Signing on to change smacking law

Signing on to change smacking law26.01.2008

By JOEL FORD MARGUERITE Keir is all for smacking – and she says it is different to hitting.

The Ohauti woman is among those who have signed a petition seeking a referendum on the controversial law.

A mother herself, she said she had smacked her own children and that it played an important role in child discipline.

“You can’t reason with a small child, but a quick sharp smack on the hand says it all. Smacking and hitting are two different things,” she said.

Maria Calnan, a mother of two from Cherrywood, shared her view, saying she had also used smacking to discipline her children, but only rarely.



She signed the petition because she felt smacking shouldn’t be treated as a crime.”Abuse is a crime, smacking isn’t. Smacking should be a part of an overall discipline structure,” she said.

Others said they had signed the petition not because they were totally in support of smacking but because they thought the bill was misguided.

Dale Jessop, of Omokoroa, said he thought the law needed to be changed.

“It’s not all bad, but it has to be reformed and seriously looked at,” she said. “Children need discipline but, more importantly, I think they need a stay-at-home mother.”


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