Posts Tagged ‘Children’

Latest Smacking Research Shows Benefits

Monday, January 4th, 2010


4 January 2010

Latest Smacking Research Shows Benefits

Family First NZ is welcoming the latest research showing that light and reasonable smacking is beneficial to children in their development, and despite claims by government funded groups, kids aren’t damaged by its occasional use.

“Previous research has not been able to compare children who have been smacking with those who have never been smacked, because children who’ve never been smacked were hard to find as most kids received physical discipline at least once in their life,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “But due to the pervading anti-smacking ideology, this has changed.”

“Yet this study found that young children smacked by their parents may grow up to be happier and more successful than those who have never been smacked. Children smacked up to the age of six were likely as teenagers to perform better at school and were more likely to carry out volunteer work and to want to go to university than their peers who had never been physically disciplined. Only those children who continued to be smacked into adolescence showed clear behavioural problems.”

Marjorie Gunnoe, professor of psychology at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said her study showed there was insufficient evidence to deny parents the freedom to choose how they discipline their children. Gunnoe’s work drew on a study of 2,600 people, of whom about a quarter had never been physically chastised.

This follows earlier research from Duke University which showed that if a culture views spanking as the normal consequence for bad behavior, kids aren’t damaged by its occasional use because parents are less agitated and more consistent.

“This is more evidence to go alongside previous NZ-based research from Professor Fergusson at Christchurch School of Medicine and from Otago University showing that light smacking is not child abuse, is actually beneficial when used in a positive and loving family environment, and should definitely not be a criminal offence in this country,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“Law-abiding kiwi parents are being forced to change their parenting techniques based on flawed and unproven ideology.  Yet these techniques are proven to be beneficial to raising law-abiding and positive members of society.”

“It’s time the government listened to the thorough and balanced research on smacking and the concerns of parents and grandparents raising or who have raised great kids, rather than the flawed ideology and scaremongering of government funded groups which should be focusing on actual child abuse.”


For More Information and Media Interviews, contact Family First:

Bob McCoskrie – National Director  Mob. 027 55 555 42

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Abortion Supervisory Committee Report 2009

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Media Release

Abortion Supervisory Committee Report 2009

The Abortion Supervisory Committee’s [ASC] report was tabled in Parliament on 8th December. The Committee reported 17,940 abortions in New Zealand 2008.

This is a reduction of 440 on the 2007 year figure of 18,380. While encouraging, Right to Life reminds New Zealanders that each life is unique and irreplaceable. Hopefully one reason for the decrease is the increasing recognition in the community that abortion not only destroys innocent defenceless unborn children, it also harms the physical and mental health of women and their families.

Right to Life is concerned about the unlawful abortions authorised in 2008.

The statistics for 2008 reveal that 98% of abortions performed were authorised on the grounds of serious danger to the mental health of the mother. This statistic has been constant since 1977. Justice Miller’s judgement in the High Court in Wellington, (date) in the judicial review of the Abortion Supervisory Committee, supported the conclusion that many of these abortions are unlawful.

Justice Miller stated that “there is reason to doubt the lawfulness of many abortions authorised by certifying consultants. Indeed the Committee itself has stated that the law is being used more liberally than Parliament intended.”

“In my opinion, the statistics and the committee’s comments since the Court of Appeal made that observation, do give rise to powerful misgivings about the lawfulness of many abortions. They tend to confirm Dr Forster’s view that New Zealand has abortion on request” Dr Christine Forster was previously chairperson of the ASC from June 1993 to August 2001, a period of nearly eight years.

The Abortion Supervisory Committee’s response is tragic. They are seeking to provide even greater access to chemical abortion by supporting the wider use of the toxic chemical Mifegyne RU486. This use of RU486, a ‘human pesticide’, in a pill form imposes an incredible psychological trauma on women, often leaving the mother to cope with aborted body parts from their baby.

The report reveals that 140 disabled unborn children were killed in 2008 – how is this justified? It is deplorable that only the perfect are permitted to be born. A child does not forfeit its right to life because it has a disability.

Right to Life believes that many innocent healthy unborn children have been deprived of their life unlawfully; this is a grave injustice – a violation of their right to life. It also permits the exploitation and abandonment of women. This is the justice issue of our era.

