Saturday, April 07, 2007
Once you've stopped laughing...
How ridiculous. These pro-abortion people (child-killers) have the audacity to tell us that we believe that children are not fully human.
see this article from http://nzconservative.blogspot.com
"I am absolutely appalled at the latest assault on those against therepeal of s59. The article which triggered this was plastered on the front page of today's DomPost. I find it so offensive, and just so wrong, it may require several posts. And letters to the editor, to my MP, to the Human Rights Commission, and the authors of this unmitigated piece of crap - Victoria University and Save the Children.
"Children seen as not fully human"
How pathetic that accusation. These "researchers" took the submissions for the s59 repeal bill, and "analysed" the language used, to decide that those against the repeal saw children as "human-becoming". That such people saw children as "not fully human".
What crap. These idiots have substituted the word "adult" for human, casually redefining human to fit their narrow ideological perspective that has instantly biased their report.
What's the bet if we queried the pro and against groups, not to mention the researchers themselves, the repeal s59 camp largely see abortion as the destruction of a few cells, and those they are now attempting to mis-characterise see even an unborn child as human.
Human is human, and there are simply different levels of maturity in the cycle of life. To draw a line on adulthood, and define that as human to "explain" that parents see children as "less than human/adult" is simply a calculated propaganda attack, mis-characterizing the obvious differences between children and adults.
Shame on these researchers. Shame."
One commentor on this post writes:
"The three "researchers" are in fact from the VUW School of Govt. At
least two of them used to be govt policy analysts - this smells totally
of a Labour govt jackup to bully the population.
NONE of the researchers have PhDs, compared with say David Fergusson
from UoOtago who, has a PhD and 25 years experience in this arena. Not
surprisingly, he has a totally different view on this matter.
VUW is becoming a laughing stock amoung academics - it is nothing more
than Labour yes machine. It just confirms the old saying - when you pay
peanuts you get monkeys."
Friday, April 06, 2007
Mum is pushing the trolley, little Gracie is sitting in the trolley. As they pass the soft-drinks aisle, little Gracie says that she wants a bottle of red-bull. "No Gracie, you can't have that". The situation goes down hill and little Gracie starts crying - and as Mum pushes the trolley further away from that desirable bottle of red bull, little Gracie goes into hysterics - a tantrum.
Now the pro-repeal people are saying: "hitting or smacking your child will not help, it will only make the problem worse". I agree whole-heartedly. I hope I would never physically discipline my child in a public place. I have never seen a loving smack applied to a child in a supermarket - and I believe I never will. I do see frustrated, wound up parents however, lashing out at their children - at the end of their emotional tether. A slap on the thigh. The parent roughly grabs the child by the had and drags him/her along.
This is unreasonable and unloving force. And parents do this because programs like S.K.I.P. say "don't smack your children" - so the parent tries not to, but eventually gets really annoyed. As Helen Clark said "a ban on smacking would defy human nature" - and so, the parent lashes out at the child in frustration.
S.K.I.P., Greens, Labour, you have caused the problem.
"Gracie, you'll be getting a smack on the bottom when we get home". Mum's words cut through her crying and yelling. Suddenly little Gracie is a different girl, she controls herself and sits still - she knows that if she continues with her silly tantrum - that Mum will give her another smack.
At home, little Gracie heads down to her bedroom and waits for her Mum. When her Mum tells her "I really don't like doing this", Gracie will doubt it - but later, when she's 16 or 17 years old, she will look back and say: "ah, yes, Mum really did care enough to smack me".
Parents, don't hit your children!
A piece of legislation that is getting everyone talking around town is the Bill to repeal Section 59 of the Crimes Act. You will no doubt be aware of the background to this Bill.
Basically, Section 59 of the Crimes Act 1961 states that the parent of a child, or a person in the place of a parent, "is justified in using force by way of correction towards a child, if that force is reasonable in the circumstances".
Now I guess there will be lawyers amongst you, analysts, and those who indulge in the craft of word-smithing that will know exactly what sort of a challenge would face a jury, in deciding if the force used was 'reasonable' in the circumstances.
How much harder though, to determine whether the parent had grounds to use reasonable force to get his/her child to perform their normal daily tasks that are incidental to good care and parenting. Because this sounds uncannily like correction.
Is it reasonable for a father to hit his eight year old son eight times with a piece of wood 30cm by 2 cm?
A 30cm ruler for crying out loud - since when do we call rulers "pieces of wood"? Why not just take the thing to it's logical conclusion and tell New Zealand that the man hit his son with a branch? Click here to see the "piece of wood"
Is it reasonable for a father to hit his 12 year old daughter with a piece of hosepipe, leaving a raised 15cm-long lump with red edges? Apparently so, according to some recent jury decisions.
Well not everyone thought so, and consequently a humble little Bill, consisting of a mere three pages, came upon the order paper. And before you know it a cyclone of fury and indignation had swept throughout the country, as New Zealanders expressed their horror that the State would seek to intervene in matters that they felt were best left to the domain of the parent.
It's an ethical issue, it's an issue of integrity; it's an issue of courage. We, in the Maori Party, are firmly committed to the concept of self-determination, of ensuring the people drive their own journeys forward; are supported to achieve their own dreams. But we are also staunch advocates of the notion of collective responsibility - which translates in this case, to all of us having a role in the upbringing and care for children.
By this I think of the vertical and horizontal care which takes into account the roles of grandparents, siblings, aunties, uncles in helping to impart the duties, responsibilities and obligations that exist within whanau. Literally layers of generations are able to be drawn on to parent the child.
One of the incredible gifts that whakapapa provides us with, is the wide range of choices which genealogies offer.
In my own case for instance, I have the histories and legacies of Ngai Te Kikiri o te Rangi and Ngati Pahauwera of Ngati Kahungunu to draw from. The inspiration of my ancestor, Toi Kairakau; the expansive breadth that flows from this genealogy, is my history, my bonding to these islands.
And I also draw on ancient Anglo-Saxon history, the Sharples of Bolton near Lancashire.
