf).

Both Sue Bradford and Helen Clark have tried to claim that the Police will not prosecute parents who lightly smack a child, but the Police advice to the Select Committee refutes this view: any case of alleged violence against a child would have to be investigated by the Police with the involvement of social services where possible (to read the Police advice click here )http://www.nzcpd.com/policeadvice.pdf.

The President of the Police Association, Greg O’Connor, in an editorial in the latest edition of Police News also states very clearly that using force against children will be categorised as family violence and “offenders who are responsible for family violence offences shall, except in exceptional circumstances, be arrested” (click here to read his article “Smacking and Discretion” http://www.policeassn.org.nz/communications/index.htm).

A legal opinion by Peter McKenzie QC has also concluded that parents who not only smack their child, but also remove them against their will to a time out zone or “naughty mat” would be committing a criminal offence under the proposed bill.

Meanwhile, in Britain where a bid to ban smacking outright failed but led to the law being amended to clarify what is meant by smacking, a Parliamentary Select Committee inquiring into youth crime is being told that fear of prosecution as a result of the new law change is now preventing parents from correcting and disciplining their children. An article in the Telegraph, A Smack Can Keep Children From Crime Says Police Leader, states: “Parents are authority figures in their children’s lives and they need to have effective sanctions at their disposal when their children misbehave. If children don’t learn to respect their parents, there is little hope that they will respect other authority figures. If parents are to be held responsible for their children’s behaviour at school and in the community, it is vital that their authority to reasonably correct their children is recognised. The more parents’ authority is undermined, the less responsibility they will be inclined to take for their children, and the more their children will grow out-of-control (see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=JXNKZL4HBM443QFIQMFSFFWAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2007/03/04/nsmack04.xml ).

With New Zealand’s Chief Family Court Judge now calling for greater accountability for young offenders, is it sensible that our Parliament appears set to pass laws that will undermine parental authority? As the police Chief in the Telegraph article said: “Children lack discipline and turn to crime because their parents are too scared to smack them. Parents no longer use physical punishment because they fear they will end up in court facing an assault charge”. Is this really what we want for New Zealand?

If you agree with the views expressed in this newsletter, please do two things: firstly, send it on to as many other people as you can to read; secondly, become a financial subscriber to support its continuation (click here to subscribe http://www.nzcpd.com/support.htm).

The poll this week asks: Do you believe that the repeal of section 59 would lead to an increase in anti-social behaviour and youth crime? Take part in poll http://www.nzcpd.com/polls.htm

23 March 2007 – Society For Promotion Of Community Standards Inc.- Removal of S. 59 Defence Will Split up Families

23 March 2007 – Society For Promotion Of Community Standards Inc.- Removal of S. 59 Defence Will Split up Families

Removal of S. 59 Defence Will Split up Families
Friday, 23 March 2007, 5:15 pm
Press Release: Society For Promotion Of Community Standards Inc.

23 March 2007
Removal of S. 59 Defence Will Split up Families

A tragic case involving the criminalisation of two experienced, mature and loving foster parents for lightly smacking their foster boy for his extensive vandalism, and the splitting up for good of their family, serves as a serious warning to New Zealanders of what will happen if Sue Bradford’s “silly” and “ridiculous” bill, that seeks to repeal s. 59, becomes law. (These very same pejorative words were used by the Prime Minister Helen Clark in a live interview, in the context of her giving support to Bradford’s bill, to rubbish section 59 of the Crimes Act 1961 which provides a justification for parents to use “reasonable force” in the context of corrective domestic discipline of their kids).

Helen Clark, who has never had children (nor have her two male Labour party whips who are forcing all Labour MPs to support Bradford’s flawed bill,) has been quite wrong to rubbish s. 59. About 80-90 percent of New Zealanders strongly disagree with her. Based on extensive nation-wide polls over the last two years, they all want s. 59 retained and oppose Bradford’s flawed bill that has now become Clark’s troublesome ‘baby’. The remaining 10 to 20 percent who have swallowed Bradford’s rhetoric find it hard to believe that the government authorities will take kids away from good parents for formal complaints of smacking “correctly”, should the bill become law. “It’s just not going to happen for good parents who smack correctly” they scream at opponents of the bill. These vitriolic ideologues are already obsessed with proselytising their beliefs that only bad and inadequate parents smack their kids for corrective purposes.