Right to Life is gravely concerned at the increase in repeat abortions in 2008. Of the 17,940 abortions performed,

  • 11,312, (63%) of the total abortions were a woman’s first abortion.
  • 6628, (37%) were repeat abortions, an increase of 2% on 2007 figures
  • 4,469 women in 2008 were having their second abortion,
  • 1490 were having their third abortion,
  • 461 were having their fourth abortion,
  • 143 their fifth,
  • 40 their sixth and
  • 25 their seventh or more abortion.

These statistics are scandalous and indicate that abortion is being used as a back up for failed contraception. The abortion laws do not provide for failed contraception as grounds for abortion.

Right to Life asks why the Committee is not taking action to address this critical problem.

The report reveals that:

  • 8,041 women were using contraceptives at the time their child was conceived.

Of these women,

  • 4,898 were using condoms
  • 2,901 were using contraceptives.
  • These statistics show that contraceptives have a high failure rate. It is a tragedy that innocent unborn children are being killed in order to provide for another’s so called sexual freedom. The Committee suggested  in its report that because of New Zealand’s high abortion rate (in comparison with other countries) that we need more long acting contraceptives and that the government should consider reducing financial barriers to their use. If the Committee was serious about reducing our high abortion rate they would ask the government to:
  • promote abstinence before marriage
  • adoption in preference to terminating the lives of healthy unborn children
  • promote child/teen protection from sexual exploitation and sexualizing by the media and advertising agencies

The Committee reports that “Over the past year the ASC has become conscious that workforce issues will need to be addressed in coming years to ensure continuity of abortion services in future.” The ASC is aware that there are very few operating doctors in New Zealand under the age of 50. Right to Life commends those doctors who faithful to the Hippocratic traditions of their healing profession have the utmost respect for the right to life of every child from the moment of conception and refuse to have any part in the killing of innocent and defenceless unborn children. Right to Life is opposed to any efforts that the Abortion Supervisory Committee  might make to subvert the ethics of good doctors by encouraging them to become involved in the killing of unborn babies.

Right to Life believes that a nation that kills its own children does not have a future and earnestly requests that:

  • The government promote a culture of life by promoting adoption as a loving life affirming option.
  • Hold the Abortion Supervisory Committee accountable for “pseudo-legal” abortions in this country.

This is preferable to life destroying abortion which promotes a culture of death.

Ken Orr


Right to Life New Zealand Inc.

Phone 03 3856111

Reviewing the Anti-smacking law

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Reformation Testimony

The criminalisation of New Zealand parents who discipline their children biblically: Or who will you obey, God or man?

New Zealand has a new law which makes the corporal punishment of children a crime. This includes smacking them with a wooden spoon or strap. The government has commissioned two reports, both of which claim that parents are unaffected by the new law. But the reporters failed to ask even one parent how he feels about this unwarranted government intrusion into his life. On some occasions the charges brought by the police have been dismissed in court. But the police, the psychologists, the ‘welfare’ agencies and the politicians are quite happy to see parents investigated, prosecuted and punished for using corporal punishment on children. Parents are now intimidated by unruly children who threaten to report their parents to the police if a parent dare touch them. Parental authority has been undermined by this wicked legislation. A government is supposed to reward the good and punish evil (Romans 13:1-7), but in New Zealand rewards the evildoer and punishes the good. Prime Minister Key claims that parents won’t be investigated for giving a ‘light’ smack, but if there is some other connected issue, then the police will investigate. Of course what constitutes a connected issue is left unexplained. The facts are that family members have been investigated for the most trivial acts of discipline which have been redefined as assaults.

For the video response to the latest government spin go here:

Garnet Milne

Stop beating on Sweden’s parents!

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Stop beating on Sweden’s parents!

By Caroline Olsson

Translation: Ruby Harrold-Claesson, Lawyer, President of the NCHR

This article was previously published on the Swedish Internet Site, – 2009-12-03

Swedish authorities and legal institutions have a negative attitude towards parenthood, which is not good for the relationship between children and parents. Many children need more time with their parents to feel safe. Now the government intends be even stricter with school attendance, and even prevent parents who want to take care of their children’s schooling, so-called Home-schooling. They are also negative to children’s absence from school for travel with their families, and in general they announce “tougher measures” which will not help the confused children.

