Archive for the ‘Blogs’ Category

What To Do When CPS (CYPs) Knocks: A Must Read for All Homeschooling/Unschooling Parents!

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

A Child Protective Services Whistle-blower explains what to do if CPS or CYPs comes after your family.

This was written with the States in mind but it is just as relevant for New Zealand and Australia

“Just one month after working for Child Protective Services, I began to learn that the agency was not in the business of helping stop child abuse. I went after parents who smoked pot, who homeschooled their kids, and let their children ride their bikes. In part because of this, I left the agency and began exposing the horrendous aspects of CPS and how parents can protect their children from the agency. What I will do in this article is to teach parents what to do if CPS comes after them.”

Read his advise here:

Legally kidnapped blogspot

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

This is a worldwide blog. Check out this New Zealand page

Another child dies

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

From the


News, views and politics

Another child dies

When is it going to end? Story here TV clip here. Sue Bradford too busy posting pics of protests on Facebook to comment.

An interview of the neighbour will be on TV3 news tonight.

The anti-smacking law: Only a law change is morally acceptable

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009
From beretta-online

NZ Prime Minister John Key is saying that he takes the referendum outcome seriously, and that he wants to reassure parents that they will not be investigated or prosecuted just for smacking a child. See the story here.

Police and Child Youth and Family officials will be warned to not prosecute parents for lightly smacking their children.

Prime Minister John Key told the Sunday Star-Times in Sydney yesterday he was planning to introduce “increased safeguards” to prevent parents who gave their children “minor” or “inconsequential” smacks from being either investigated or prosecuted.

The PM claims that he actually supports the view of those who voted no.

Mr Key also told TVNZ’s Q&A programme this morning that he agreed with the result. “I agree and support their view there, I think it would be totally inappropriate for a New Zealand parent to be prosecuted for lightly smacking a child.

Here’s the problem: Their (our) view is that a smack as part of good aprental correction should not be a criminal offence. Unless the law is changed, it will continue to be a criminal offence. To say that it will remain a criminal offence, but police will be advised not to prosecute these criminals, is not to share our view at all.

Criminals should be prosecuted. If a reasonable smack (not a punch, a whipping, a “good hiding,” etc) as part of normal correction should never be prosecuted, then it should not be a crime in law, which it currently is.

Stop being half hearted, Mr Key. If you share our view, as you claim to, that a smack should not be a crime, then seek a law change so that a smack is not a crime. It’s not complicated. We’re waiting.

Leave comments here

Write to John Key and the Cabinet


The opponents of the anti-smacking law outnumber the supporters of ANY New Zealand government

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

I (Beretta Blog) spotted this over at Kiwiblog today:

  1. 1,420,959 – Voted no to treating correctional smacking as a criminal offence
  2. 1,053,398 – 2008 Voted for National when they won the election
  3. 935,319 – 2005 Voted for Labour when they won the election
  4. 838,219 – 2002 Voted for Labour
  5. 800,199 – 1999 Voted for Labour
  6. 701,315 – 1996 Voted for National

This certainly puts the lie to the claim that the referendum is irrlevant or that it was ignored because of an alleged bias in its presentation. The reality is, just those who voted NO outnumber the supporters of any political party that has won an election in this country. Then add the 200,000 or so who voted in the minority, and you’ve got one heck of a popular and representative referendum!

Let’s now sit, watch, and see what our Prime Minister is made of.

CYF boss apologies after parents go public – not for wrongdoing, but because those his department hassled were “upset”.

Friday, July 31st, 2009

FROM Big News blog – read the comments on Big News as well:

CYF boss apologies after parents go public – not for wrongdoing, but because those his department hassled were “upset”.

A parent tells how he smacked his child

“I grabbed hold of her ankle and smacked her bottom” Two of his fingers went above the line of her belt, leaving red marks on her back.The smack worked. She stopped kicking and was soon apologetic.But the mental health service was about to give her a full medical examination. Lisa told a nurse about the red marks and the smack.A few days later, at 3pm on a Friday, CYFS staff rang. They had received a claim of abuse and they wanted the children out of the house while they investigated.

The question is, was CYFS right in doing that. How did it know the red marks were caused by a smack?

It didn’t.

The social worker described the situation at the time as “critical”. Family First has this case up on its website – [‘case 5] noting that the family were interviewed by the police for for five hours. The kids were removed, even though she was told that the marks were caused by the child falling on a vaccuum cleaner. On the Monday, CYFS spoke to the older daughter at school to find out how abusive her parents were and left her in tears. One wondered why they didn’t speak to her on the Friday before she was told to get alternative accomodation.

But it took involvement from the media to get an apology from CYFS boses. CYFS boss Ray Smith said CYFS could have done a better job of talking through other options”. Like hell they could have. He didn’t say what those other options might entail.