In her recent Green Party press release Bradford denies that her bill will criminalise parents who use “reasonable force” (including light smacking) with their children to correct them. Clark too has claimed that the bill will not have the effect of banning smacking. Both claims are outright lies and they both know it. Their gullible and misguided followers assume that kids will not be taken away from parents by government agencies for “light smacking” or other applications of “reasonable force” used for correction. Bradford has beguiled them into believing that police will just turn a blind eye to all complaints over such mild forms of corporal corrective discipline. No doubt Clark and Bradford believe that they will be focused on pursuing rapists, murders and terrorists and will not be side-tracked by reports of smacking.

The case of foster parents Anne and Don Eathorne reveals how the government agency Child, Youth and Family Services (CYFS) removed two long-term foster kids from them just days after highly inflammatory allegations surfaced that they had been ‘abused’. The whole case was the subject of an intense and detailed expose on a TVNZ Sunday documentary that screened on 9 April 2006 (producer Chris Harrington TVNZ). The grave injustice by CYFS against the parents was well documented. The national case manager for CYFS, Ms Lorraine Williams, was interviewed at length on the programme about the case and repeatedly inferred that the couple were child abusers, thereby defaming them in a libellous and unprofessional outbursts. Her only basis for such vitriolic accusations was a “police file” containing ‘evidence’ against the couple, ‘evidence’ that the police saw fit not to pursue before the Court jury and so dropped.

The Eathornes had fostered 26 children over a number of years and had an unblemished record, prior to CYFS removing the two kids from them. At the time the programme went to air the Eathornes were still on the CYFS books as legitimate foster parents. As yet CYFS has failed to go through due process to remove them officially as foster parents and failed to follow due process when they removed the kids.

The Eathorne’s foster boy, aged 10 years at the time, was lovingly disciplined in 2002 by Anne Eathorne for wilfully causing about $5,000 damage (vandalism) to farm equipment owned by their employer. Some months later he did about $1,000 of damage to his school principal’s car. He again was lovingly but firmly disciplined by Anne. Don Eathorne was not present at either discipline sessions. The “extensive property damage” that led to the discipline was noted in Judge Colin Doherty’s court decision in 2006 in which he convicted them of child assault for smacking. He had noted that they had gone way beyond the call of duty in paying for the medical bills of the boy, payments made prior to the corporal discipline. He noted that Anne had openly admitted to disciplining the boy when first approached by the police about the historical case.

CYFS who were ultimately responsible for the boy (and his sister) refused to pay anything towards the vandalism bills and deny to this day that the vandalism took place. The Eathornes were forced to cover both bills in full themselves. The boy ceased his vandalism after the second benign discipline session. Over two years later the incident was reported to CYFS, not by the boy who was disciplined, but by another older foster boy (a short-term placement that commenced on 7 April 2005) who heard about it through the ‘victim’ while stating short-term in the Eathorne’s home. The older boy was placed by CYFS at very short notice, with the Eathornes in Karamea. CYFS could find no one else willing to care for him and the Eathorne’s felt pressured by CYFS and then offered to assist. That boy, who arrived with no CYFS paperwork as required, was well known to CYFS social workers as a liar and a very troubled individual. He was dropped at their doorstep one evening. He got talking to the other two younger foster children and learnt of the historical ‘smacking’ incidents that occurred several years earlier. He then ran away from the Eathornes after staying only a few days with them and reported the ‘assaults’ to his CYFS social worker, embellishing the tale with a number of other claims of abuse.

CYFS acted within a few days of learning of the incidents and without notifying the foster parents or going through due process, arrived at their doorsteps and removed the boy AND his sister (both in long-term foster care). Don and Anne have had no access to the kids since. It is clear that CYFS worked closely with police to ensure that they faced serious charges in court. Both Anne and Don were fined $500 each in the Greymouth District Court on 30 January 2006 By Judge Colin Doherty, convicted of an assault against a child, under s 194 of the Crimes Act, and had to pay $130 in court costs. Neither can ever work with kids in any role again – professional or voluntary. The ‘assault’ consisted of two short smacks to the open palm of the hand delivered by Anne (Don was not present). The boy willingly complied with the corrective discipline and only reasonable force was used. He never raised any complaints with his CYFS social worker over the years prior to the matter coming to the attention of the police via the short-term foster boy’s complaint. Anne demonstrated on the Sunday programme how she carried out the safe smacking which in no way harmed the boy, as the Judge had noted.

