Archive for the ‘Blogs’ Category

Cabinet Minister’s Smacking Law Comments Welcomed

Monday, June 1st, 2009


1 June 2009

Cabinet Minister’s Smacking Law Comments Welcomed

Family First NZ is welcoming comments made by Social Development Minister Paula Bennett in a radio interview over the weekend.

When a caller to the programme on Newstalk ZB asked the Minister whether she thought a smack as part of good parental correction should be a criminal offence in NZ, the Minister responded ‘No I don’t, I believe that actually good parenting should be left to do that in their different ways in their different homes and I don’t have an interest in going into people’s homes and telling them how to parent’.

“This is a welcome change to the previous message that parents have received from politicians that ‘we know best how to raise your kids’,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Ms Bennett is also willing to acknowledge the difference between a smack as part of good parental correction, and child abuse. She went on to say ‘I’ve got the hat on of being hugely hugely concerned with serious abuse – now I think they’re very different things so do understand I’m not saying that section 59 was ever going to stop that…’. She also admitted that she would never have introduced an anti-smacking bill.”

Paula Bennett now joins Labour leader Phil Goff as having indicated that a smack as part of good parental correction should not be a crime in NZ, as the law currently stands. This is the question being asked in the upcoming Referendum on the anti-smacking law.

The Minister also acknowledged the level of daily concern from parents regarding the law and its impact on their parenting and the attitude of children.

“If the politicians believe that the law as it currently stands is wrong, they should save the country $10m on a Referendum and amend the law now,” says Mr McCoskrie. “They can simply adopt the private members bill put forward by ACT MP John Boscawen, and then heed the calls for a Royal Commission to target the real causes of child abuse.”


For More Information and Media Interviews, contact Family First:

Bob McCoskrieNational Director

Mob. 027 55 555 42

Ads taken out for ‘anti-smacking’ repeal

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Ads taken out for ‘anti-smacking’ repeal

Sunday, 08 February 2009

Lobby group Family First has placed advertisements in all three Sunday newspapers calling for the repeal of the “anti-smacking law”.

The advertisement described four cases where parents were investigated by Child, Youth and Family following the repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act, which removed the defence of reasonable force for parents who physically punish their children.

A late amendment to the law added the proviso that police had the discretion not to prosecute complaints against a parent where the offence was considered to be inconsequential.

The cases referred to CYF included two where parents admitted smacking their children as a last resort and one where CYF investigated when her child told a friend’s mother he had been smacked.

The fourth involved a child complainant who was found to have been angry with her mother for being grounded.

“The tragedy is that families are seeking help in their role as parents but as soon as they acknowledge that they smack or have smacked, they are immediately being referred to CYF and their children are being removed,” Family First director Bob McCoskrie said.

CYF eventually closed the investigation in all four cases, the advertisements say.

A fifth example described a case where a woman was suspended by a community centre for what Family First says was a tap on the back of the hand.

She was eventually reinstated after the employer dropped the case after her lawyer intervened.

Mr McCoskrie called for the repeal of the law, saying it was penalising good parents while not tackling the real causes of child abuse.


Bradford Encourages Parents to Carry On Smacking

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

In a stunning turnaround, Green MP Sue Bradford has told parents that smacking is not a criminal offence and implied that groups like Barnardos, Plunket, Every Child Counts and politicians who have said that the aim of the law was to ban parents physically punishing their children are misleading the public.

In a media release from the Green party today, Bradford says ‘smacking has never been a criminal offence, and still isn’t.’

Yet only last year, she told Newstalk ZB ‘it is already illegal to smack children but her bill removes a defence of reasonable force for the purpose of correction.’

And in the original 2003 media release from the Green party launching her amendment to section 59, it is entitled “Greens draw up their own anti-smacking bill”

“Sue Bradford is confused by her own law,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ, “and is misrepresenting the real effect and purpose of the anti-smacking law. She believes smacking is assault, yet more than 80% of NZ’ers continue to disagree.”

“Otherwise, we can only conclude that she is telling parents to carry on smacking and if investigated by police or CYF, parents should tell them that they don’t understand the law and to get lost. Yet parents are getting referred to CYF and the police by schools, neighbours, social workers, even their own kids, for light smacking.”

