Archive for the ‘Section 59 – MPs’ Category

NZ First Promised Anti-Smacking Law Referendum

Friday, October 20th, 2017

media release


20 October 2017

NZ First Promised Anti-Smacking Law Referendum
Family First NZ says that if a referendum is going to be held on legalising dope as requested by the Green party, then NZ First should also be delivering a referendum on the anti-smacking law, based on statements made by leader Winston Peters and NZ First before the election.


In a speech in March in Northland, leader Winston Peters said; “We are going to repeal the anti-smacking law which doesn’t work and has in fact seen greater violence towards children.” He then further clarified his position in an interview on Newstalk ZB saying that this matter should go to a referendum with New Zealand people who are “far more reliable and trustworthy on these matters, rather than a bunch of temporarily empowered parliamentarians.” This position was backed up by senior MP Tracey Martin.


“NZ First is now in a position to be able to protect good parents and put the focus where it should be – on rotten parents and actual abuse. The politicians and anti-smacking lobby groups linked good parents who smacked their children with child abusers, a notion roundly rejected – and still rejected – by NZ’ers. The anti-smacking law assumes that previous generations disciplined their children in a manner that was so harmful that they should now be considered criminals,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.


(In 2014, NZ First saidNZ First policy is to repeal the anti-smacking law passed by the last parliament despite overwhelming public opposition. Accordingly, we will not enter any coalition or confidence and supply agreement with a party that wishes to ignore the public’s clearly stated view in a referendum on that issue.”)



For More Information and Media Interviews, contact Family First:


Mob. 027 55 555 42

10 Good Reasons to Change the Anti-Smacking Law – Reason #3

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Reason #3 – “Jack & Jenny” Like 10 Good Reasons to Change the Anti-Smacking Law – Reason #3 – “Jack & Jenny” on Facebook

Hi Barbara

Charged with ‘excessive chores’. Charged with ‘kidnapping’ when preventing a child from harming themselves. Charged with ‘excessive time-out’. Charged for giving a child a haircut. That’s what ‘Jack and Jenny’ faced. They even encouraged ‘Jenny’ to divorce her husband and take her youngest son out of the country! And yet after being completely acquitted of 15 charges after a four week trial and just 25 minutes deliberation by the jury, it took a further 9 months (and almost 30 months after their children were first removed) before CYF allowed the family to be reunited.


“I’m a housewife. I’m a mum. They made me feel like NZ’s Most Wanted.”
“Jenny” (Mother)
“I was embarrassed to be a NZ’er.”
(Head Juror)

This fifth short clip is this week’s example of “10 Good Reasons to Change the Anti-Smacking Law.”

It’s the evidence that politicians and the media don’t want you to see. It’s the evidence John Key asked for – but won’t watch. So take a couple of minutes to watch and judge for yourself. click on image (above) to view

To see ALL the evidence, go to our updated and new look website . You can view the full documentaries “Mum on a Mission” (2014) and “My Mummy’s A Criminal” (2011).

It’s time we held the politicians to account on a failed law which is doing more harm than good. It’s time the politicians listened to YOU!

Kind regards

Bob McCoskrie
National Director – Family First NZ

Go to

Support Family First

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

The following is from Family First. If you are not on their mailing list then I would recommend that you click on this link below to get this information in your inbox especially leading up to the elections:

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The anti-smacking law has been back in the public spotlight, thanks to the Conservative Party, and Family First is planning a major campaign on overturning this law in the lead-up to the election. As a result of Family First contacting the media, both the Dominion Post and the Sunday Star Times had to print retractions relating to the way they were presenting the application and impact of the law (see below right). However this misinformation was then repeated by the Prime Minister! We will continue to monitor this debate – and ensure that parents are receiving the facts on just how harmful this law has been and why it must be changed.

Media and PM Misleading Public on Smacking Prosecutions
Media Release 20 Jan 2013: Family First NZ says that the Prime Minister is now misrepresenting the facts relating to smacking prosecutions. The Dominion Post and the Sunday Star Times have already had to print corrections because of misrepresenting the facts. “A number of media outlets and editorials claimed that police have prosecuted just eight parents for smacking children in the five years since the law came in and that seven of those parents had smacked their child in the head or face. This was completely wrong and misleading. The Prime Minister is now repeating the myth (Radio Live this morning audio). It is also disappointing that the police are not speaking up about the incorrect information, and we wonder why not,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “This means that John Key’s judgment of the working of the law is based on wrong information. This is either to justify not taking action on fixing the law, or the Prime Minister is continuing to receive wrong advice.” READ MORE