“I want to stress that removing children from a home is a last resort and that is not what happened in this case… I am sorry that the girls were upset and unsettled by our involvement with their family. I acknowledge that, in this case, we could have given [the parents] better advice on how to explain to their children what was happening.” He said the parents were “good parents”, but the agency had been “asked to get involved simply to see whether a family that appeared to be struggling needed our help”.

What a load of crap. That is an outright lie. The parent said that the agency got involved not to offer help but to investigate the allegation of abuse and kick the children out as a first resort after a complaint, thus interfering with the lives of good Kiwi parents. Then he has the audacity to say in a column today that:

This does not mean that CYFS is interfering in the lives of good Kiwi parents.

But he has admitted CYFS did just that in the above case. The parents had no option but to accede to CYFS demands.

Since when is CYFS there to “help” parents on how to “explain what was happening” when they don’t even listen to explanations as to what did happen?

Go to big News to read the comments and to make a comment:

No Defences Permitted for the Accused

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009


No Defences Permitted for the Accused

In, The referendum campaign is underway, No Right Turn’s Idiot/Savant gives an excellent example of an argument we see coming up a lot in the debate around the upcoming referendum on smacking. In addition to trotting out the standard ad hominem, that everyone who supports the reinstatement of the old section 59 of the Crimes Act is a “child-beater,” I’d like to examine the emphasised part:

Over the next month I expect to see a succession of unhinged press releases from the child-beaters claiming that the law somehow impinges on their religious freedom or has caused the widespread persecution of parents. It does nothing of the sort. What it has done is prevent parents who punch their children in the face or beat them with a soup ladle from claiming a defence of “reasonable force”. And that is unequivocally a Good Thing. The only people who oppose that are people who wish to abuse children in that way – and we should treat them with the contempt they deserve.

Essentially Idiot/Savant here claims the parent in his example are guilty, apriori, and as such, when they go to trial, they should not be able to attempt to raise a defence. The problem is that the whole point of having a trial is to determine guilt or innocence. Even when it seems pretty obvious, trials are still necessary and the right to due process still applies. This right to due process includes, alongside the presumption of innocence, a right to raise a defence, no matter how stupid or implausible, and have the court assess it. The importance of this concept can be summed up by Blackstone’s Ratio, “Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.”[1]
Supporters of the anti-smacking law do not seem to get this. This ‘claiming a defence’ issue has been raised a lot ever since Sue Bradford first began promoting her bill to remove the old s59 defence, of reasonable force for the purposes of correction, from the Crimes Act. If you read the Vote Yes site, if you read the media releases and the articles and listen to the interviews you will hear it a lot.
Of course what Idiot/Savant, Bradford, the Vote Yes people, et al miss is that there is a world of difference between claiming a defence and succeeding in doing so. The court is not stupid and the people making the determinations of guilt or innocence in our courts are normal, everyday people. If it is so obvious to all of us that hitting a child across the face with a soup ladle is child abuse, and it is obvious to all of us, a court, made up of people like us, is not going to rule that such an action is an example of reasonable force.
The 34 reported cases on the old s59 are readily available in any law library and if you read them, instead of the media reports and politicians and websites and blogs, you will see time and time and time again child abusers failing in their attempts to raise the defence of reasonable force. The majority resulted in convictions and the few that did not were more often than not due to things like it not being proven who abused the child – which is terribly sad for the child, but you can’t just convict anyone so that you can chalk up a conviction! Wrongly decided cases are a fact of life. Just like doctors making mistakes on the operating table, just like us making driving errors. We should try very hard to ensure that these do not happen but to remove a defence entirely and risk the prosecution of the innocent is not the answer. Besides, some of the cases cited in the media as being wrongly decided were not even cases where s59 was raised, other defences like self-defences were in play… shall we remove self-defence as defence?

The contempt for due process does not stop here; statements like Idiot/Savants that, “The only people who oppose that are people who wish to abuse children in that way,” show that he is willing to accuse anyone of being a supporter of child abuse because they support the right of an accused to a fair trial.

Chilling. Basically once accused of something heinous, one should not be allowed to defend oneself and anyone who disagrees is morally on par with a child abuser.

There is another patently obvious flaw in Idiot/Savant’s argument; removing the defence doesn’t just prevent people who seriously abuse children from raising the defence it also prevents the wrongly accused from being able to raise it. However, without defences there is no way of separating the two. I am not speaking here of those who can stand up in court and honestly state ‘I did not touch my child,’ such accused could plead ‘not guilty,’ I am speaking of those who end up in court for smacking their children, not hitting them with soup ladles across the face; I am speaking of those who with an open hand, lightly, smack a child on the bottom once, not out of anger or in the midst of rage but in response to disobedience on the part of child. Such people cannot plead not guilty if accused of assault, they have no legal defence if they end up before a court. To remove legal defences from people innocent of child abuse to ensure that the net catches everyone is wrong.