Children need their parents as life-coaches, but there is so little time in today’s stressful society. Children need a solid relationship with an adult to find their identity, and develop their personalities in a natural way.
Swedish society does not respect parenthood. Parents are seen as some sort of service to the school system, which will ensure the provision of children who are rested, fed, have done their homework and are interested in going to school.

I am sure that very many of the problems of today’s society, have arisen precisely because time for children and parents to be together has shrunk. This has happened gradually, and perhaps imperceptibly. We have given priority to other things, and now we need to wake up and see that too many children are suffering.

Those in power do not see this connection, so now they want to legislate more stringent attendance at school and even “tougher measures”. They want to prevent parents who have the opportunity to take responsibility for their children’s schooling, so-called Home-schooling, by requiring “special reasons”. It will also be more difficult to get time off from school for example to travel with the family. They have not tried to find out how very many children suffer today in the schools, due to bullying, harassment, and the like. Politicians talk about the “right to education”, as if there are no problems in the schools. Many children and young people are experiencing the “right” to attend school and social interaction, which the politicians are talking about, rather like a prison and a torment. A very large proportion of children today are exhibiting anxiety about going to school.

Politicians say: “We must have schools, because we have had them since the 1800s.” Usually it would not be so modern for you to say that something is from the 1800s. We are living in a completely different society now. Back then they wanted to increase public knowledge. But now the level of education of most adults is much higher than primary school, so now there is no reason to force all children to go to school, if the parents have other options.

The Government’s new Education Act Bill sends out a very serious message to all the parents in this country. We are now being prohibited from giving our children a better alternative to going to school. Parents are simply not allowed to judge what is good for their own children.

Sweden needs a new approach to parenthood. We need to see parents as experts on their children. The solution is not to pull children away from their parents even more, but to support children and parents, to make use of all the time they can get to spend together.

Sweden is selling out the immense power that parents’ responsibility for their children represents. This is a disaster. We cannot afford to do without it. It is upon that power that a society rests. If you who are in power continue to display this negative attitude, you will undermine the whole society. You cannot replace parenting by doubling the number of school nurses and counsellors. Parenthood cannot be substituted at all. Your animosity towards parents will only cost countless extra billions.

Latest Smacking Law Review Offers No Comfort

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Family First NZ


7 December 2009

Latest Smacking Law Review Offers No Comfort

Family First NZ is dismissing yet another report on the anti-smacking law which fails to address the real issues and concerns over the law change.

“This is the eighth report in just over two years on the law change. There have never been so many reports in such a short time frame on a law change in an attempt to sell it,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “The police have done six reports, a report from the ministry of Social Development, and now this report commissioned by the Prime Minister in response to the overwhelming rejection of the law in the recent Referendum.”

“We weren’t expecting miracles in this report because one of the panel members Peter Hughes from the MSD has only recently released a report where he admits that he cannot conclude whether the law is achieving its purpose, and he cannot conclusively say that good parents are not being criminalized or victimized by this law with unnecessary state intervention. This is primarily because he doesn’t talk to them!”

“A senior police office who examined the prosecutions of a number of parents as a result of the new law says that without exception, the public interest was not served in pursuing prosecutions.”

“In the latest report, it fails in the following areas:

  • it fails to address the concerns of kiwi parents as to what effect it has had on their parenting
  • it fails to address the issue of children dobbing in their own parents, and threatening to report them to the police or CYF
  • it fails to address the concern expressed by police and youth workers regarding the increasing rate of assaults by young people on their parents
  • it fails to address the procedural conflict between the smacking law which allows ‘discretion’ versus the family violence police which demands zero tolerance
  • it fails to address why so many cases of what are supposed to be ‘assaults’ are receiving inconsequential punishments, and why so many investigations are ending up with a warning and in many cases, no action at all
  • it fails to address the effect of criminalising an action (light smacking for the purpose of correction) which most NZ’ers simply don’t believe should be treated as a criminal offence under the law.”

“This report is another government-funded sales pitch for a flawed law which has been resoundingly rejected by New Zealanders. John Key promised ‘comfort’ for parents, but it’s not comforting when he ignores almost 90% in a referendum, and retains a law which he admits is a ‘dog’s breakfast’, badly drafted, and extremely vague.”