“If the politicians who designed the law are confused, where does that put parents who are simply trying to raise good kids without breaking the law,” says Mr McCoskrie.

Family First NZ continues to call on the politicians to change the law so that it clearly states that non-abusive smacking is not a crime (as wanted by 86% of NZ’ers according to today’s NZ Herald poll), and to then tackle the real causes of child abuse.

To comment go to:

ACT will repeal the anti-smacking legislation

Monday, September 22nd, 2008


On Kiwiblog today, there was a comment that ACT were only interested in “slogans not policy”… which of course I don’t agree is true. However Rodney (what other political party leader would be bothered to write a rebuttal??) got online and posted these words of wisdom:

I am not an expert on law and order policy. I realise its the number one job of government to keep us safe and secure from the thugs and bullies — and to back us up when we defend ourselves. I have listened to the debates in Parliament and concluded the MPs and bureaucrats have no answers, just more of the same.

That’s why I enlisted the help of Garth McVicar of Sensible Sentencing Trust and Peter Low from the Asian Anti-Crime Group. They have helped ACT a lot with policy.

Roger Douglas has taught me that it is not enough simply to care. You need policies that will deliver results. And people who can deliver the policy.

That’s why we have worked so hard on this one with so many different groups. Garth has been a great help. And it was a huge bonus to be able to attract David Garret to stand at list place number five. He’s the most impressive speaker on law and order I have heard.

A key policy is the SST’s three strikes and your out. It’s been drafted by David Garrett. It will work. We have committed an extra billion a year to keeping our streets safe.

And no, it doesn’t include smacking. Besides, ACT will repeal the anti-smacking legislation following the referendum.

ACT has worked hard to have credible fiscal policy. We have done the same in education. I am especially proud of the work on law and order. I know of no other party that has done the work we have or who are offering a genuine alternative this election.

It was especially heartening to have Garth McVicar and Peter Low speak at our law and order launch.

Cindy Kiro’s got her hand in your wallet

Friday, August 8th, 2008

This blog is worth reading:

A great post from darrenrickard.blogspot

Monday, July 7th, 2008

A great post from darrenrickard.blogspot

Helen Clark stares down the barrel and lies

I don’t usually post You Tube stuff here but this one is a gem of a home video. From Gyon Espiner from TV One news from last year.

Ms Clark says in similar words that, she would never like to see good parents live in fear of someone knocking on their door should they correct their child by giving them a wee smack.

That to pass a law, such as the anti smacking law, would be “defying human nature”, and Labour just would never do such a thing.

She in fact was caught out lying, again, but this time it was on video!

Now we shouldn’t be surprised about Ms Clark and her stance on smacking kids for “corrective purposes”, because she was part of a government in the 1980s that removed corporal punishment in schools that has led to violence and bullying in schools today and it just keeps getting worse.

Ironically it is one of Clark’s poster children for the anti smacking law, Cindy Kiro, that was last week looking into an initiative to “help” curb bullying of teachers and children on Helen’s behalf.

I don’t care what people say, I still can’t fight the feelings against pure logic when one tries to “fix” a problem that one created in the first place.

The repeal of section 59 will have similar consequences that the removal of corporal punishment from schools has.

Frankly, if you don’t get that, then you are thicker than Sue Bradford on Mogadon.

Related Political Animal reading

You can take the family out of South Auckland
Sue Bradford strikes out, Again
Helen Clark kicks democracy below the belt
Anti smacking referendum gets the votes
Sacha Cobern’s letter to NZ Herald Editor
Cindy Kiro gets violent
Anti-smacking law puts young boy at risk
Mallard in Court
Trevor Mallard’s anti violence advert
Duck Season Extended: Mallard must go

Anti-smacking referendum timing (2)

Thursday, June 26th, 2008


Speaking 2008 So the PM says she will get the Governor General to order that a postal poll be held next year.

Parliament can stymie that scheme too. Section 22AB allows a majority vote in Parliament to require that the last day of postal voting be the date of the general election. The words are clear:

“(6) [If there has been an order to conduct a postal poll, and ] —

  • (a) a general election must be held on a date that is within 12 months after the date on which the indicative referendum petition is presented to the House of Representatives (because of section 17 of the Constitution Act 1986); and

  • (b) the House of Representatives passes a resolution requiring the voting period to close on the polling day for the general election.

