10th review of Crimes Amendment Act 2007 (Substitution Section 59)

Please read this link before reading the report below:



Police has published its tenth review of activity following enactment of the Crimes (Substituted s 59) Amendment Act 2007.
This review covers the period 22 June to 21 December 2011.

500 child assault events were attended by police during this period.  Of these, 23  events involved ‘smacking’ and 45 involved ‘minor acts of physical discipline’. (See note 2 below for definitions)

Of the 23 ‘smacking’ events, 3 resulted in prosecution, 18 resulted in a warning and 2 resulted in other / no further action being taken. Of the 45 ‘minor acts of physical discipline’ events, 6 resulted in prosecution, 36 resulted in warnings and 3 resulted in other / no further action being taken.

The three “smacking” event prosecutions involved a charge of Assaults Child (Manually). The first defendant pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months supervision. The second pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine months supervision and 100 hours community work. The remaining prosecution was subsequently withdrawn due to insufficient evidence.

There have now been 8 prosecutions for a ‘smacking’ event since enactment of the Amendment in June 2007.

Assistant Commissioner, Malcolm Burgess says the review findings continue to be consistent with previous reviews.

“We continue to be happy with the way the legislation is being applied by police staff” says Mr Burgess.

“Numbers of events in most of the categories, including smacking have trended up. We attribute this to the more widespread use of the legislation by police as it becomes embedded in our enforcement practices and also to increased reporting as public awareness of the legislation grows.

“There have been just eight prosecutions for smacking events since the Amendment was enacted in June 2007. This suggests the practice guidelines on this matter issued by the Commissioner continue to work well and police continue to apply their discretion appropriately in these cases”.

Police will continue to report on the impact of the Amendment through until June 2012 with the final report due to be completed by the end of 2012.

Editors note:
(1) Further details of the 10th review can be found on the NZ Police website. http://www.police.govt.nz/sites/default/files/resources/10-review-section-59.pdf

(2) The number of child assault events identified in each review period does not reflect the total number of child assault events attended by police during this time. The events are those most likely to identify
• Actual physical action used in the child assault; and
• The context and the surrounding circumstances, as outlined in the practice guidelines (Commissioners Circular).

(3) Following the December 2009 review Police agreed to continue monitoring the impact of the Amendment on a six monthly basis until June 2012. Further details of the review can be found at:

(4) The practice guide (Commissioner’s Circular) on this issue released in June 2007 can be found on the police website:


From the Smiths:


Updated 23 August 2012: Life for Those Left Behind (Craig Smith’s Health) page 6 click here


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