“A law that requires so many compromises, guidelines, helplines, reviews, and parent education could be easily fixed with a simple amendment-the Boscawen amendment. That’s what parents deserve” says Mr McCoskrie.


For More Information and Media Interviews, contact Family First:

Bob McCoskrie – National Director

Mob. 027 55 555 42

Related document:

Review of New Zealand Police and Child, Youth and Family Policies and Procedures relating to the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act (pdf, 1675 Kb)

Family Integrity #483 — Girls and Gardasil

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Family Integrity #483 — Girls and Gardasil

(From Family First’s Mid-Week update):

Girls and Gardasil: the protection game
MercatorNet 22 Oct 09
A mother and public health student offers ten reasons not to vaccinate children against a sexually transmitted disease. The arguments for and against this particular immunisation are rarely provided by schools, yet parents, for the sake of their children, need to consider carefully the messages they are conveying by agreeing to this vaccine.

Commission of Inquiry into Child Abuse Essential

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009


29 October 2009

Commission of Inquiry into Child Abuse Essential

‘How many more children have to die before we do something?’

Family First NZ is repeating its call for a Commission of Enquiry into the unacceptable levels of child abuse and deaths in NZ.

The call comes following the suspected child abuse death of Wanganui toddler Karl Perigo-Check Junior which is the 18th case since the passing of the anti-smacking law.

“We must take pro-active action and tackle head-on the difficult issues of family breakdown, drug and alcohol abuse, violence in our media, mental illness, low maternal age, and other key factors identified by UNICEF, CYF and Children’s Commissioner reports,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First.

“Over the past 30 years we have allowed a succession of policies to diminish the importance of family structure and marriage. We have watched as politicians have given adults the right to silence, bail and parole while the rights of children to be safe have been ignored. We have allowed children to be raised in homes with an unacceptable level of drug abuse, family dysfunction and physical and emotional harm. And we’ve allowed the media to fill our minds with increasing levels of sexual and violent images in the name of entertainment and freedom of speech.”

“The 88% of voters who oppose the anti-smacking law are not people who are demanding the right to ‘assault’ and ‘beat’ children. They are simply kiwis who are exasperated with the fact that politicians and supposed family welfare groups are more interested in targeting good parents than tackling these much tougher issues.”

“Since the passing of the anti-smacking law, there has been a continual stream of child abuse cases and the rate of child abuse deaths has continued at the same rate as before the new law with at least 18 deaths since the law was passed,” says Mr McCoskrie. “Sue Bradford was right when she said that her law was never intended to deal with the problem of child abuse.”

“These latest cases are yet another wake-up call that children will never be safe until we are honest enough as a country to identify and tackle the real causes of child abuse.”

“An independent Inquiry free of political correctness and agendas would be an important first step,” says Mr McCoskrie.


Since Anti-smacking law was passed

1. 16 month old Sachin Dhani June 2007

2. 28-year-old woman charged with murdering a newborn baby found dead in the backyard of a Te Mome Road property in Alicetown – June 2007

3. 22-month-old Tyla-Maree Darryl Flynn June 2007

4. 3 year old Nia Glassie July 2007

5. Ten-month-old Jyniah Mary Te Awa September 2007 Manurewa

6. Two-month-old Tahani Mahomed December 2007 Otahuhu

7. 3 year old Dylan Hohepa Tonga Rimoni April 2008 Drury

8. A 27-year-old Dunedin mother of five admitted infanticide. On May 26 she lost control, banged the baby’s head repeatedly against the couch, choked her, then threw her on the bed and covered her with a blanket. May 2008

9. 7-year-old Duwayne Toetu Taote Pailegutu. July 2008

10.  16-month old Riley Justin Osborne (Kerikeri) boy Dec 2008

11. Three-year-old Cherish Tahuri-Wright (Marton) Feb 2009

12. Five-week-old Jayrhis Ian Te Koha Lock-Tata (Taupo) Mar 2009

13. One-year-old Trent James Matthews – aka Michael Matthews Jun 2009

14. Two-year-old Jacqui Peterson-Davis Kaitaia Aug 09

15. Three-year-old Kash McKinnon Palmerston North Aug 09

16. Baby death arrest Green Bay 26 Aug 2009

17. 22 month old Hail-Sage McClutchie Morrinsville 27 Sep 2009 

18. Karl Perigo-Check Junior Wanganui 25 Oct 2009


For More Information and Media Interviews, contact Family First:

Bob McCoskrie JP – National Director

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

Sign up now to received FREE email updates of issues affecting families – be informed!

