30 June 2007
Labour MP David Cunliffe has been observed giving one of his children a smack for naughty behaviour at a shopping mall.
Family First was contacted and told of the actions which occurred at the Lynmall Shopping Centre this afternoon (Saturday 30 June). The child was being corrected for hitting another child.
"We support David Cunliffe for the action he took to correct naughty behaviour," says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. "The smack on the hand was reasonable and appropriate in the circumstances."
"It appears that Mr Cunliffe was acting as any good parent would in the same circumstances."
"However, under the anti-smacking law passed by Mr Cunliffe and his colleagues, his action of using force to correct a child is now illegal and a complaint made by a member of the public, or the child, to the police would have to be investigated."
"The Police would record the event on a POL400 and forward the file to the Family Violence Co-ordinator, and if Mr Cunliffe was observed taking the same action again, the police would consider prosecuting him and forwarding the file to CYF's for possible investigation and intervention."
"That's how farcical this law is," says Mr McCoskrie. "Groups like Barnados and Plunket, and the Children's Commissioner would find Mr Cunliffe's actions totally unacceptable."
But Family First congratulates him for being a responsible and loving parent.