Helen Clark: "It is perfectly plain that the bill does not ban smacking" Supporters, including Miss Clark, say smacking has been illegal for more than 100 years and cannot be banned because it already is. National MPs accused Miss Clark of forcing her members to support the bill, and said she should have allowed them to exercise conscience votes free from party instructions. ACT MP Heather Roy said the Government was overriding the view of a majority of New Zealanders and had no right to tell her, a mother of five, how to raise her children.
Education Minister Steve Maharey said the bill did not ban smacking and did not tell parents anything. National MPs have managed to delay progress on the bill, and are expected to run more time-wasting tactics tomorrow.
The Smacking Bill is not being rushed through Parliament because NZ First is split on the issue, Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen said today.
A One News/Colmar Brunton poll found 83 per cent believe in smacking children while 15 per cent disagree.
A Research New Zealand poll found nearly three-quarters opposed the bill and believed it was unenforceable.
And here's my take on Labour dumping their attempt to put Bradford's bill into urgency ...
They thought they had a chance at rushing the bill - and thereby ignoring New Zealand's voice. When they realised that they were not going to get away with it, they came up with this surreal excuse: "We love New Zealand First - and so will not request urgency on this bill..." As far as I can see, this is without question a lie. Labour thought they could sneak this behind our backs - but are now tripping themselves up in the maze of lies and deceit they have made for themselves.