Sunday, March 25, 2007 the Fielding March

this from
By EVAN HARDING - Manawatu Standard | Saturday, 24 March 2007

Dianne Woodward is all fired up.  So much so, the mother-of-four is organising a protest march against the  anti-smacking bill in Feilding on Monday.

The bill, brought by list MP Sue Bradford, is set to be passed in Parliament next week, barring a backtrack by a number of MPs.

Mrs Woodward believes parents should have the right to smack their children to "correct and protect", as she did on occasion.

She is riled because the Government is extinguishing that right.

When hearing the bill may be passed with urgency in Parliament, she said
she got on the phones to garner support for the Monday protest march
which starts at noon from the Feilding clocktower.

"The march is to let the Labour Government know we will not be dictated to on how to raise our children. I don't care if people agree or disagree with smacking, but let's not be dictated to," she said.

"I don't want to be criminalised for smacking my children if they need protecting, or their behaviour needs correcting.

"Time-out might work for one child, and they may never need a smack, but don't take away our right to smack if we have to in order to protect and correct."

Her four boys are aged from six to 18. It's the future parents that she feels for.

"God help New Zealand if this bill gets through. Our children are our future generation and mums matter heaps. Don't upset the hand that rocks the cradle."

Child abusers were not people that lightly smacked their children to curb errant behaviour, she said.

"Will criminalising adults who smack children ever stop child abuse for our poor defenceless babies? I think not.

"I have talked to lots of young people and asked them if they were smacked as kids, did they deserve it, and did they get over it. They answered yes to the whole lot."

"I am only one mum but if the march makes a difference I will do it. I have probably never been more passionate about anything in my whole life."

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