Every child born has a huge range of ancestors to learn from; the history of their people; the origins and the adventures of their ancestors; the songs, proverbs and folk stories left to them.
The responsibility for nurturing that character rests with us all. It is our responsibility to create the desire to learn; to inspire the confidence to take risks; to motivate and encourage.
It was Galileo who said, "You cannot teach a child; you can only help him to find it himself".
Even the best of us get it wrong some times... Of course you can teach a child.
And the greatest thing about this is that if we do believe in collective care, we can be confident that even if it is not I, myself, Me - who unlocks the key, there will always be someone in the greater family, who will see the gifts in your child, that perhaps you are not looking for.
In a thesis written by Averil Herbert, Whanau Whakapakari: a Maori-centred approach to child rearing and parent-training programmes, she explains how these vertical and horizontal care arrangements I have referred to, work.
The thesis was informed by eight kaumatua, who all consistently referred to the many generations who were part of their upbringing. One kuia described the impact this parenting had in her own parenting practice today, in her words:
"I have one sister and her children are very close to me. I see them as my own children. My sister's mokopuna, they are my mokopuna. The children of my first and second cousins are like my nieces and nephews. I am very close to them".
The influence of senior female relatives in teaching and instilling Maori values was consistently referred to. One kaumatua spoke of this as 'the kuia model'.
This model is still very active today. We know in some of our smaller rural areas, that say if a teenager was to get in trouble with the police, the community constable knows the most effective outcome is often to ring up one the kuia known for caring for these kids, the ones who know to pick up the responsibility.
That same role of being 'everybody's nanny' may also mean they turn up in homes, when they suspect the environment is failing to keep children safe, and abuse free.
What has become startlingly clear to me over the debates of the last few months, if that we must be vigilant to promote violence free homes, to raise the bar, to set standards which truly seek to uphold peace and justice in our families.
Yes Pita, even though 85% of New Zealand says that Repeal of Section 59 is not the way to achieve this.
"...Thank you for contacting me regarding Sue Bradford's Member's Bill proposing the repeal of Section 59. I have voted against the bill in previous stages and over 40 of my National Party colleagues have done the same. I will be continuing to vote this way, and will continue to make media comments against the bill. I am more constant on this issue than Helen Clark, who said prior to the election that she would not support such a bill.
A lot of people have spoken to me in recent months about this issue. I've heard from many who are worried they'll be criminalised for being ordinary parents, and giving the odd light smack.
I've also heard from people who support the bill and think that no one should be able to hide behind Section 59 and get away with assaults on children. What people who support the Bill hope is that by changing the law we will send a message to all New Zealanders that child abuse is not acceptable.
I agree that a message needs to be sent. Child abuse is not acceptable. However, I do not believe the bill to repeal Section 59 will change anything for the children growing up in violent families. Nor do I see any good in criminalising good, ordinary, parents doing their best..."
"...The pressure can, and should, continue on the MPs who are working with the Greens in forcing this issue – specifically the Labour Party and Maori Party."
"Within the National Party several MPs have been given permission to vote for the bill. They have not taken this move lightly, and it has been the subject of much discussion within our caucus, but allowing people to follow their wishes on such votes is a long standing precedent within the Party. The Labour Party is not allowing such a process, and is forcing those MPs who do not agree with the bill to vote for it. The Maori Party has also come out for the bill, despite huge community concern. This means that Sue Bradford has the numbers to pass the bill, without any National support."
Thursday, April 05, 2007
John Fox | 4 April 2007
The campaign against 59 of the Crimes Act, otherwise known as the "anti-smacking Bill", arouses strong feelings. Those who support the Bill draw attention to New Zealand's violent culture, and our damningly high rates of child abuse. It is natural to feel that something ought to be done, even if it is just a gesture; a step in the right direction to prevent tragedies like the Kahui twins occurring and to tackle our culture of violence. We should, we must, do that. But this Bill will not achieve it.
Ms Bradford and the Prime Minister chime together that the Police will use their discretion and leave good parents and families alone, however, the Bill will still put good loving parents on the wrong side of the law and leave them open to investigations and prosecution. In the process it will undermine parents' authority over their children.
Child abuse is already illegal. We have laws which punish family violence already. This Bill would criminalise "reasonable" corrective force such as the light smacking used by thousands of Kiwi parents as a disciplinary technique. The best research available, Dr Jane
Millichamp's, suggests that such light smacking (differentiated from beating, or hitting, or child abuse, which is illegal), is not harmful to children, and most Kiwi parents would agree.
The common argument the supporters of the Bill are mustering, is that the Bill will "send a message" that violence against children is unacceptable. But that message is already sent by laws against abuse.
If criminal law "sends a message", it is about the kind of behaviour we as a society find wrong, unacceptable, and criminal. Things like murder, rape, and child abuse come into that category. By passing the Bill, we would be putting light smacking into the same category, something to be prosecuted in a Court.
Our politicians are right to be concerned about family violence, but they should not be passing a law that they do not want the Police to enforce simply to "send a message". There are speeches and soap-boxes and press releases and TV cameras for that. Law is for crime, and for behaviour that is harmful and criminal and should be prosecuted.
Further, the Bill would do nothing to address the root causes of child abuse and family violence. UNICEF has said what some of the risk factors for abuse are: family breakdown, alcohol, drugs, poverty, low education and so on. The Bill does not tackle these risk factors for family violence.
The State and the Police should certainly intervene when there is crime or severe dysfunction, domestic violence and child abuse. There are decisions under the current law that we don't all agree with, and they show the need to improve and tighten the situations where parents can use discipline, but banning all reasonable correction goes too far and good parents should be left alone.
We are all attracted by a vision of the kind of society we can be; a country without violence, where children are safe. But after we have all agreed on the destination, it comes time to chart the path to take us there. Our MPs could have begun a deeper look at why our society is violent, why families and lives are broken, and the risk factors for family violence. Instead, they are choosing to make thousands of parents into criminals and license interference in good families. That is a wrong turn, the wrong path, and the wrong way.