According to the police reviews and Official Information Act requests by Family First NZ, the following have been prosecuted and in most cases convicted:

1. Smack on nappy – subsequently withdrawn. 3rd review
2. Smack on bottom. 6th review
3. Smacked on leg with no physical injury. 7th review
4. Smacked on bottom with no physical injury. 8th review
5. Smacked on bottom with no physical injury. 9th review
6. Smacked on lower leg with no physical injury – withdrawn due to insufficient evidence. 10th review
7. Smacked on upper leg with no physical injury. 10th review
8. Smacked on leg with no physical injury. 10th review

“Parents will be surprised by the types of actions which the police are taking to court – despite the guarantees of the Prime Minister that a smack is ok – a claim reiterated this morning on Radio Live. Almost 600 kiwi families have had a police investigation for allegations of smacking or minor acts of physical discipline since the anti-smacking law was passed yet only 9% of them have been serious enough to warrant charges being laid,” says Mr McCoskrie. “A law is obviously a ‘dog’s breakfast’ when there is such a high rate (90%-plus) of cases warranting no further action by the police. Yet for these ‘good parents’, the experience will have been hell.”

Family First Comment: We’ll keep you informed on this issue, where the political parties stand on changing the law, and what you can do to help us run a strong campaign to overturn the law.

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Dominion Editorial Correction

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

From Bob McCoskrie of Family First:

So the Dominion Post admitted their error from yesterday regarding smacking prosecutions (albeit a very small admission. So here’s the real issue – we have now confirmed that parents ARE being prosecuted by the police for open hand smacks on the bottom or leg with no resulting injuries at all! Totally contrary to what politicians promised and what the media have tried to tell us!

Smacking law is stupid: Colin Craig

Monday, January 13th, 2014



Should the anti-smacking law be repealed?

Vote Result

Colin Craig

Conservatives leader and Albany businessman Colin Craig.

Conservatives party leader Colin Craig has as good as confirmed a change to the anti-smacking law will be a bottom line if his party finds itself in a position to prop up the Government.

Craig also admitted to smacking his child on occasion, in an interview with RadioLive this morning.

“I occasionally do it right now. Like two thirds of other parents in New Zealand, I am not putting the good raising of a child behind a silly law.”

Craig acknowledged he was breaking the law, but he still expected to get votes.

“They [parents] like me, know this law is a stupid law and it’s not doing anything curb the abuse of children in this country.”

Craig said he was not calling it a bottom-line at this stage because the election had not yet happened and he was not in a position to call the shots.

But if he found himself in that position come election time, it would “absolutely” be on the table for review.

“People have got to vote for us yet, we haven’t had the election. But if we get there with the numbers where it’s essential that we’re part of Government, then yes we want it to be there for review and for a change back to law that will actually work for New Zealand.”

He said a switch to Australia’s law would be a more common-sense approach.

“Basically the Australian one is quite limiting around what parents can actually do. So it still lets good parents get on with the business of discipline and if they want to give little Johnny a light smack they’re allowed to do that,” he said.

“But they’re not allowed to hit Johnny around the head, and so I think it’s sensible law.

“It means police keep focus on parents who aren’t doing a good job as opposed to the situation in New Zealand, where we’ve had nearly 600 investigations mostly of great families and it’s incredibly disruptive and a waste of resources.”

Opponents of the 2007 law change claimed “good parents” would be prosecuted for disciplining children and it would do nothing to stop serious harm to children.

But recent Ministry of Social Development data showed fewer parents were being investigated for smacking their children.

The number dropped by almost third over the past financial year, with 176 parents dobbed in to the MSD, down from 277 the year before.

But Craig said the figure was nearly 600 investigations into parents by police.

Police say they have prosecuted just eight parents for smacking children in the five years since the law came in.

Seven of those parents had smacked their child in the head or face.

The eighth parent was discharged without conviction for striking the child on the hand.

Craig told Fairfax Media the numbers were falling because parents had simply moved to hitting their children behind closed doors.

Smacking debate back in the limelight

Saturday, January 11th, 2014



Supporters of the controversial “anti-smacking” law are claiming victory after a dramatic fall in the number of parents being investigated for hitting their children.

But opponents of the 2007 law change have accused the Government of fudging the numbers and the issue looks set to become an election lightning rod, with the Conservative Party, a potential Government coalition partner, committed to overturning the legislation.