The Judge accepted submissions from the parents’ lawyer Mr Doug Taffs that the smacking discipline was “benign:” and “not gratuitous violence” (Dominion Post 11/02/06 NZPA story). He also accepted Mr Taff’s submissions on behalf of his clients that they both had unblemished records as parents and foster parents and had gone well beyond the call of duty in covering medical expenses for the boy for his health problems prior to the two smacking incidents. He also accepted that it was appropriate for Mr Taffs to submit that they should both be discharged without conviction. However, to the Eathorne’s shock, he inexplicably convicted them BOTH of assault and fined them BOTH (total $1,130).

Following the two brief and benign discipline sessions, the foster boy’s behaviour showed a marked improvement and the vandalism, according to the couple, ceased. Judge Colin Doherty who issued the judgement with reference to the Crimes Act 1961, did not make any reference to a s. 59 defence to assault and the couple’s lawyer Mr Doug Taffs did not refer them to this possible defence that was technically open to them. Neither Don nor Anne had heard about a s. 59 defence at the time and were manipulated, they believe, into pleading guilty of smacking the boy, which Anne had never denied, in a so-called “plea-bargain”. Again, it must be stressed that Anne had always been upfront and honest and acknowledged that she had smacked the boy for wilful vandalism to correct his wayward behaviour. They expected to be discharged without a conviction after agreeing to the plea bargain, but the Judge instead accepted their honest admission of smacking using reasonable force for correction as an admission of assault, which clearly it was not, if s. 59 had been properly applied. S. 59 provides a justification for the use of such ALL parents and foster parents, but was ignored by the Court.

If Bradford succeeds in getting her flawed bill into law, the s. 59 defence will be gone altogether for all parents and caregivers. Parents who use ANY form of reasonable force (including light smacking) for the purpose of correction, will be committing a criminal offences in law and will open themselves up to having formal charges laid against them by their own kids, neighbours or zealous CYFS social workers based on hearsay evidence, and possibly find themselves convicted of assault and child abuse.

Parents and especially foster parents have much to be concerned about over this bill. There are six cases similar to the above involving CYFS that have been notified to the Families Commission by a member of our organisation. The Society documented others in its written and oral submission to the Justice and Electoral Committee considering Bradford’s bill last year.


23 March 2007 – Society for the Promotion of Community Standards – Bradford Grilled on Anti-Smacking U-Turn Bill


Bradford grilled on anti-smacking Bill: and is found wanting
Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on March 23rd, 2007

Friday, 23 March 2007, 11:39 am
Press Release: Society for the Promotion of Community Standards

Media Release – Political Comment: For Immediate Release…..

The Society for Promotion of Community Standards Inc.
P.O. Box 13-683 Johnsonville

Press Release
23 March 2007

Bradford Grilled on Anti-Smacking U-Turn Bill


dealing with Repeal of s. 59 that is opposed by 80% – 90% of New Zealanders polled.

Question: 1
On the Agenda programme (see reference below) Sue Bradford MP stated:
“It’s actually illegal now to smack your child”.
Would Ms Bradford kindly clarify why this statement is correct and true in view of the justification granted in law (s. 59 of the Crimes Act 1961) for parents and those in the place of parents to use “reasonable force” with their children (including smacking) for the purposes of correction. S 59 is headed “domestic discipline” and does not refer to “smacking” specifically. Agend Link: http://agendatv.itmsconnect.com/Transcript17March2007/tabid/1217/Default.aspx

Assault on a child is a criminal offence under section 194 of the Crimes Act. Section 59 of the Crimes Act provides a justification defence to a charge brought under section 194. That justification is that “Every parent of a child … and every person in the place of the parent of a child is justified in using force by way of correction towards the child, if the force used is reasonable in the circumstances”. The reasonableness of the force used is a question of fact. Whether smacking for the purpose of domestic discipline in any particular situation is lawful or unlawful is therefore determined by the particular circumstances. Some smacking is therefore illegal under the current law.

Question 2
Does Ms Bradford consider that it is unlawful for a person to use “reasonable force” to fend off a criminal assaillant in a case in which the victim (the one attacked) considers at the time of the attack, he/she was fending-off the assaillant in self-defence? (see s. 48 of Crimes Act).

No, provided the force used is reasonable in the circumstances that the person exercising the force finds themselves in.

Question 3
Does Ms Bradford consider that it is unlawful for a ship’s captain to use reasonable force to subdue dangerous behaviour by an adult passenger on his boat, if he believes that the actions constitute a threat to the safety of the boat and its passengers and crew? (see section 60 of Crimes Act).

No, provided that the captain believes the use of force is necessary in the circumstances.

Question 4.
Does Ms Bradford believe that it is unlawful for a parent to apply reasonable force against a child who wilfully acts to put himself/herself in harms way (e.g. lunges towards a hot stove element or into the path of an oncoming train in total disregard of the parent’s verbal instructions)?