There was an interesting forum on TV3's Campbell Live on Monday. The topic du jour was of course, Sue Bradford's anti-smacking bill. The most disappointing aspect for me was the unfortunately titled Reverend Glynn Cardy who was aligned with the bill's misguided supporters.
Glynn borders on the blasphemous as he says:
Holy scripture contains a lot of wisdom and insight, but also a lot of predjudice and bigotry, and things like slavery, ethnic cleansing and those things.
He is right in one sense that scripture does contain the historical record of much that is sinful coming from the heart of man. But I have this feeling that Glynn was referring to some of those just acts attributed to God, such as the destruction of the Canaanites by Israel.
His main reason for supporting the bill was that Jesus said "let the little children come to me and don't hinder them", treating them as equals with adults. So children are adults, which presumably is why parents shouldn't smack them. Thanks Glynn!
Glynn may be an Anglican, cloistered at St Matthews in the City in Auckland, but I seriously doubt he is actually a Christian. I submit his blog, exhibit A. In his theistically flavoured double-speak the Nicene Creed is "dubious" and perhaps the heretic Arius would be preferable to the trinitarian Athanasius.
In time Athanasius won, and we have the dubious legacy of the Nicene Creed. Unfortunately however the potential of Athanasius's theology to bring down the mighty from their thrones, to relativize their power, and to lift up the lowly and meek was not realized. If the proof of the theological pudding is in how effectively it feeds the poor, we may have been better off with Arius.
As bad as Glynn's theology is, a terrible question arises. Where is the real church witness on this issue?
You will find Craig's well-written responses interesting.
Subject: Thank you for your email regarding section 59 of the Crimes Act 1961 .
Benson Pope: Section 59 of the Crimes Act 1961 is currently available as a defence to parents or caregivers charged with offences involving the use of physical force to discipline their children.
Craig Smith: You have strayed from the exactness which truth requires, and you will pay the price. During this entire debate, the pro-repeal lobby has been consistently incredibly sloppy, ill-informed and irresponsible in what they say about the issues surrounding the debate. Section 59 is used as a defense, but for the use of force that is for the purpose of correction and that is reasonable in the circumstances. This is a vital piece that you left out, because it causes further statements of yours to become lies.
Benson Pope: In the type of case in which charges are usually laid, people who have violently abused their children, such as beating them with a piece of wood, have used this section to successfully defend their actions. This defence was recently used by a woman who beat her son with a riding crop. I have yet to meet a New Zealander who considers that acceptable. I'm sure you don't either and would agree therefore that the law that permits this must change.
Craig Smith: Here is where your omission of the law stating that the force must be reasonable in the circumstances, plus your inaccurate and emotive use of words, mirroring the rest of the pro-repeal lobby's sloppy, ill-informed and irresponsible debate, causes you to be guilty of propagating lies. In both of these cases, the jury acquited the parents. That is to say, you can meet any of those 24 people who did consider the use of the riding crop not only acceptable but a case of reasonable force for correction. Were you there at the trial? Or did you collect your information from hearsay? Or do you actually read the sensationalised newspaper reports and form your own opinion of the judge and juries intelligence from those reports? Or worse still, does your information about these cases come from Bradford or Kiro?
Can you tell me when and where the piece of wood case took place? How big was the wood? What was the incident that led to the smack? Were there any marks involved? What did the boy say about it? What was the actual reason for acquittal? Why did the jury decide the parent (was it mum or dad?) was innocent if the boy, according to you, was violently abused, beaten with a piece of wood? You are clearly saying that the jury was populated by a pack of idiots who are too incompetent to tell the difference between a violently abusive beating and reasonable force. You are also implying that the jury system of justice is useless.... or are you just saying it is useless when you don't like their decision, even though you know next to nothing of the details of the case?
I have spoken at length to the woman who, as you say, "beat her son" with a riding crop. How do you define "a beating"? What are the essential ingredients that set "beating" apart from "reasonable force"? Which of these were involved in this case? By what standard do you compose your list of essential ingredients? Is it simply your own opinion or is it informed from legal precedent? Can you tell me how many strokes she applied? Can you give me any indication of the strength behind the smacks? Can you tell me if the boy willingly submitted or not? Can you describe the relative differences between the size and weight of the boy and the size and weight of the mum? Do you know the ages of the boys in either case? What was the incident that caused the smacking? Again, where did you collect your information about this case and again, why do you think the jury acquitted her, especially when neither she nor her lawyer called any witnesses or spoke in her defence: she let the prosecution do all the talking...and he convinced the jury she was innocent! And why didn't the prosecution appeal the decision in either case?
Benson Pope: The Justice and Electoral Committee has concluded its consideration of Ms Bradford's bill aimed at repealing section 59, and reported the Bill back to Parliament on 22 November 2006. The majority of the Committee recommended that the Bill proceed with amendments developed by the Law Commission, which is led by Sir Geoffrey Palmer. The Bill seeks to protect our children...
Craig No, it does not. It seeks, as per Bradford's explanatory note, to remove protection from parents and to reduce their legal authority to use corrective force with their children to the same level as any passing stranger: to nil.
Benson Pope: ...and remove a defence that is used by a small group of people who are charged with violently assaulting their children.
Craig Smith: It is significant that you concede that Section 59 is only used by a small group of people. Lawyer John Hancock of the pro-repeal lobby, could only find 18 cases where such a defense was used in the 13 year period from 1990 to 2002, that is 1.4 cases a year. More that half of these returned a guilty verdict. So the defense is only successfully raised 0.7 times per year. We are talking about an insignificant number of cases. If you are really concerned about violence against children, and I note your own personal track record as a school teacher in this regard, you would do well to address the out-of-control bullying and drug use in schools. And why is it you care nothing for the 18,000 children slaughtered in their own mother's wombs each year? I would be interested to hear your apologetic for non-involvement on that one and why you think it is not violence of the most obscene and extreme kind when a mother is encouraged to pre-meditate upon the murder of her own child and then recruits others to help her search and destroy her own flesh and blood.
