Posts Tagged ‘Big-news’

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.

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:

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