The amendment to section 59 of the Crimes Act in 2007 removed the defence of “reasonable force” for parents prosecuted for assault on their children.

It divided the country, with its sponsor, former Green MP Sue Bradford, receiving death threats while Family First director Bob McCroskie, an opponent of the change, found plastic knives stabbed into his lawn.

Opponents of the law change claimed “good parents” would be prosecuted for disciplining children and it would do nothing to stop serious harm to children.

But Ministry of Social Development data shows fewer parents are being investigated for smacking their children. The number dropped by almost third over the past financial year, with 176 parents dobbed in to the MSD, down from 277 the year before.

Police say they have prosecuted just eight parents for smacking children in the five years since the law came in. Seven of those parents had smacked their child in the head or face.

The eighth parent was discharged without conviction for striking the child on the hand. Police said they were also being called to fewer smacking incidents though they stopped counting smacking prosecutions after the Government’s five-year review process came to an end.

Bradford said the dramatic drop in notifications proved parents were turning their back on smacking. “This is what those of us involved in the heart of the struggle expected. That dreadful witchhunt and crazy campaign that went on at the time, none of it’s come true.

“Anecdotally, I have so many adults who said what a lesson [the law] was. They say: ‘I used to think I had to hit my kids because my parents did’.”

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig said numbers were falling because parents made sure smacks were not delivered publicly. “I haven’t met any parent who has stopped smacking because of the law, but I have met a number who have changed the way they do it.”

Craig plans to make the issue an integral part of this year’s election campaign and if he gets in to Parliament, a repeal of the law will be on the negotiating table in any coalition deal, he said.

“It would be an easy one for National to put over the line because obviously the law is not working. Child abuse statistics have risen. It’s a silly law. The vast majority of parents think this law has gone too far.”

Bradford fears a “nightmare” scenario where Craig holds bargaining power: “Heaven forbid, if Colin Craig becomes influential in the next Government.

“I think it leaves [Prime Minister] John Key in some difficulty. It would be dreadful to see him [Craig] and his party with the power to strongly influence a National-led Government.”

Act, another potential coalition partner for National, supported a review of the law, as did NZ First. Labour, Maori Party and United Future support the legislation and the Government confirmed it had no plans to review it.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said she was pleased to see a drop in the number of parents notified for smacking. And parents can no longer beat their children with pipe, wood and other weapons under the guise of discipline, she said.

Key, who personally voted for the legislation, has consistently refused to entertain a law change, even after a referendum on the issue found 87 per cent of those who voted did not believe smacking should be a criminal offence.

Family First plans to campaign strongly on the issue during the election buildup. “It’s a big issue because it was a law that came into every family home. Politicians want it to simmer down and go away, but it’s not,” McCroskie said, adding figures on falling smacking notifications are “fudged . . . It doesn’t identify cases where parents are being ransomed by their own kids.”

A smacking debate is underway in Australia and Britain, with the United Nations putting pressure on both governments to ban it but Australian PM Tony Abbott said “gently smacking” can be good for a child.

To read the rest of this article click here…

The dangers of smacking may not be true

The dangers of smacking may not be true

18 July 2013

smacking 11 July 2013
Last week, on Facebook, a friend of mine linked to a Yahoo blog post whose title caught my eye: “Spanking Linked to Mental Illness, Says Study.” My husband and I have a 14-month-old boy, whom we’ve never planned to spank. Still, we have years of discipline ahead of us, and I was curious about the findings.

So I read the story. Then I read the study it was based on. Then I got mad.

Despite the Yahoo headline, and many others like it, the study, published in Pediatrics in early July, does not actually link spanking to mental illness. In fact, the study has nothing to do with spanking at all. Canadian researchers asked 34,000 adults how often they had been pushed, grabbed, shoved, slapped, or hit by their parents or other adults when they were children. The authors explain that they were trying to assess the long-term effects of regular harsh physical punishment, which, they write, “some may consider more severe than ‘customary’ physical punishment (i.e., spanking).” Ultimately, the researchers reported that adults who have mental problems are more likely to say they were pushed, grabbed, shoved, slapped, or hit by their parents than healthy adults are.

Yes, OK. Abuse is bad. But now I wanted to know: What about spanking? According to a 2011 study, more than half of all American parents spank their toddlers; some studies have put the number closer to 60 percent. But the American Academy of Pediatrics opposes it, and the practice is illegal in 32 countries, including Spain, Israel, and all of Scandinavia. So what’s the deal—are slaps on the tush OK if your children deserve it, or will it screw them up for life?