Benson Pope: Complaints against violent parents are investigated now. That will not change, but they will no longer be able to use the defence that they were using "reasonable force" to excuse their actions. Good parents will not be at risk because of this change.
Craig Smith: This is more irresponsible spin doctoring. You are saying that the label of "reasonable force" is routinely used to justify, using your words again, violent abuse and beatings; and none of the repeal lobby I have asked has yet been able to demonstrate that this charge is at all accurate or has any credibility. If it were true, then the rewritten version of Section 59 that you are now promoting is justifying violent abuse and beatings (which in your account of things is routinely equated with "reasonable force", a phrase still in the Bill) to stop offensive, disruptive, criminal or harmful behaviour or when incidental to good care and parenting. You cannot have it both ways: "reasonable force" is either violent abuse or it is reasaonable force. But you and the rest of the repeal lobby want to use the term in diametrically opposed ways whenever it suits you.
Good parents have everything to fear from this because it bans a lot more than light, reasonable smacking....it bans, no, it criminalises the use of reasonable force (how reasonable is that) used to correct children. This is criminalising a core responsibility of parenthood: correction. How does one correct bad behaviour, attitudes, speech, etc., into good habits without the use of force? At the very least it is the parent forcing his will upon the child. Good parents have requirements and prohibitions and do not let their children either wander or willfully go into error. They do not simply STOP them, as this bill allows.....good parents correct the errant behaviour. They make their children do the right and they do not let them do the wrong. Force, as per the Crimes Act Definition in Section 2, does not need to be physical force: intimidation or gestures will do. So, as I say, a lot more than smacking will be criminalised....virtually all efforts to correct children will be hamstrung.
Benson Pope: We are not talking about punishment, for that is not permitted in either the current Section 59 or the rewrite....punishment was only mentioned in the amendment banning the cane in schools, for it was clear teachers were engaged in excessive and abusive and illegal punishment, which is not justified in the current Section 59 anyway. I believe we all want to ensure that good and caring parents are supported whilst protecting children from abuse. The Government believes that the amendment to the Bill is a move in the right direction and the Government will be supporting the Bill with the amendment recommended by the select committee.
Craig Smith: As I've said above, this rewrite of Section 59 is incredibly damaging to parental authority, which will damage their ability to parent effectively, and ineffective parenting will damge children. This bill will have no effect whatsoever on the kind of undisciplined and out-of-control parents who bash kids to death. This Bill is a move to establish Bradford's and the UN's extreme feminist ideology to attack the foundational structures of the traditional family: parental authority. This bill will harm all sectors of society, for none are untouched when every family suffers.
Benson Pope: Under the amended Bill, section 59 would be replaced with a new provision to clarify that reasonable force may be used for the purposes of: preventing or minimising harm to a child or another person; preventing a child from engaging or continuing to engage in criminal conduct, or offensive or disruptive behaviour; and performing the normal daily tasks of good care and parenting.
Craig Smith: Subsections 1a and 1b of the bill are totally redundant as they are already covered by other parts of the crimes act. And in the areas of disruptive and offensive behaviour or what constitutes good care and parenting, the question no one has bothered to address is: by what standard? To me, good care and parenting are inseparable from correction, training and discipline. It would be child abuse NOT to incorporate these things. Who is defining the word "correction", since it is now to be regarded as an evil action toward children. What do you say "correction" means? No one else I've asked has bothered to give a definition. And by what standard shall I determine "offensive behaviour"? If the 13-year-old daughter wants to strut around topless in the privacy of her family house, how can the parents claim it is offensive if neither the police nor the city councils of Palmerston North, Auckland and Christchurch would declare toplessness in the centre of town at midday to be offensive, even though it was performed before pre-schoolers and some school children to promote pornography? You need to come up with something good on this one.
Benson Pope: The Select Committee also recommended that a public information focus should be strengthened further. The Government has already invested $10.8m over three years to establish the SKIP (Strategies with Kids - Information for Parents) programme. This programme promotes positive parenting and assists parents by informing them about effective, non-violent ways of disciplining children. The 2006 Budget provided an additional $14.8m over the next four years to enable this valuable programme to continue. I have included information about the programme, below. It would be irresponsible to close this letter without reference to the unacceptable level of violence in our community, violence mostly against women and children. Everyone I discuss this matter with agrees we must do something. Yours sincerely
David Benson-Pope MP for Dunedin South
Craig Smith: So get the police to charge the real bullies who are doing real
physical, sexual and emotional damage on school grounds every day of the
week. Enforce the many sections of the crimes act that already condemn
violence and abuse against children. When you allow extremely realistic,
gory and sexualised violence to be pumped into our society via TV,
magazines, video games, DVDs, etc., and the bullying on campus and the
drugs and the abortions and seriously consider assisted suicide and
euthanasia, and go so very soft on real violent criminals when you catch
them.....you have no credibility saying, "Something has to be done," and
then threatening to charge good, everyday parents with assault, the ones
who actually care enough to train self-discipline and self-control into
their children, the ones who are part of the solution, not part of the
Your commitment to this highly damaging, totally anti-family,
anti-parent bill calls your judgement and competency into question. It
also flags you as a person with a very scary attachment to a radical
feminist, totalitarian ideology. By ignoring the 80% of voters who
oppose this and ignoring the clear indications of how divisive this bill
is going to be to our social cohesion, you show yourself to be no friend
of democratic processes or the peace we all desire.
1. No decent research shows smack by a loving parent breeds violence
Otago University study 2006 – children who were smacked in a reasonable way had similar or slightly better outcomes in terms of aggression, substance abuse, adult convictions and school achievement than those who were not smacked at all. Fergusson and Lynskey (Christchurch School of Medicine) – found no difference between no smacking and moderate physical punishment “It is misleading to imply that occasional or mild physical punishment has long term adverse consequences”
2. UNICEF reports prove there is no link between smacking and child abuse
2003 UNICEF report on maltreatment deaths. Of the five countries with the lowest child abuse death rates in the UNICEF report, four allow smacking! Austria banned smacking in 1989 – is the 5th highest for child abuse death rates 2007 Report released last week : “the likelihood of a child being injured or killed is associated with poverty, single-parenthood, low maternal education, low maternal age at birth, poor housing, weak family ties, and parental drug or alcohol abuse.”