Victoria University Debating Society debate 10 August 2009

Sunday, August 9th, 2009


4 August 2009


Do parents have the right to smack their children?

The referendum on smacking is sparking controversy nationwide, and as a result New Zealand’s premier debating society is hosting a showdown between prominent speakers as votes are cast around the country.

The debate; open to the public, with entry by koha, is being organised by the Victoria University Debating Society and is sponsored by the University.

Side affirmative will be represented by champion student debater Udayan Mukherjee, commentator and former journalist Dave Crampton (who blogs at and former Young Nationals President Michael Mabbett.  Green Party MP Sue Bradford will speak for the negative side, as will founder of Lobby Group EPOCH and former UNICEF NZ Advocacy Manager and Beth Wood.  They will be joined by Victoria University Debating Society President Polly Higbee.

Each debater will have around ten minutes to speak, and a show of hands at the end will determine the winner. Tea and coffee (and heated discussion) will be served after the debate.

The debate is the second in a series of public debates on important issues organised by the Victoria Debating Society.  The Society has debated a diverse range of topics, ranging from whether capitalism is in crisis to whether God is dead. Emily Bruce from the Society’s executive said, “The Society organises public debates on issues that are fundamental to New Zealanders.  There couldn’t be a more fundamental issue than this one at the moment.”

The Victoria University of Wellington Debating Society, founded in 1899, is the most successful debating society in New Zealand and ranked as the 19th best in the world. It currently holds the NZ Impromptu, Prepared, and British Parliamentary debating titles, and was the runner-up at last year’s Austral-Asian championships.

“That parents have the right to smack their children”

When: Monday 10th August, 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Where: Lecture Theatre One, Rutherford House, Pipitea Campus, Victoria University

Gold coin donation.

There will be refreshments after the debate ends.

Thousands to get lessons in parenting

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Why do you think we have these out of control 0-7 year olds?

Thousands to get lessons in parenting

By LANE NICHOLS – The Dominion Post | Friday, 21 November 2008

A Government scheme that sends parents of violent or misbehaving children to parenting courses is to expand to up to 15,000 more families.

Officials estimate that children with severe antisocial behavioural problems each cost society $3 million during their lives through crime and other state spending.

Parents of chronically disruptive children are now being sent on state-run parenting courses in a bid to address their children’s antisocial behaviour – some through court and Probation Service referrals.

The 12 to 20-week group courses, which include homework assignments on how to play with children, teach parenting skills such as rewarding good behaviour, setting boundaries and discipline.

Hundreds of parents have taken part since last year.

Officials intend to expand the scheme to the parents of 15,000 children thought to have chronic behavioural problems, who amount to 5 per cent of the country’s three to eight-year-olds.

Initial research involving about 200 parents suggests the courses – known as the Incredible Years programme – have resulted in vastly improved behaviour for up to 75 per cent of the children whose parents took part.

Principal Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft praised the broadening of the “excellent” initiative. He said early intervention was crucial in preventing children from growing into a life of crime.

“So often the battle is won or lost at that age. The longer I am in the Youth Court, the more I realise the problems we get are really formed in the 0-5, 0-7 ages.”

The work is part of a five-year plan targeting severe antisocial behaviour in young children involving education, health, justice and social agencies.

The Education Ministry says an Auckland University study estimated that the lifetime cost to society of a chronic adolescent antisocial male is $3 million.

Officials hope the ministry-led project will help save billions of dollars by preventing an unchecked slide into unemployment, mental health problems, substance abuse, crime and prison.

“If we get in early we can curb aggressive behaviour in children and decrease disobedience before they develop into permanent behaviour patterns,” ministry documents say.

Severe behaviour displayed by children as young as two included tantrums, swearing, yelling, hitting, kicking, talking back and refusing to share toys. Problem children were identified through before-school health checks, teacher and GP referrals, or parents.

Special education deputy secretary Nicholas Pole said the key was intervening early. “It starts with good parenting skills.”