– See more at:

My Mummy’s A Criminal

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

WWW.PROTECTGOODPARENTS.ORG.NZ – In 2007 the NZ Parliament removed the right of Kiwi parents to use reasonable force to physically discipline their children for the purpose of correction. Despite assurances to the contrary, families have been torn apart, accused of lying and dragged through the courts with disturbing results. These are just a few of the many examples….

Smacking Law Leads to Miscarriage of Justice

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010


19 October 2010

Smacking Law Leads to Miscarriage of Justice

Family First NZ is welcoming the acknowledgement by the Crown of a miscarriage of justice towards Christchurch parent James Mason who was prosecuted by police for pulling the ear of his 3 year old when trying to prevent him from injuring himself as his younger brother had just done.

“Family First always said that if the conviction was for an ear pull rather than the claimed punch in the face, it was inappropriate. The acknowledgement by the Crown Solicitor in the Supreme Court today shows that the application of discretion and the lumping together of substantially different actions was flawed,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Parenting in New Zealand has been put on trial. The politicians have dealt a heavy legislative blow to parents, and parents are feeling disempowered, disrespected, and demonised as child abusers.”

“As well as that, the police are caught in the middle trying to balance the zero tolerance approach to family violence against the so-called discretion offered under the anti-smacking law.”

“It is not surprising that research by the Families Commission found that only a third of parents believe that the government sees their role as important.”

Family First NZ is challenging Prime Minister John Key to amend the law that he has labeled a dog’s breakfast, and introduce the amendment that he lobbied for before he became Prime Minister which decriminalizes light smacking for the purpose of correction.

“NZ’ers have no confidence in this law and are confused by it,” says Mr McCoskrie. “Good parents taking their kids for a bike ride and trying to keep them safe deserve the support of the state – not criminalisation.”


For More Information and Media Interviews, contact Family First:

Bob McCoskrie JP – National Director

Tel. 09 261 2426 | Mob. 027 55 555 42

Public meeting in Christchurch tonight 21 September 2009

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Hi All,

Public meeting in Christchurch concerning the Anti-Smacking Law, see below for details.

Unity for Liberty encourages all folk to attend these public meetings when they are in your area, I attended the first meeting in Auckland and found it extremely rewarding.

If you are able could you please forward these details on to any friends who may be in the area.


Craig Hill


We have organised our next Public Meeting;

John Boscawen has challenged Clayton Cosgrove to attend. 27000 voted No in his electorate of Waimakariri and 16000 voted for him in the last General election… John is also inviting Kate Wilkinson, the National List MP.

The details are

Monday 21 September, 7.30 p.m. St. Bede’s College, Performing Arts Centre, 210 Main North Road, Papanui, Christchurch City


John Boscawen, ACT M.P., David Garrett, ACT M.P., Larry Baldock, Leader of the Kiwi Party and Referendum Organiser. Other speakers to be advised.

For details of future meetings


Or phone 09 531 5531

The Message is Clear…Decriminalise Light Smacking

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

The Message is Clear…


Light Smacking


Tomorrow morning, and in response to the whopping 88% who voted NO in the Referendum, John Key will be going to Cabinet to recommend ‘increased safeguards’, guidelines and ‘a level of comfort’ for parents under the anti-smacking law. But the Referendum wasn’t about ‘recommendations’, ‘guidelines’ or ‘comfort’ – it was about a law change .

As the law stands, a light smack is a criminal offence subject to whether the police agree it was ‘inconsequential’ and then whether CYF agree that you’re not an abusive parent (only after an investigation that may require your children to be removed temporarily). We’ve documented many cases where this interpretation would be completely different to what you and I would think ( see here).


Almost all of these Ministers were in Opposition when the law was passed and actively lobbyed against the law change until they were ‘whipped’ to support the compromise – some even helped collect signatures and promoted the need for a Referendum! It’s not about John Key’s view – it’s about Cabinet listening to the almost 90% who voted NO in the Referendum

Here’s the emails… ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;;
(we’ve added our email address simply so we can monitor how much email traffic each Cabinet Minister is receiving)

Step 1 : Simply highlight all emails, copy and paste in a new email.

Step 2 : Write a simply message which starts with something like
“Decriminalise Light Smacking – Please hear the voice of the 88% who voted against the anti-smacking law….” And then, if you want, add any additional comments – but at all times, PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL!

Use this as a guide:

(Write to John Key now:

Step 3: Press SEND!

Thank you. Your voice really does count.

Kind regards

Bob McCoskrie
National Director