The safest country for children is Netherlands – hasn’t banned smacking
Of the 10 top countries, 6 haven’t banned smacking. The 2006 CYF report “Children at Increased Risk of Death from Maltreatment and Strategies for Prevention” identified the factors which signaled greater risk for children including poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and family breakdown. Statistics also showed that children living in households with an adult unrelated to them were almost 50 times as likely to die of an inflicted injury as those living with two biological parents! Example: Just one of the real causes - Substance Abuse
UNICEF report 2003 - Child welfare professionals – 80% said “substance abuse causes or contributes to at least half of all cases of child maltreatment” 85% of States in US report substance abuse and poverty leading problems in families reported for abuse Substance abuse triples risk for child maltreatment
3. Sweden experience is a warning to us
Child abuse increased 489% in 13 years following ban - Assaults by kids against kids increased 672% 2000 Swedish Govt report – “we see no tendency to a decrease in bullying at school or in leisure time during the last 20
years”. Sweden’s Foster Care rate is double NZ’s – twice as many kids being removed from their families
European Crime and Safety Safety – UN, Euro Commission – published this month - Sweden has one of the worst assault and sexual violence rates in EU
Around one child a month dies at the hands of a parent or caregiver in New Zealand. In Sweden, the average annual deaths attributable to child abuse for the past 30 years or so has been less than one every four years. - Document circulated on behalf of Barnadoes, Plunket, Save the Children, Children’s Commissioner and EPOCH last year
“The rate of child homicide & in Sweden is something like one every 4 years” - Sue Bradford on TVNZ’s Close Up 19 July 2006
“Dr Kiro says people need to realise since Sweden banned physical punishment in 1976, only four children died in the following 20 years” Children’s Commissioner speaks out against culture of violence – Press Release - Dr Cindy Kiro – 03/11/2004 The Truth
Morgan Johansson, Swedish public health minister, said (2006) "Every year, eight to ten, sometimes as many as twelve children die in Sweden due to violence. This has been true for several years,"
Averaged out, polls show that 80% of us want to keep the status quo. Politicians need to listen to the people.
5. Police won’t prosecute
Domestic Violence Policy currently being enforced by Police strongly encourages arrest at the time and denies Police Diversion except where authorised by the District Commander. Diversions are rarely given for domestic violence matters. The Police Association admitted today (21 Feb) that they will have to investigate any complaint.
As noted by Cabinet, anyone may bring a prosecution for breach of criminal law e.g. lobby group could bring private prosecution against smack or removal to ‘time out’ – not determined by Police
6. Are the Greens serious about stopping child abuse?
2003: P (Methamphetamine) reclassified as a Class A drug – only the Greens opposed
2006: Opposed an increase to the Drinking Age
2005: Intentional Possession of Child Pornography (the worst of child abuse) –Only the Greens opposed the maximum penalty being 5 years – wanted it lower at 2 years
2007: Want to decriminalise Marijuana
SOFT ON THE REAL CAUSES OF CHILD ABUSE YET THEY WANT TO CRIMINALISE PARENTS WHO GIVE THEIR KIDS A SMACK
7. Smacking isn’t violence – it’s correction
Children are already protected from violence and assault through the Crimes Act. Smacking is in harmony with nature – pain teaches e.g a child teases a dog, they get a dog bite – a child touches the hot element, they get burnt – they take their hands off the handles of the bike – they crash! Does this teach a child to be a violent person? NO! A Reasonable smack from loving parent is great teaching tool
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Ali Jones, Gary McCormick and Si Barnett
Sue Bradford: "The men that are anti this bill are sexual perverts and get a kick out of hitting children"
Government: "The campaign opposing the anti-smacking bill is backed by extremist right-wing fundamentalists."
By GRANT MILLER - Manawatu Standard | Tuesday, 3 April 2007
New Zealand's child abuse problem is absolutely disgusting, the organiser of a Feilding protest against the "anti-smacking bill" said yesterday.
Feilding mum Dianne Woodward asked the crowd of about 200 people for a minute's silence for "the poor little darlings who have been injured by big cruel monsters".
But a light smack does not bruise, maim or kill, she said.
The protest near the clock tower was the second in eight days, designed to keep up public pressure on a government that is looking increasingly beleaguered on the issue.
The bill, promoted by Green MP Sue Bradford, removes Section 59 of the Crimes Act, which permits parents to use "reasonable force" to correct children.
The planned law change means parents would have no statutory defence for assault if they physically disciplined their children to correct their behaviour.
Many of the protesters yesterday objected to what they called state interference in the way they run their families.
"I don't judge those who choose not to smack. I respect their choice in how they bring up their children," said protester Yvonne Cameron.
Nationally, 100,000 signatures have been gathered in five weeks from people demanding a citizens initiated referendum. The petition needs at least 300,000 signatures in 12 months for a non-binding referendum to be held. Petition organiser Sheryl Savill, from Auckland, said yesterday momentum is building against repealing Section 59 - and that was before Prime Minister Helen Clark announced the Government would not take over the bill to speed its progress through Parliament.
Yesterday's announcement follows Labour flirting with using urgency to rush the bill through the House, before abandoning the move.
Parliament is still expected to pass the bill into law, although polls indicate New Zealanders are overwhelmingly against it.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
this from http://big-news.blogspot.com - Tuesday, April 03, 2007The Government has decided it is too risky to take on Bradford's anti-smacking bill, so it's the second back down after deciding against urgency. So the bill won't be passed until at least June because Labour can't get what it wants.
So backdown one, urgency, backdown two, making it a Government bill. I`m now awaiting backdown three, the removal of the Labour whip on the bill vote.
The whole thing is just a big yawn. Labour currently needs NZ First more than the Greens. It also needs more percentage points in the polls. The Greens and the smacking bill is just a big liability.
