NEWS: Labour adopts version of Key s59 amendmentfrom John Key's blog 2 May 07
National Party Leader John Key is pleased Labour will adopt a version of his amendment to the anti-smacking bill which he thinks will give parents confidence they will not be criminalised for lightly smacking their children.
Mr Key met Prime Minister Helen Clark last night, at her request, and agreed to an amendment to Sue Bradford's bill on section 59.
"The amendment is similar to the one I put to Sue Bradford at the meeting on Anzac Day, but which she rejected," says Mr Key.
"But Helen Clark contacted me yesterday with a revised wording which provides the kind of guidance to the authorities that I was seeking all along.
"The revision makes it clear that the police have the discretion not to prosecute complaints against a parent where the offence is considered to be 'so inconsequential' that there is no public interest in the prosecution going ahead.
"I understand from the Prime Minister that the Greens agree with this amendment.
"This is exactly the kind of guidance I was wanting inserted in the Bradford bill, and National will now vote for it.
"Good parents want to have confidence that they will not be criminalised by this legislation if they give their children a light smack.
"I believed when I gave my speech to the Salvation Army in mid April offering to talk with other parties that most MPs do not want to criminalise good parents doing what is one of the hardest jobs. I continue to believe that, and I'm pleased that Labour has seen the value in my amendment.
"I would hope that this amendment attracts the House's unanimous support.
"It sends a strong signal that the level of violence against children in our society is unacceptable, but at the same time gives parents confidence that they will not be criminalised for carrying out their normal parenting duties.
"I believe that this amendment will be welcomed by the overwhelming bulk of New Zealand parents."
This is a Government initiative, not a National initiative.
"John Key is pleased Labour will adopt a version of his amendment" Propaganda.