No, I believe this is already a justification under common law, but have agreed to the insertion of a specific clarification provision in my Bill as reported by the Justice and Electoral Select Committee, in response to assertions by some submitters on the Bill that it may not be so justified.
[We referred Ms Bradford to the Scoop article for her to carefully reflect upon pointing out that dishonesty and deceitfulness are not personal qualities the NZ public tolerate in MPs.]

The Society for Promotion of Community Standards Inc.
23 March 2007

Dear Ms Fran Tyler

Please thank Ms Bradford for the answers she has supplied to the Society’s questions (1-4) re her bill.

However, having studied her answers, we are unable to comprehend how her position can be logically coherent within a legal framework. All our members feel the same way.

Please present to her a few short follow-up questions seeking urgent clarification. We would appreciate her prompt assistance.

Re Queston 1.

If as Ms Bradford stated on TV One’s Agenda programme: “It’s actually illegal now to smack your child” – why has she in responsed to Q 1 by stating: “Some smacking is therefore illegal under the current law.” [Emphasis added]. We believe that it follows logically from the latter statement that some smacking is LEGAL; therefore the Agenda programme comment is inconsistent and misleading to say the least.

Questions: seeking clarification:

(i) How does Ms Bradford reconcile the apparent inconsistency between her two statements quoted and

(ii) what forms of smacking does she consider legal under the current Crimes Act?

(iii) Is it the smacking that is legal under current law or that which is illegal under current law that her bill intends to make illegal, or is it both forms?

(iv) Does Ms Bradford consider that it is unlawful under current law for a parent or person in the place of a parent to use “reasonable force” in the context of domestic discipline, for the purpose of correcting a child who exhibits extreme defiance and/or disobedience despite a number of clearly defined warnings to desist from wrong behaviour (see section 59 of Crimes Act)?

(v) Is it the intention in her bill to prevent parents from correcting their children by using ANY actions that involve “reasonable force” in the circumstances? (vi) If so why, and why particularly has she sought to make illegal the use of ALL forms of force for correction carried out by the parent to achieve compliance from the disobediant/defiant child?

Re. Qs 2-3

(vi) In the light of Ms Bradford’s negative answers concerning the lawful use of “reasonable force” in self-defence (s. 48) and by ship’s captains (s. 60), which we accept as correct; why did she state on Agenda “It’s actually illegal now to smack your child” when she knew full well that this is untruthful (s. s. 59) and has now done a U-turn on by stating: “Some smacking is therefore illegal under the current law.” (see above)? [Note the “reasonable force” defence provisions in s. 59, 60 and 48 serve the same purposes in protected those who use the force and those subject to the force].

Re Q. 4.

(vii) Ms Bradford agreed to amendments to her bill which she now admits she did not feel were necessary, but agreed to in order to alleviate some doubts by some submitters – as she puts it “assertions by some submitters on the Bill that it [use of reasonable force for removing kids from harms waty etc.] may not be so justified”. In the light of these concessions to submitters, why is she opposed to a clarification of s. 59 (the Borrows amendment) so that judges can point jury members to a clearer definition of “reasonable force” as it applies to actions taken by parents in corrective discipline on children?

Yours sincerely

David Lane
Society for Promotion of community Standards Inc.

23 March 2007 – New Zealand National Party – The Mapp Report – Smacking


The Mapp Report – Smacking
Friday, 23 March 2007, 10:59 am
Column: New Zealand National Party
The Mapp Report

Shutting down debate is a tactic adopted by those who fear the public. That is exactly the position the Labour Government is taking in relation to Sue Bradford’s anti-smacking bill.

Next week the government wants to rush the Bill through all stages in a single debate on Wednesday and Thursday. Sue Bradford said there had been enough debate, and it should now be passed. To shove a member’s bill through under urgency is unheard of, especially when it is allegedly a conscience vote – but of course in the Labour Party that means Helen Clark’s conscience.

Parliamentary procedure provides for separate debate on each stage of a Bill for good reason. It is to allow Members of Parliament to reflect, and for the public to make their views known before the next stage is debated. So there have been occasions when a Bill has passed the Committee stage, but gets defeated on the Third Reading. That is because the two or three weeks between the two stages allows an opportunity to reconsider.

The only reason to terminate Parliamentary procedure is to avoid accountability. Labour knows that many of their MP’s don’t want the Bill. They know a three-week recess when the public can talk to the MP’s will mean that many of them will rebel.

