“John, it appears that you are a pragmatist rather than a man of principle. I'm greatly disappointed at the deal your party has made with Labour and the Greens. It is not too late to admit you made a mistake and to stand by the less-than-silent, overwhelming majority of NZers who are opposed to any change to section 59.”
*** “If New Zealand politicians - elected, and unelected, keep taking us down this road of political expediency, and bowing to interest groups who have no political mandate, we would be better off joining in political union with Australia. My wife and I will have to seriously consider moving across the Tasman if National cannot stop and reverse Labour / Greens / United, etc, idiocy.”
*** “National now supports the right of parents to break the law in the belief that they are not going to be caught."
*** Parliament is going to redefine parliamentary intent by including breaking the law it is making as part of that intent, because of one word that is to be deleted from Section 59 of the Crimes Act.
That word is justification.
There will no longer be legal justification for correcting kids. Consequently, good parents may be subject to a CYFS complaint for breaking the law and that is fine with Helen Clark because she is so chuffed that she is able to get the bill off the agenda before the budget.”
*** “You speak as if smacking were an understandable mistake that stressed parents sometimes make.
No - I choose to smack my kids because I want them to learn and grow into responsible adults.
It is not acceptable that I will now be "a criminal but not worth arresting".
Don't wait for a prosecution - assure us that you will change this law at first opportunity.”
*** “We are very disappointed. To see Helen so pleased with you, John, alone must send warning bells ringing.”
*** “It's irrational for you to justify passing fundamentally bad legislation into law on the basis it's a good compromise - it's a mockery of our democratic process when the majority are opposed to it - plus it will have zero effect on child abusers and is an intolerable 'State' invasion of the family as you have no mandate to impose this level of your child rearing beliefs on parents. You've lost my vote, and from what I can gather those of my immediate voting family of 5. We are appalled ... and dismayed you have contrived not only to do the wrong thing, but to hand a massive bouquet to Helen Clark in the process.”
*** “John, Is it sinking in yet? Of 95 comments to date on this blog, by my count there are 71.5% clearly against your action, only 18% for, and 10.5% not really happy. So over 80% still not wanting this bill or its meaningless amendment. I felt sick to the stomach and hugely let down. As a parent I am not at all reassured by the slight hope that I would not be prosecuted if I smacked by children. The thought of any good parent having the police an CYFS turn up at their home and having to go through an ordeal of defending themselves is what parents are still left having to fear - not the faint hope that they will probably not be prosecuted. Image if that happened to you John! You should have taken a stand and continued to represent the wishes of the electorate. The evening you were meeting with Helen, I was phoned by a poll. I told them I'd vote National for party and National for Electorate (same as last time). Now I have seriously lost confidence in you and your party. In all my years voting there has never been an issue so critical and important to me personally and the nation, as this one. This was a 'defining moment' for you John. There are times for compromises but this was not one of them. but it should have been one where you stood up for what was right, and if they passed it, you change it later. I sincerely hope you can be swayed to review what you've done and see if you can undo this mess.”
*** “You have lost my confidence too. So many people have been saying that this issue will get rid of Labour and good riddance, and then you go and make a stupid move like this that shows you're exactly the same. We real parents love our kids and the fear of having someone falsely accusing us of abusing our kids and being investigated by CYFS is very real too. Even with the amendment, any smack is still a crime so what can any parent do if accused? Please see sense and redeem the National party by encouraging all of your MPs to vote against the bill which hasn't changed at all with the amendment. Stand up for what is right and stop supporting Helen Clark.”
*** “A backdown by National. National should have seen their policy through, even if if meant losing this time. My support for National is now gone.”
*** “I have been a National supporter all my life and I do not want to change, however when something like this Bill is put forward by a bunch of no hopers and 80%+ of New Zealand clearly do not want it, then the National Party leader whom I have a lot of admiration for, decides to come up with an amendment that allies the National Party to the Bill I start to wonder about my loyalty to the National Party. I believe you would have been better to sit back and let Labour and Helen Clarke tighten the noose even further. If this bill had been passed in its form prior to yor amendment, I am confident that not even the ardent Labour supporters would have voted for them. John Key would have lead the next National Party into government with the largest number of votes ever recorded by any political party. I would even say it may have been the long awaited demise of the Labour Party, as we know it.”
*** “Very disappointed with the National Party. If the amendment really was a victory, then it is obvious that Sue Bradford would not be happy.
She is happy.
That means that CYFS will still have the extra power to remove children when it is reported that they have "been smacked too hard" for instance.
"inconsequential or not in the public interest" are arbitrary terms, and CYFS will be able to use Bradford's bill to it's full extent, as if it had not been amended.
*** “Mr Key, My husband and I had planned to assist you in your campaign next election to get Labour thrown out, but instead we are forced by your foolishness to leave the country with our 7 children and become refugees. Of our personal friends at least 3 other families will be doing the same. Act will get our (absentee) votes next election because Heather Roy and Rodney Hide were the only MP's who spoke the truth in the debate last night. You have deeply disappointed us.”