Here are a few good letters/excerpts to the editor of The Press from Tuesday 22 February.
"As a loving father of four children, I was disgusted to read your editorial on Saturday, which implies that The Press fully supports Green MP Sue Bradford's bill. Bradford and company, and now the media are misleading people. The media are portraying this bill as an anti-smacking bill. It's actually an anti-discipline bill that will prevent decent, law-abiding parents from using any reasonable force to correct their children..." EUAN GUTTERIDGE
"Green MP Sue Bradford's proposed anti-smacking bill is a slap in the face for freedom of choice for ordinary New Zealanders. How dare she play God and try to interfere with family life at such a fundamental level? She is a disgrace to Parliament, her country and herself..." DAVID MURDOCH
"With a little common sense and proper definition of the type of forbidden punishments - whips, rods, planks, iron, electric cords, spades, beating with furniture and throwing children against walls - all this outcry would have been avoided. People who do not believe in smacking obviously have not had a child that no amount of reasoning will influence, whereas a good, hard smack, and I emphasise hard, will bring it to it's senses..." K. M. HENDERSON
In response to this letter, I would say that the definition: "reasonable force in the circumstances" is sufficient. Beating up your kids is obviously not OK.
"Dope more smack less seems to be the message of Sue Bradford and the Greens. I can't work out why criminalising dope smokers is wrong, but criminalising good parents is right." ALAN AITKEN
And another letter, related to the debate:
"One of my employees, Steve Maharey, the Minister of Education, is keen to spend my money without any real plan or direction. He plans to spend $4.5 million to deal with disruptive students considered critical cases. The only way these classroom thugs can be disciplined is the old-fashion cane. I, and thousands of others were taught manners and respect with the cane. I am sure there are thousands of Kiwis who, like me, would willingly donate canes to schools, thus saving $4.5m and reducing the crime rate." NOEL GILLESPIE