It is still Government bill in all but name. Only the withdrawal of the Labour whip will change that.
A text without a context is a pretext.
This is what Labour and the Greens are doing now with the Bill to criminalise parents. They are saying that the historical and accepted understanding of smacking and time-out as legal expressions of Section 59's "reasonable force" have, in fact, been illegal all this time.
That is like saying it has always been illegal for police to make arrests.
Looking solely at the legal definition of Assault in Section 2 of the Crimes Act shows that time-out, smacking and arresting all constitute acts of criminal assault. But taken in the context of the entire Act, it becomes obvious that Section 59 recognises parents have legitimate authority to use "reasonable force" - not unreasonable force - to correct their children and that several other sections of the Act give police and even bystanders legitimate authority to use force - sometimes the Act doesn't even specify that it must be "reasonable" - to arrest people for various reasons.
So Labour and the Greens reference the text of Section 2 of the Crimes Act, without the context of the rest of the Act, for the pretext of claiming that smacking and time-out are already illegal.
The second pretext employed by Labour and the Greens is to say that "all this Bill does" is remove the defense of "reasonable force" for correcting a child. So after telling us that the Bill won't criminalise parents, because those who smack are already criminals, they add that from now on parents who smack or use any force at all to correct will have to be found guilty of assault, for there will no longer be a legal defense.
Labour and Green are saying, "You parents have always been criminals. From now on you have no refuge in law. If you use even reasonable force to correct your children for anything they do, you will be guilty of child assault. If you are seen or even suspected, you will be investigated. If you have corrected your child, you will be charged and you will be found guilty, for there is no longer a legal defense for correcting a child."
- Craig Smith
The two favourite cases that our pro-repeal MPs are using are the "Timaru Lady/horse-whip case" and the "man beats child with plank of wood case".
This is the plank of wood:
As you can see, the stories that the pro-repeal MPs are banydying about are distorted beyond reason, merely pieces of propaganda to be used over and over and over again.It is for this reason that I so often recieve almost identical letters from Maori Party MPs, Green MPs and Labour MPs.
We note that you will having a panel discussion on the Anti-Smacking Bill on Monday 2/4/07.
We anticipate that Sue Bradford will be in attendance on the night.
As it is VERY clear to us that Ms Bradford is STILL not able to tell the difference between a smack and abuse, we wondered if we may be permitted to demonstrate the difference on her person during the debate, on live TV?
We can also assist Ms Bradford in determining the difference between "a plank of wood" and a ruler; a "horse whip" and a riding crop; a smack on the hand and a "beating" about the head; a spank on the bottom and a "thrashing" of the body; a "fundamentalist Christian" and a concerned parent; telling the truth in private, and lying in public to the people of NZ; and why it does more harm to a child to abort it (a practice that Sue Bradford endorses), as opposed to smacking it (a practice that Sue Bradford opposes).
And finally, we could explain to Sue Bradford the difference between "the rule of law" and the "discretion" of the law enforcers.
Please advise accordingly.
Monday, April 02, 2007
The great news is that the Labour government has decided to back away from pickiing up this Bill, so it may go on past May and into June.
Bradford here treats us all with her usual contempt by saying we will continue to spread misinformation about the Bill. Yet she says out of one side of her mouth, "this is an anti-beating, anti-child-violence bill, not a piece of legislation that will see tens of thousands of well-meaning parents dragged into court for the occasional light smack," and from the other side comes out with, "my original goal: To remove the defence of 'reasonable force' for the purposes of correction under s59 of the Crimes Act."
The only way one can make sense of this is to equate, as Bradford does every time she speaks on this, "reasonable force" with "beating" and "child-violence", for she claims that "severe beatings" and "violent abuse" and "thrashings" all regularly hide behind the label of "reasonable force". Yet her amended Bill does not get rid of this terminology, a move I thought would be her primary objective, since she calls it "an anti-beating, anti-child-violence" bill and since she reguarly claims that these terrible things parade around unnoticed behind this terminology. No! Her amended Bill allows for "reasonable force" or if I do as she regularly does and swap that term with others, we find that her Bill now allows for "severe beatings" to stop harmful or criminal or offensive or disruptive behaviour and allows " violent abuse" that is incidental to good care and parenting.
Her arguments are as illogical as ever.
Now, she also says her office is flooded with SUPPORT mail. OK. Let's flood her office with mail opposed to her Bill, pleading with her not to criminalise us and not to terrorise our families by having police and CYFS hanging over our heads all the time for simply using "reasonable force" to correct our children. For crying out loud, that is a core duty of parenting.
By PETER WILSON - NZPA | Monday, 2 April 2007
The Government is not going to adopt Sue Bradford's bill to change the law on smacking, Prime Minister Helen Clark said today.
It had been considering turning the controversial bill into government legislation so it could speed up its progress in Parliament and shut down the row over its provisions.
But Miss Clark said even if that was done, its opponents could still hold it up and it would probably not be passed into law before the three-week Easter recess.
Because it is a member's bill it can only be debated every second Wednesday Parliament is sitting, which is why it has taken so long up to now and its opponents have had many opportunities to stage protests and demonstrations.
"I really think it just has to take its course as a member's bill," Miss Clark said at her post-cabinet press conference.
"It will be debated in May. There is really no reason to change the way in which it is being handled."
The Government considered speeding it up so it could get it off the agenda before the May budget, but Miss Clark said keeping things the way they were would give supporters more time to have their say.
"What we've seen in the last couple of weeks is the very substantial organisations in our community, like Plunket, Barnados, Save the Children and many others who have decades of service to children in New Zealand come out and strongly support the bill," she said.
"And in the intervening period I'm sure the organisations that have been really shocked by the campaign against the bill will have a chance to have their voices heard."
The bill changes the Crimes Act and removes the statutory defence of "reasonable force" against assault on a child.
Opponents say it will turn parents into criminals if they even lightly smack their children.
