Friday, April 13, 2007

Jim Anderton's letter

excerpts from a letter from Jim Anderton - MP for Wigram - Leader of the Progressive Party.

"Repeal of S.59 will not, however, mean that a parent or caregiver will be taken to court for occasionally smacking a child as some people have suggested; most people I am sure understand the difference between smacking and violence, which seems to me to be a matter of common sense.  The Police, who are responsible for prosections in this area, understand the same distinction and would not waste their time and resources taking frivolous prosections.  Even if they did decide to proceed their judgement would still be subject to judicial process..."

Bradford's bill does ban smacking for the purpose of correction - so parents will be taken to court for occasionally smacking their child.  Most people do understand the difference between smacking and violence - that is why 85% of New Zealand is against the repeal.  Jim states here that for the police to prosecute a parent who has lightly smacked their child would be frivolous.  Is it now foolishness for the Police to enforce the law?

"...Research suggests that banning the use of force against children will have an effect on that [child abuse]..."

What research was that Jim?  Are you perhaps refering to the extensive research done in Dunedin which found that children who were smacked performed as well as or better than their peers who were not smacked.  Because that does fly in the face of your groundless statement.

"...But I do not for a moment believe that this will of itself resolve the problem of child abuse..."

Oh, good on you Jim.  Go ahead and ride roughshod over the people who are crying out in frustration - repeal Section 59 even though you admit that it will not solve the problem of child abuse.

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