Friday, 23 March 2007, 11:31 am - Press Release: ACT New Zealand - Heather Roy
Putting Parliament into urgency to pass the "Anti-smacking Bill" is unacceptable and anti-democratic, says ACT's Deputy Leader and Party Whip, Heather Roy.
"Around 80% of Kiwis are opposed to banning smacking by good and loving parents. Using urgency to force through a Bill simply because it's unpopular is no way to run a democracy", Mrs Roy said.
"Banning responsible parents from lightly smacking their children as a disciplinary measure is not urgent to the welfare of our country, and the argument that it's slowing down the Government's agenda is rubbish - as a Members Bill, it's only able to be debated on Members Days.
"The reality is that the Bill's supporters are trying to shut down public debate, and are prepared to suspend the normal rules of Parliament to do so.
"ACT will oppose urgency just as strongly as we have been opposing this Bill.
"Child abuse is already illegal - unfortunately enforcement of the law is frequently inadequate. This Bill will not change any of that, but it will succeed in criminalising acts of parenting", Mrs Roy said.