Ms Bradford and her supporters argue that smacking has been illegal for more than 100 years, and removing the defence means people will not be able to get away with savagely beating children.
The Government had been waiting for New Zealand First to take a position on whether it should be turned into a government bill, but Miss Clark said the party had not opposed the idea and Cabinet made the decision to keep it a member's bill.
There is a solid 63 votes behind the bill, enough to pass it into law, and two National MPs are expected to add their backing to it as well.
A majority in Parliament is 61 votes."
"United Future is proposing an amendment to the smacking bill to ensure
parents can still to put a child in time-out without attracting police
Gordon, don't let us down mate. Reasonable force must be ok for the purposes of correction.
If parents are only allowed to use reasonable force to "put their child on the naughty mat", and the other things outlined in Bradford's bill, good parents will still get taken to the cleaners.
"The bill by Green MP Sue Bradford would remove the defence of reasonable
force if parents are arrested for assaulting their children.
United Future's Gordon Copeland claims the bill will make parents
criminals when they simply pick a child up to take them to a 'naughty
He will put forward the amendment the next time the bill is heard, which
may be tomorrow if the Government decides to adopt the legislation as
Mums and Dads of New Zealand. Are you keen to have CYFS bust into your house and grill your 10 year old for 3 or 4 hours on the subject of "do mummy and daddy smack you little Jimmy? - We're your friends little Jimmy, we really love you." And all this because your neighbor got brassed off at you when you didn't agree to go halves on a new fence with him.
The Press | Monday, 2 April 2007 - COLIN ESPINER
"...Now, supporters of the legislation are simply hoping to stagger across the line, battered and bruised by an onslaught of negative public reaction to the so-called anti-smacking bill."
Oh, poor little MPs, how hard must be for them! But how we can look up to them for riding over 85% of New Zealand's public, roughshod, ploughing ahead with their repeal, when...
THE DEBATE SHOULD COME TO A NATION-WIDE PUBLIC REFERENDUM.
"For all the outrage and the lobbying, the thousands of emails and the threatening telephone calls and dark threats against the children of one MP supporting the legislation, the bill is still almost certain to pass.
...Calculations are being done across Parliament about the level of political capital the bill's supporters are using up on this one. The Greens will probably escape unscathed since their voters are firm supporters of the bill anyway. But Labour electorate MPs in particular are really being asked to take one for the team.
...The bill's promoters and supporters relaxed after the Maori Party pledged to vote for it, securing its majority through Parliament. They took their eye off the ball and allowed opponents to dub it the anti-smacking bill and claim it would criminalise law-abiding parents.
Of course, this won't happen. Police will use their discretion, as they do at present, and prosecute only those who have committed a serious assault on a child."
"Of course this won't happen" - says who? Bradford's proposed repeal WILL criminalise parents for correcting their children using REASONABLE force.
OF COURSE THIS WILL HAPPEN. How much did Clark pay you to write this ridiculous codswallop, Colin? Get a real job mate.
"Smacking is already illegal - there is simply a defence under Section 59 of the Crimes Act if parents are arrested and charged with assault. That almost never happens, except when a parent is brought before the courts for beating their child with a riding crop or a piece of hose pipe..."
For crying out loud. If smacking is illegal, Colin, then my Mum and Dad are criminals. They may not have been prosecuted yet, but they are still living - and parenting on the wrong side of the law, if what you claim is correct.
COME ON KIWIS, MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD NOW.
Head over to www.politik.co.nz and email all the MPs who are voting for repeal of Section 59.
It is DEAD EASY.
I refer to your many comments in the media in respect of repeal of S59 about people hitting their children with riding crops and getting off.
I am the mother who disciplined her son with the riding crop. This was controlled discipline, not an angry assault. My son had just swung a baseball bat at his stepfathers head. He could have killed my husband.
After the discipline we had a well behaved, loving and compliant boy. A riding crop is designed to give a stinging sensation but is not injurious. There were no marks left on my son at all.
I may have been acquitted, but I certainly have not "got off". Even though I was acquitted CYF seized custody of my son, tore our family apart and nearly three years later I am still fighting to have him returned as CYF do not agree with the fact I physically disciplined, even though all forms of non physical discipline had not worked with this child and this was the only thing that did.
My almost 15 year old son is desperate to be at home where he feels loved and secure.
I am a responsible Mum who dearly loves her children. My sons behaviour was unacceptable. I corrected it. Repeal of S59 removes a parents ability to correct a child. Many politicans have lied about our case in order to bolster their agendas.
I am fed up with people who were not party to the facts of our case using it as a reason to make a very bad law change.
We have been through hell at the hands of CYF.
My son was placed on Risperdal whilst in CYF care to modify his behaviour. This has been banned in the states for use on children because of the life threatenning side effects. The side effects of Risperdal and the psychological damage to him by being removed from a family who love him, were much worse than the thirty second sting to his bottom.
I am still fighting for my son to be returned to my custody. The hell we have been through at the hands of CYF is a worse punishment than any the court could have issued if I had been found guilty.
Please do not for one moment think I got off. CYF have seen that I did not.
I ask that you reconsider your stance on repeal of S59.
Your constituents do not support your stance according to online polls.
If you support repeal you are supporting the destruction of many more families through state intervention as the police will involve CYF (as they do already) when investigating complaints. Even if the complaints are unfounded CYF will still hold children from their parents. I know this as I am a support worker for PANIC (parents against negative intervention of CYF) and have seen many cases like this.
Ms Clark you are not a Mum, so you can only speculate what hell it is for a parent to have her child taken away. This punishment is worse than any that could be inflicted on a parent, short of a child dying.
I might have been acquitted but have been punished as if guilty.
Please do not quote our case again, unless you are properly representing the facts. Tell the public how the state have punished me even though I was found NOT GUILTY.
If you wish to discuss any part of this email with me, please call me on...
David Farrar www.kiwiblog.co.nz did a good job of commenting on the article in the Herald...
