Anti-smacking law insult to Tino-Rangatiratanga

Anti-smacking law insult to Tino-Rangatiratanga

Friday, 26 June 2009, 11:51 am

Anti-smacking legislation counterproductive and an insult to Tino-Rangatiratanga

Peter Tashkoff, Spokesperson for Maori issues

Anti-smacking legislation is not simply useless, but is in fact making the problem worse. What’s more it is an insult to Tino-Rangatiratanga of whanau, ACT New Zealand Maori Issues Spokesperson Peter Tashkoff said today.

“This well meaning legislation is based on a false ideology that attacks the Tino-Rangatiratanga of families, and has had the opposite effect to what even its supporters intended,” Mr. Tashkoff said.

“Why do we have this legislation to begin with? It was sold to us as a way to stop kids being violently assaulted by their caregivers, but now we see that if anything, things have gotten worse. This is known as the law of unintended consequences; it’s what you get when you pass laws based on ideology. The supporters of the bill are now claiming that was never the intention, and that somehow the bill was just meant to make us all nicer people.

“It’s rubbish of course, all that the bill does is move one notch closer to a situation where the people have no power and the state has it all. If a child refuses to go to school the whanau are not allowed to lift a finger to make them, yet a complete stranger working for the state is allowed to use whatever force is needed to do so. In the same way, you can’t smack a child that refuses to obey, but try not paying your taxes and just watch what extent the state can go to in order to force your obedience. This is an insult to the dignity of families and an insult to Tino-Rangatiratanga. When as a country did we ever buy into the ridiculous notion that strangers care more about kids than their parents do?

“And look at the effect on whanau. Sure its fine if you have the regulation 2.4 kids, or your kids are very young, but look at the larger families, which is where Maori are at, and see what’s going on. I’ve heard reports of kids running riot the length and breadth of the country. This law, which was meant to make things better, has simply loaded more stress onto families and has led to more, not less, conflict in the home. Supporters of the law have tried to pass off this effect as being as a result of ‘higher reporting by the police to CYFs’ but that’s simply a rationalisation to excuse an effect that doesn’t agree with their ideology. Parents in these homes know that after the law was passed children became more challenging and more undisciplined, and that conflict and stress levels in the home rose, not fell. The law has made things worse not better.

“Irrespective of a small number of criminally minded people that carry out extreme violence whether to children or adults, there can be no question that the people that care most about kids are their own parents, not strangers paid by

“That’s some of the reasons why the

ACT party stands for the repeal of

this anti-smacking legislation, and

that’s why I do too,”

said Mr Tashkoff



2 responses to “Anti-smacking law insult to Tino-Rangatiratanga”

  1. Dianne Woodward Avatar
    Dianne Woodward

    Mr Tashkoff needs to have a jolly good talk to THIS Families Commissioner WHY CAN JAN and seriouly Baffled Barnadoes MAN not meet up to chat. Meantime for years many government funded agencies have already cost us millions of $ WITH their Fronting of SPOKESPEOPLE CAMPAIGNING that A LIGHT SMACK leads to VIOLENCE against our precious babies when its JUST NOT CORRECT. TRYING TO brainwash us into thinking a stinging smack requires Police or CYFS investigating should it be in the publics interest confuses already overworked police. Mum and Dad are presently unsure by this inconsequential antismacking Bill much like our PM feels about the referendum question surely Sheryl Savill supported 390,000 of us getting a voice out against the antismacking law as only the Act MPs cared enough to listen to us in 2007. Most Kiwis would think just like Mr Tashkoff has voiced. If PM Key looks at Familyfirsts evidence of parents presently investigated and persecuted B4 3rd July 2009 then our question will not need to be answered in a VoteNo but if he ignores the facts then Simon Barnetts 90 minute video explains to those confused by question?.

  2. In all the newspaper, radio and TV interviews and at all the public meetings and meetings with the Children’s Commissioner, the Family Commissioner and the lectures that I gave while I visited New Zealand in July – August 2006 at the invitation of the Section 59 Coalition to participate in the Parliamentary Hearing on the Anti-smacking law, I never failed to inform New Zealanders that the Swedish law had resulted in unruly children and parents who were afraid of their children.

    What Peter Tashkoff writes in his article only confirms my research and my professional experiences as a lawyer in Sweden.

    You can’t turn back the clock, but it is necessary for New Zealand to repeal the dangerous Anti-smacking law before the situation becomes totally out of hand like it has in Sweden.

    Whether there be a referendum or not, New Zealand should not be allowed to become the Sweden of the South Pacific.

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