(7) In the circumstances described in subsection (6), the date on which the voting period closes is polling day”

To have a postal referendum poll close on election day would be almost as good as holding it with the general election, in terms of reminding people of her arrogant interference in ordinary lives and decisions. Only downside would be the $millions wasted on the postal poll, instead of combining it.

John Armstrong’s piece in this morning’s Herald pointed out that the whole 1984 snap election was organised in 4 weeks.

Clark’s reasons……A simple “it will be separate from the election because $10m and the criticism are still less to me than having my short-memory voters being reminded of my contempt for their values” would scarcely gain as much attention (and now ridicule).

Joe Bennett Unleashed

Saturday, June 21st, 2008


A brilliant excerpt from an interview with Joe Bennett, aptly entitled, “Joe Bennett Unleashed” – written up by Zoe George, and found in the April/May 2008 edition of the Canterbury Today business magazine.

Child abuse is a topic of great discussion among New Zealanders, particularly in the wake of Sue Bradford’s controversial anti-smacking bill getting the governmental nod of approval last year. A move some could say hand delivered ‘nanny-state’ accusers gift-wrapped, iron-clad evidence.

Many believe this legislation removed the rights of good parents to parent properly and does nothing to prevent abusers of children from abusing. Joe feels very strongly against child abuse, but not in the sense most of us think of it as.

“Real child abuse is having a kid go through the state education for 12 years and coming out unable to read and write. It’s like we are tying a ball and chain around their leg and then we are amazed that they become criminals. If we can’t produce literate children then don’t look at the children, it is the system that has let them down.”

Blog:savethehumans-Do We Need More Smacking?

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Do We Need More Smacking?


Few parents are keen on smacking as a first resort form of punishment, but as a useful threat or for an immediate impact most parents keep it in reserve, especially for younger children.

Smacking has perhaps been banned in New Zealand. I say perhaps because there is widespread opposition to the new law (some 80% against) and therefore the law has little credibility.

Smacking is of course not child abuse. It has its role in discipline as it has for 1000s of years of parenting.

Is it just me or has the number of child abuse cases risen since the law was passed? Criminals and bullies often operate by transferring the blame for their actions to others. Could it be that these child abusers have decided that they are no longer responsible for their children, but can leave the discipline to others? Do they then get frustrated with the child and lash out?

Parenting is not easy, and it requires consistency, calmness, plenty of sleep, sufficient gin, a genuine love of children and everything they do, plus a sense of humour. Mother Theresa would not qualify. Yet many of the child abusers we see are incapable of holding down a job, incapable of organising their human relationships (constantly fighting with girlfriends, friends and family) and functioning in society only in a very limited way.

How do we expect these dropkicks to be good parents? Obviously we can’t. The solution may be to accept that fact, and stop tarring the rest of us with the faults of a few. Another idea would be to stop actively funding the underclass where this sort of abuse happens. Fighting child abuse without fighting for stable two-parent families (where the siblings all have the same parents) is silly. Hansel and Gretal taught us that step-parents often care less.

Also, why are very young children or babies suffering so badly? Obviously babies can be very annoying. They get in the way of your lifestyle by waking you up in the middle of the night. Very young babies don’t give a lot back, t least until 4 months or so. But do some parents see newborns as ‘not real’, just a thing that hasn’t become a human yet? A candidate for late term abortion? Younger people are not so sentimental about children either.

There is of course no point in smacking a baby, it is just cruel and pointless since babies really have no idea about free will. I can’t remember at what point children can have some control over their behaviour (that a parent must influence) but I suppose it is around 2 years of age. So smacking as discipline simply isn’t a factor with the recent cases we have seen. No court would agree that smacking a 3 month old is reasonable.

Of course the other explanation for child abuse is that some people are scumbags. Perhaps we should just leave it at that. Child abuse is illegal and immoral. It was illegal and immoral before parliament’s recent ideological burp. But if Sue Bradford, who promoted the law, was hoping that an attempt to criminalise smacking would fix the problem, she has been proven wrong enough times that we should regard all further ideas from that quarter with fullsome suspicion.

The law should be repealed.