A good interview in the NZ Herald with Chester Borrows on the smacking debate. He makes the point he is not pro-smacking, he is just against a flawed bill. Some quotes:
"I have prosecuted people for beating their kids, I have considered section 59 and how that would apply to situations," Mr Borrows said.And that is the crux of the debate. The Borrows amendment would outlaw all those cases cited by supporters of the Bill as having escaped successful prosecution, yet provide certainty that a light smack for the purposes of correction would not leave parents at the whim of Police or CYFS.
"I have probably done more to protect children in this sort of area than anyone else who is in the Parliament, and I don't want to see it trivialised."
Mr Borrows served as a police officer in Auckland, Wellington and Nelson, before becoming a sole charge officer in the South Taranaki town of Patea.
A crucial point in his journey to Parliament was becoming a detective and investigating a series of child abuse cases.
"That experience has been life-changing, and made me want to make things better for victims of crime."
It has also made more hurtful the comments from some supporters of Ms Bradford's bill that by opposing it, Mr Borrows supports the hitting and abusing of children. "I think I've got quite a strong understanding of the nature of abuse, how it works within the heads of victims and how it works in the heads of offenders. I don't like that label, I don't think that's fair."
Mr Borrows, a 48-year-old father of three, also resents any assumption that he supports smacking.
"I have never advocated smacking. I don't want to be labelled the pro-smacker. What I am is the defender of parents and children. This whole debate is about whether or not parents who smack their kid should be liable for prosecution.
"It's not about whether smacking works, and it's not about whether good parents smack and bad parents don't. It's solely about whether parents who do smack their kid should be liable for prosecution."
NZers by and large are dumbfounded at Sue Bradford's and Helen Clark's blind insistence on steamrollering ahead with the anti-smacking Bill currently before Parliament. The Bill addresses the issue of the use of corporal force ( e.g. smacking) used only for the purposes of correction. However, a hard core of Labour supporters believe in the Bill and are backing it to the hilt. Since the election, Labour has not had a happy time, and it's become clear that there are two particular groups in the party that are calling most of the shots and pulling the major strings. These are:
1. Trade unions - the rump Labour support going back to its founding. Some of these unions are led by hard line communists who still believe all that workers' revolution nonsense. The government has bent over backwards to favour the union movement since 1999. There are a number of disturbing trends being seen in the resurgent strength of the trade union wing.
2. Rainbow Labour - the party's most favoured politically correct cause. This group is rabidly engaged in vilifying and demonising conservative Christians, not just in politics but in wider society. They have led the charge on social engineering reforms such as prostitution law, civil unions and now Section 59. One of the faction's key MPs, Chief Whip Tim Barnett, is on record as saying he want all vestiges of Victorian morality eliminated from society.
Both groups are currently at the forefront of the desperate measures being taken by Labour to remain in power. As each day passes, the party looks less and less like a responsible agent of Government and more and more like conniving, scheming, power-at-all-costs control freaks and manipulators. The more so since the misappropriation of almost a million dollars of taxpayer funds was revealed after the 2005 election.
The election campaign was also noted for the involvement of the Exclusive Brethren who spent a six figure amount campaigning against Labour. The Brethren have become a natural target for vilification since then as the Rainbow wing in particular has been quick to take aim.
If the Section 59 repeal bill is unpopular, it should be seen as the warmup lap for Labour's attempts to change the whole electoral funding system. Third parties like the Brethren and various pro-Labour groups such as trade unions are to be barred from such campaigning in the future. This is a serious attack on free speech. Labour also wants to bring in full State funding of political parties, which amounts to legitimising the party's previous raids upon the taxpayer purse.
The deals are currently being done behind closed doors to shore up support for this unpopular measure, and it will likely be steamrollered through Parliament as yet another example of Labour's continual abuse of democratic process in New Zealand. As some will know, I am a Christian. The Biblical phrases referring to "wickedness in high places" seem very relevant to me when considering the track that our country has been taken down by Labour since 2005 in particular. The government has become very incompetent as well as immoral. The current term is now about half completed. It is only 18 months or so to the next election. For me and many other New Zealanders, the opportunity to vote this shameful government out of power can't come soon enough.
Monday, 2 April 2007, 8:07 am Press Release: New Zealand National Party
Winston Peters has a very important choice to make on the anti-smacking bill on his return from overseas, says National's Shadow Leader of the House, Gerry Brownlee.
"New Zealand First or Labour First - that is the question for Winston Peters over the anti-smacking bill," says Mr Brownlee.
"If Mr Peters turns around and makes the decision that the Labour Government can progress the bill as government business in Parliament this week, then he is putting Labour First - not New Zealand First.
"The polls show that 80 per cent of New Zealanders do not support this legislation.
"New Zealand First's own supporters will be hoping that Mr Peters doesn't desert the principles his party was founded on - one of which is protecting the public against bad government.
"This will be a real test for Winston Peters.
"It's up to you Mr Peters: New Zealand First or Labour First."
The Bill to repeal Section 59 is a clumsy and naked grab by the state to
usurp the natural authority of parents over their own children.
It forbids parents from correcting their own children! Correction,
changing bad behaviour and attitudes and language into good, is a core
responsibility and expectation of all parents.
This Bill goes way beyond banning smacking. It removes parental
authority. It forbids parents from correcting their own children.
Correction of children is then legally authorized only by the agents of
the state: the police, teachers, social workers.
This is home and family invasion on a gross scale. It is doing massive
political and administrative violence to families. By interposing itself
between parents and children, by rendering children's parents impotent,
it is doing great psychological and emotional damage to children. When
parents are under constant threat of legal action by both Police and
CYFS, the stress hampers their parenting and renders it less effective.
This Bill will combine with the law of compulsory school attendance to
give the state political machine the major role to legally control and
influence the children of this country. Why? Because the Bill transfers
from parents to the agents of the state the authority to correct
children; and the schooling system serves as the state's major tool of
social engineering, a channel for political propaganda.
And once we give the state bureaucrats our children, we might just as
well give them everything else...they will come for it soon enough
anyway. Once we make the big compromise with regard to our children,
nothing else matters any more.
by Craig Smith