The urgency tactic is designed to stifle democracy. But ultimately it is an admission of weakness and fear. Labour may think it can avoid accountability now, but the voters will have their say in 18 months time, and that is a date Labour can’t avoid!


Electorate AGM

March 26 2007

St Georges Presbyterian Church

2 The Terrace, Takapuna


23 March 2007

Dr Wayne Mapp

Visit my website for more information at: www.waynemapp.co.nz


23 March 2007 – Family First Lobby – Anti-Smacking Bill now a Labour Bill


Anti-Smacking Bill now a Labour Bill

Friday, 23 March 2007, 9:54 am
Press Release: Family First Lobby.

23 MARCH 2007
Anti-Smacking Bill now a Labour Bill

Bradford ‘Anti-Smacking’ Bill now Labour ‘Anti-Smacking’ Bill

Labour’s decision to attempt to ram through the ‘anti-smacking’ bill under urgency has revealed that this private members bill is now a Labour bill in all but name.

Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First says that this action, as well as Labour MP’s being told how to exercise their conscience, is ample proof that the criminalisation of good parents is a clear agenda of the Labour party leadership.

“The Prime Minister can no longer hide behind Sue Bradford as sponsor of this bill,” says Mr McCoskrie. “It is unheard of for a private member’s bill to be put into urgency, but this shows the desperation by the Prime Minister to get this legislation rammed through before her MP’s hear the voice of their constituents during the Easter recess and change their vote.”

Mr McCoskrie says that the Labour MP’s must be finding this incredibly difficult, especially as they campaigned before the election that it was a conscience vote. Electorate based MP’s should be concerned about a voter backlash at the election next year.

“It is ironic that Labour have legislated themselves to be innocent over election spending, yet are willing to pass legislation that criminalises and threatens every good family in NZ. To make a light smack a crime shows just how out of touch this government is.”

Family First calls on all National, Maori Party, United Future and NZ First MP’s to immediately withdraw their support for the bill.


23 March 2007 – ACT New Zealand – Urgency Unacceptable For Anti-Smacking Bill

23 March 2007 – ACT New Zealand – Urgency Unacceptable For Anti-Smacking Bill


Urgency Unacceptable For Anti-Smacking Bill

Friday, 23 March 2007, 11:31 am
Press Release: ACT New Zealand
Urgency Unacceptable For Anti-Smacking Bill
Heather Roy
Friday, 23 March 2007
Press Releases – Other

Urgency Unacceptable For Anti-Smacking Bill

Putting Parliament into urgency to pass the “Anti-smacking Bill” is unacceptable and anti-democratic, says ACT’s Deputy Leader and Party Whip, Heather Roy.

“Around 80% of Kiwis are opposed to banning smacking by good and loving parents. Using urgency to force through a Bill simply because it’s unpopular is no way to run a democracy”, Mrs Roy said.

“Banning responsible parents from lightly smacking their children as a disciplinary measure is not urgent to the welfare of our country, and the argument that it’s slowing down the Government’s agenda is rubbish – as a Members Bill, it’s only able to be debated on Members Days.

“The reality is that the Bill’s supporters are trying to shut down public debate, and are prepared to suspend the normal rules of Parliament to do so.

“ACT will oppose urgency just as strongly as we have been opposing this Bill.

“Child abuse is already illegal – unfortunately enforcement of the law is frequently inadequate. This Bill will not change any of that, but it will succeed in criminalising acts of parenting”, Mrs Roy said.


23 March 2007 – TV3 – 200 people march against anti-smacking legislation

200 people march against anti-smacking legislation
Fri-23-Mar-2007 12:32pm

Listen at the link

More than 200 people have turned out for a march in Rangiora, protesting the so-called anti smacking bill.

Labour is seeking support to fast track the legislation and pass the bill into law next week.

One of the organisers of the march, Margaret Vipperman, says she was not surprised by the good turnout.

23 March 2007 – A Sue Bradford child, coming to your country soon!

Voted Best Commercial in Europe

What great timing. Just in time for the anti-smacking bill!

This video is 40 seconds long.



From Swedish Lawyer Ruby Harrold-Claesson:

I hope you realise that this is a little Swedish boy and his “impotent” Swedish father. He swore at his father “Jävla Pappa!” (Damned Daddy).

That’s the way Swedish children behave. (They would say the same to their teachers or any other adult.) The father didn’t dare do anything else than put the things back on the shelves, blow up his cheeks and look helpless. Also, notice the other shoppers’ reactions. No one dares say anything.


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