Posts Tagged ‘Child Discipline’

Nats won’t change child-discipline law, says Key

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Family First:

We have been asked on a number of occasions where does National stand on the anti-smacking law, and will they change it if elected as the government.

Here’s the answer…
Nats won’t change child-discipline law, says Key
The Press 26 June 2008
National Party leader John Key has ruled out overturning the controversial child-discipline law if he becomes Prime Minister, despite championing a referendum on the issue. In Parliament yesterday, he accused Prime Minister Helen Clark of “ignoring the will of the New Zealand people” and urged a referendum be held on the so-called “anti-smacking” legislation at election time. His call came after Clark announced the Government had accepted official advice that it was too late to hold a referendum this year.

Asked by The Press afterwards if a National government would consider revoking the law as a result of a referendum, Key said: “No. The position as it has essentially always been since we signed a compromise (with Labour) is that if we see good parents being criminalised for lightly smacking their children then we will actively seek to change the law,” he said. “But at this point, as the police report pointed out earlier this week, we haven’t seen that at all. “The test we have is a pretty simple one. If the law doesn’t work then we’ll change it.”

Family First Comment :
We are currently researching a number of cases where good parents have been criminalised or had children removed by CYF for lightly smacking or correcting their children.

If you have been investigated or prosecuted by the police or CYF for ‘light smacking’, or know of someone who has, please email us in the strictest confidence

Kind regards

Bob McCoskrie
National Director

Child discipline law one year old tomorrow

Friday, June 20th, 2008

As the first anniversary of the so-called anti-smacking legislation rolls around, campaigners will again present a petition trying to get the law overturned.

But the architect of the bill, Green MP Sue Bradford, says the new law is working well and should be left alone.

The first anniversary of the controversial law is tomorrow, a day Unicef says is cause for celebration.

Ms Bradford’s legislation amended section 59 of the Crimes Act to remove the defence of reasonable force for parents who physically discipline their children.

The amendment, which was supported by the overwhelming majority of Parliament, gave police discretion to judge whether a reported offence warranted prosecution.

There is to be a review of the law next June, two years after its introduction.

Unicef executive director Dennis McKinlay said fears that good parents would face charges for minor infringements of the law had been well and truly laid to rest.

“Police and the public have shown that this law works well and that parents can find better and more constructive ways to discipline and guide children than hitting them,” Mr McKinlay said.

However, Kiwi Party leader Larry Baldock and supporters will on Monday again present signatures on a petition trying to force a referendum that would ask the question: “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand.”

When the petition was presented earlier, supporters had collected 324,316 signatures, but after these were checked for validity there were only 269,500 — less than the 10 percent of enrolled voters which has to be reached for a referendum to be held.

Mr Baldock today said the petition, to be presented to the Clerk of the House on Monday, would be checked and a random sample audited over the next two months to see whether the 285,027 signatures were valid.