Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Dyson: "Bradford's bill does not change the legality of smacking"

Judy Turner (United Future MP):

Do the guidelines used by her department focus on the amount of force used, which is not reclassified in the new amendment to section 59, or on the intention and thinking of the parent, which will be changed in today's amendment?

Hon RUTH DYSON (Labour MP, Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment (CYF):
The member seems to be confusing section 59 of the Crimes Act, which is actually a defence against an assault charge brought by police, with the statutory role as outlined in the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act.

Rodney Hide (Leader, ACT Party) :
Can the Minister confirm for the benefit of parents and, indeed, children up and down New Zealand that should the anti-smacking bill pass into legislation, a parent smacking his or her toddler will be committing an offence under the Crimes Act, irrespective of the directions to Child, Youth and Family and irrespective of whether the police decide to prosecute?

This member has also demonstrated his lack of understanding of section 59, which is a defence against an assault charge. Nothing in Sue Bradford's bill, which Parliament will be debating later this afternoon, changes the legality or otherwise of smacking.


What a pack of lies.  Two MPs ask for clarification on what Bradford's bill will mean for parents, and Dyson simply dodges the question by questioning the MP's understanding of the bill.

Bradford's bill will change the legality of smacking, Dyson.  Smacking (reasonable force in the circumstances) - once a legal option for child discipline, will now be illegal, and subject to prosecution, or the terrible prosepect of having one's children ripped away from you.

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