Hat Tip: HalfDone
[1] William Blackstone Commentaries on the Laws of England (Clarendon Press: Oxford, 1760).

(dis)Honest to God: How Not to Argue about the Smacking Referendum

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

(dis)Honest to God: How Not to Argue about the Smacking Referendum

Dr. Glenn Peoples responds to liberal Ian Harris.

Liberal Ian Harris displays dishonesty and nastiness toward Christian parents. Ian Harris tells us (“Honest to God,” Dominion Post, [Dominion Post. Saturday July 11, 2009. Page B5], reproduced at the YesVote website at / that we should reject the “harsh views” on child rearing found in the Bible.

( <<< Click on image to view full size)

Mr Harris, unfortunately, joins many of those who promote the criminalisation of good parents by muddying the waters. He notes, for example, that someone who defends the right to use physical discipline also believes that children (like adults) are sinners. He then announces that since “progressive” Christians (by which he seems to mean those who no longer accept Christian theology) realise that this is based on an antiquated view, we should likewise reject the right to use physical discipline and we should criminalise those who do.

It is difficult to interact charitably with those who support the ban on smacking if this is the contorted way they are going to reason about the subject. Whether or not one thinks the theology held by some supporters of the right to use physical discipline is correct is quite a different matter from whether or not one thinks they ought to be made into criminals, surely!

Unfortunately again, Mr Harris attempts to use his platform as a mouthpiece of liberal (what he calls “progressive) Christianity to give credence to scientific claims that are obviously subject to great dispute. He makes the sweeping claim that this nebulous thing called “modern research” (while he cites no actual studies) shows that although corporal punishment does help bring about short-term compliance, it does not help a child to “internalise positive values for the longer term.”

I am constantly bemused by the way in which conservative religious spokespeople are ridiculed even when they do cite research, but obvious nonsense like this can be peddled by the liberal voices without so much as a single scholarly citation, and nobody is expected to bat an eyelid.

But even if what Mr Harris says is correct, the implication is that corporal punishment in and of itself has short term benefits and no long term ill effects. Hardly something to be prosecuting people for! The reality is that the effects he cites are perfectly compatible with the good of corporal punishment. Such punishment usually is administered to children when they are not willing to reason or reflect on the long term consequences of their actions. It is for when children are being unruly and unwilling to listen. Circumstances in which they are willing to do so are the circumstances under which corporal punishment is less necessary (meaning that the older a child becomes, the less frequent a smack will become). None of this gives the careful reader any reason to think that the occasional smack is immoral, much less worthy of criminal prosecution.

Bereft of compelling moral or scientifically grounded arguments, Mr Harris turns instead to arousing prejudice against the religious convictions of those who disagree with him about child discipline. Unable to find anything strong enough in what all Christians consider their holy book, he reaches into the book of Ecclesiasticus (part of the so-called “apocryphal” writings that did not make up part of the Hebrew canon) to find the claim that “he who loves his son will whip him often.”

But not only has Mr Harris strayed into literature that the so-called “fundamentalists” (most of whom would identify as conservative Protestants) that he attacks do not even regard to be part of the Bible at all, he has clearly sought out the most extreme translation of the verse that he can find. He conjures up grizzly pictures of leering parents towering, horsewhip in hand, over the broken and bleeding bodies of little children with misleading language like this.

But just a few minutes research would dispel this attempt. The New American translation reads, “He who loves his son chastises him often.” The Douay Rheims translation (the Catholic Bible, which does include this book as part of the canon) reads “He that loveth his son, frequently chastiseth him.” The old King James version, the one that “fundamentalists” are most likely to read if they read this book at all, reads “He that loveth his son causeth him oft to feel the rod.” Of course, because it’s a metaphor for physical discipline that’s probably still too much for Mr Harris, but needless to say, it robs him of his “whipping” bogeyman.

After the rhetorical debris is stripped away, all that’s really left is a string of namecalling and fearful language. He calls the views of his opponents “repugnant.” He calls them “fundamentalists” with “antiquated” views that are opposed to “progressive” thought. But where’s the actual substance? Like much of the rhetorical fireworks that is being leveled at those who want the law changed to a common sense view that refuses to place thousands of good parents in the criminal category, Ian Harris offers more heat than light, and manifests just the sort of shallowness and bias that this debate could do without.

Glenn Peoples

Dr Peoples’ specialist area of research is the role of religious convictions in public life. He runs New Zealand’s top philosophy and theology podcast, Say Hello to my Little Friend.

