Key: I won’t ignore smacking vote

Key: I won’t ignore smacking vote

By TRACY WATKINS – The Dominion Post

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2779737/Key-I-won-t-ignore-smacking-vote

Last updated 17:18 24/08/2009

LATEST: Prime Minister John Key has unveiled a compromise option on the so-called anti-smacking law after it was overwhelmingly rejected in a referendum.

Mr Key took a series of proposals to Cabinet today following Friday’s resounding referendum victory for opponents of the 2007 child discipline law change.

Preliminary results found 87.6 per cent of those who voted ticked no to the question: ”Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?”

Mr Key said he would ask police and the Social Development Ministry to review their procedures, including the referral process between the two agencies, to identify any changes that might be required to ensure good parents were treated as Parliament intended.

An independent person would be appointed to assist in the review.

He had also asked the Social Development Ministry to bring forward its review of the law, which was due by the end of the year.

That review is looking at the effect of the law change and its effects two years after implementation.

Meanwhile, police would be asked to continue reporting on cases on a six monthly or annual basis for the next three years and include data on cases where parents or caregivers said the force used on a child was reasonable in the circumstances.

“Cabinet has agreed that if future police data indicates a worrying trend the law will be changed,” Mr Key said.

That had not been the case so far.

He said parents who lightly smack their children should not fear being treated like criminals, and that he would not ignore the referendum.

The measures outlined today were unlikely to placate those who supported the right to smack, and who wanted the law changed to explicitly allow light smacking.

The referendum was organised after Green MP Sue Bradford’s member’s bill was passed in 2007. That law change amended the Crimes Act to remove the defence of reasonable force when an adult was charged with assaulting a child.

Mr Key did not want Parliament’s time consumed relitigating the ”explosive” smacking debate and preferred putting in ”additional safeguards”.

Voter turnout on the referendum’s initial results was 54 percent, with just over 1.6 million votesĀ  cast.

The final result will be declared tomorrow.

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3 Responses to “Key: I won’t ignore smacking vote”

  1. Dave Stanton says:

    Don’t give us “Comfort” we want Change!
    National ignore the need for repeal at their peril, nearly 90% of NZers don’t like it.
    Law should focus on “Harm” not “Force”

    Every parent recognises the need for children to be corrected and disciplined, the fact force was used is not the issue, the issue is was the child physically, sexually or physiologically harmed.

    The States only justification for invading the sacred dominion of the family is on the basis of the need to protect a citizen from Harm, ie Child Abuse, and it is a slim one.

    Even if there is evidence of “harm” the state must tread lightly or it risks causing more physiological harm in “forcibly” removing the child, from the family, and placing them with an unknown foster carer.

    “A parent or guardian can use reasonable force, but in doing so shall not cause the child physical, sexual or physiological harm.”

    Would work just fine.

  2. Mrs Dianne Woodward says:

    BINNING BRADFORDS BULLYING BILL BEST BET BECAUSE BEAUTIFUL BABIES ARE NOT KILLED MAIMED OR BRUISED BY A STINGING SMACK. THE MINORITY MAKING much NOISE INSIST 90% OF WE NOHOPERS NEED A BRAINWASHING BECAUSE WE THE 9 IN 10 KIWI MAJORITY SAY DECRIMINALISE LIGHT SMACKING. SURELY CYFS AND THE POLICE CAN NOT TURN A BLIND EYE TO GOOD PARENTS NOW BREAKING THIS LOOPY LABOUR LEAD LAW.
    KEY – JOHNS TAMAHERE BOSCAWEN ACT.
    Nationals CHESTER BORROWS DEFINED A LIGHT SMACK it CAUSES A LIGHT REDDENING OF THE SKIN THAT DISAPPEARS WITHIN A MINUTE OR SO HOW come HELEN CLARK, SUE BRADFORD AND PETER DUNNE AGREE FORCE FOR CORRECTION IS VIOLENT ABUSE. DURING MY FIRST OUT OF THREE FEILDING PROTESTS IN MARCH 2007 TO REJECT MAKING A CRIMINAL OUT OF A MUM OR DAD WHO CHOOSES TO USE A SMACK TO CORRECT OR PROTECT I UPSET MICHAEL CULLEN AND presbyterian REVEREND RILMA SANDS,SEEMS SUGGESTING PARENTING GURUS DOCTOR JAMES DOBSON, IAN & MARY GRANT AND NIGEL LATTA LEAD WITH COMMONSENCE PARENTING TIPS TO SENSIBLE FOR THE PC BRIGADE TO GRASP GOD HELP US.

  3. Gareth says:

    John Key has utterly disregarded the will of the country. To quote Charlotte Tonkin of 3 News, “Key has stated there won’t be a law change unless HE decides”. What an outstanding example of leadership. 90% of us want this draconian law repealed, yet Key seems to think our will means nothing. I support Key on various issues, and I voted for him, but this is a deal breaker on principle. I can’t think of another party leader that would smirk into the camera, as I saw tonight, and blatantly state “there will be no law change”.

    I hate to use this language, but what an asshole.

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