Police admit they may prosecute for smacking cases initially considered “reasonable force in the circumstances”

Friday, July 17th, 2009


Police admit they may prosecute for smacking cases initially considered “reasonable force in the circumstances”

Police have not ruled out prosecuting a parent who lightly – and with reasonable force – smacks their child, despite proponents of a law change on smacking saying it will never happen.

Prior to 2007, if a parent was taken to court because they smacked their child, they were able to use a defence of reasonable force – and if that corrective action was minor, they would be acquitted. Currently,should that same parent be taken to court for the same action, that parent could have a criminal conviction as there is currently no defence in law for actions undertaken for the purpose of correction.

Proponents of the law change say Police will not prosecute light smackers. Police, on the other hand, say it may well happen, adding the younger the child is, the more likely it is to happen. Police cannot say if a smacking prosecution – and there have been a few lately – would be of a kind that could have been successfully defended under the old law. As it happens one case in the last quarter was discharged without conviction, meaning Police thought it in the best interest to prosecute, but the court did not. One parent was prosecuted in July 2008 and subsequently convicted for smacking. That parent may well not have a criminal record had she been charged just over two years ago.

This means that a smacker has been convicted under the new legislation. Yet the legislation has not prevented one child from being abused.

However some events that are prosecuted as “minor acts of physical discipline” would generally be seen as outside what is considered reasonable in the circumstances. It is now the job of the police to determine this. However, police do not preclude reasonable smackers being charged for assault under a minor act of physical discipline either; all such prosecutions have progressed through the court system or the offenders are on bail.

The way that Police are applying discretion is confirmation that Parliament has abdicated its responsibility in lawmaking. We do not elect a parliament to pass policy via an Act of parliament. Not only does parliament want police to do its job – make law – in deciding to use factors outside legislation in decisions to prosecute, parliament wants Police to do the courts job,in deciding what is reasonable in the circumstances under the guise of “no public interest to prosecute”. However, only for correction. In case of smacking for other purposes a reasonable force defence can be raised.

If police get it wrong on correction, there is nothing the accused can do about it other than appeal.


posted by Dave at 5:31 PM

A very simple question

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

A very simple question

cross-posted from Big News, 14 April 2009 and 16 April

Bill English was asked on Radio Live today whether a smack should be allowed as part of good parental correction. He was asked at least six times. Here’s the transcript. It’s a classic.

Radio Live Breakfast Show – 14 April 09

INTERVIEWER: The Labour Party seemed to have amended their position on Section 59, the smacking legislation. What do you think? Should a smack be allowed as part of a good – as good parental correction?
BILL ENGLISH: Look, the Government’s position hasn’t changed since a compromise was done with the previous Labour Government. And the Prime Minister has said many times, as has the rest of the Government, that if there is evidence that law abiding parents are being wrong(ly)prosecuted inconsistent with the spirit of that law then we would look to change it. And has been – and there hasn’t yet been considerable enough evidence to warrant changing it.
INTERVIEWER: Well, did you think – do you think a smack should be allowed as part of good parental correction?
BILL ENGLISH: Well, look, I think the law, as it is, is the law of the land and needs to be enforced in a sensible way. And…
INTERVIEWER: But do you think a smack should be allowed as part of good parental correction?
BILL ENGLISH: I – I think the law, as it is, is the law of the land that should be enforced. If there is evidence that it is being enforced in instances where it’s – where it’s inappropriate because the event is
trivial or [indistinct]…
INTERVIEWER: No, no. Sorry, Minister, I just wanted to know whether you could answer that, that should – do you think a smack should be allowed as part of good parental correction?
BILL ENGLISH: Look, it’s a matter of complying with the law of the land.
INTERVIEWER: Right, it’s a simple question, isn’t it?
BILL ENGLISH: It’s like asking whether the speed limit should be – whether you should drive at 120 kilometres an hour. The law – the law…
INTERVIEWER: Well, clearly you shouldn’t.
BILL ENGLISH: That’s right. Well, the law – the law, as it stands, is the law that should be enforced.
INTERVIEWER: Do you – do you think a smack should be allowed as part of good parental
correction? It’s simple yes or no, isn’t it?
Bill ENGLISH: Well, look, the law takes a stance about smacking and it gives the police some discretion about how they use their capacity to prosecute. If there is evidence that they are prosecuting people inappropriately, then that current government would look at changing the law.

So this is the position of Bill English. Laws should be enforced. The smacking law should be complied with. A smack as part of good parental correction is against the law. There is no evidence that, quote, “law abiding parents are being wrong(ly) prosecuted”, unquote, for breaking the law when lightly smacking their kids.

What Radio Live should have asked is this: If “law abiding parents” can smack their kids for corrective purposes, how can law abiding parents be wrongly prosecuted, given correction is explicitly a crime?