Saturday, April 14, 2007

Riding crop mother has her day in court, again

this from big news

Dave writes: "As some people are expecting me to write about the riding crop mum of Timaru (and I wish people would stick to the facts and desist from calling it a horse whip), who was back in court on assault charges, I may as well.

As readers will know, I was a aware of the charges, in fact I blogged about them in July last year. That's how long it has taken to come to court. Public Address blogger Russell Brown criticises my earlier post:
the account of the third-party witness, who has no reason to lie, directly contradicts the account relayed by Dave Crampton on some key points. Hopefully he'll now stop depicting these people as victims of their terrible children and think a bit harder about the violence in this family.
Actually, the account of the witness doesn't contradict my key points. Thats because the witness didn't witness the woman assaulting the boy.Neither did he witness the boy punching his mother in the face and breaking her nose at the start of this whole sorry episode. He witnessed the father assaulting the boy, and that father pleaded guilty to assault, as he should.

What Russell Brown hasn't mentioned is the following, much is (apparently) in the summary of facts but not in the media report he relies on: The teenager (aged 16 or 17) was on an access visit. He punched his mother in the face and broke her nose prior to all this happening, resulting in his mother getting ACC. He was was charged with assault but Police decided not to pursue it and let him off with a formal warning, reasons of which are suppressed. Charges were laid against the mother but police withdrew the charges when they found out what her son had done, but the crown relaid them after what was most probably political and CYF pressures after the boy got his warning.

Furthermore, the man who witnessed the stepfather's assault on the boy has said that the woman didn't exactly do anything to stop the assault - but would you if your nose had just been broken? Russell has criticised the woman, alleging that she is a bad parent for not doing anything to stop the beating, even questioning why she did not call out for her partner to stop.[This has since been refuted in comments by the woman herself].

Russell has criticised the actions of both parents, but not the teenager. Why? I don`t condone the actions of the stepfather either, but if Russell's son was in the care of a former partner or CYFs and came home on an access visit, broke his nose, spat blood in his face, assaulted his partner, kicked him and swore at him, what would he do - give him a hug and play this on his stereo?"

Smacking is illegal - but it won't be banned

Helen Clark and Sue Bradford along with MPs such as Peter Dunne and Jim Anderton have been lying to the nation: "Smacking is already illegal - it has been illegal for over 100 years".  I don't know how these politicians get to sleep at night - Section 59 states that parents may use reasonable force to discipline their children - so long as the force used is reasonable in the circumstances.  Therefore, smacking is not infact illegal.

The main reason being bandied about for the repeal of Section 59 is the 6 or 7 cases where Section 59 has let abusive parents off - when they should have been prosecuted.  There is no mention of the hundreds of times that Section 59 has been used to prosecute abusive parents.

See this post: Section 59 is doing the job for more.

To their detriment, Clark/Bradford & Co. (Nanny State) - our Government are also saying that if Section 59 is repealled, parents will not be prosecuted for lightly smacking their children.  Below is a quote from Clayton Cosgrove that I took from a meeting with him:

"Parents won't be criminalised for lightly smacking their children...  It's obvious, because the Police simply don't have enough time"
See this post for more

In his standard letter in response to this issue, Jim Anderton says:

"Repeal of S.59 will not, however, mean that a parent or caregiver will be taken to court for occasionally smacking a child as some people have suggested; most people I am sure understand the difference between smacking and violence, which seems to me to be a matter of common sense.  The Police, who are responsible for prosections in this area, understand the same distinction and would not waste their time and resources taking frivolous prosections.  Even if they did decide to proceed their judgement would still be subject to judicial process..."

So New Zealand, we are faced with the idiocy that our Government offers us.

Smacking is not OK - it is illegal.  But, you can still do it because it is common sense - "a smacking ban would defy human nature" said Helen Clark.

You see - I cannot even construct a proper sentence to describe this confusion - this monstrosity of an oxymoron that the Left is shoving down our throats.

Friday, April 13, 2007

How many children have died from smacking?


Can you tell us the last child that died of a smack on the bottom.

Cheers, Ross

comment made here

Jordan says smacking will be permitted

On this post, Jordan says:

"The debate that is emerging on section 59 is very healthy - even if people are talking past each other.  Until the past 2 weeks there hasn't been a debate.  There have been people shouting slogans at each other and misrepresenting each others positions. 

But some are still missing the point - labelling the Bradford amendment to section 59 as a "smacking ban law".  I agree with a substantial part of David Farrar's post on the issue.  The problem of course is that that is exactly what both Borrow's amendment and Sue Bradford's amendments seek to do.

But the answer that parents are looking for, is why can't Parliament just pass a law which clearly does not criminalise light smacking, but clamps down on actual harm to children. They ask isn't that why we have a Parliament - to make such distinctions. They are not worried about being prosecuted, they just do not approve of having the law now "disapprove" of how they raise their children. They wonder why MPs don't vote for the Borrows amendment, or if that wording isn't quite adequate, why they don't improve it, rather than vote it down.

The exact same could be said of the Bradford amended Bill.  The Bradford Bill does make it clear that in the course of everyday parenting smacking is permitted.  And if that wording isn't quite adequate, why don't they improve it, rather than vote it down?

As I said in my very first post on this issue, the debate isn't at the extremes.  For months we had those in favour of appealing section 59 labeled "anti-smackers" among other things.  Their position was positioned as an extreme one.  Over the past few weeks we've seen the opposition, the pro-smackers (or whatever you want to call them) being positioned at the other extreme to try to balance the picture up again.  All is fair in love and war, and if one person's position is going to be unfairly labelled as something it isn't, then surely it is fair to do the same to the other side?..."


And IP responds quite brilliantly: "I don't deny you have a right to an opinion. What I do reject is your contention is that the Bill doesn't ban physical correction. It b***** well does, and you know it. Go to law school and get a b***** law degree if you want to learn anything about statutory interpretation.  Bradford's Bill expressly prohibits the use of physical force for the purposes of correction. That clause overrides any other part of the Bill.  I have said a number of times that I don't agree that smacking for corrective purposes is effective, yet you have labelled me, along with all the other opponents of the Bill, pro-violence.  The reason I reject the Bill is that it is fundamentally dishonest. It does ban smacking for corrective purposes, when the proponents claim it does not; and it will have no positive effect, whatsoever, on child abuse rates, which the proponents claim will change.  It is your abject dishonesty that pisses people off, Jordon.

Jim Anderton's letter

excerpts from a letter from Jim Anderton - MP for Wigram - Leader of the Progressive Party.

"Repeal of S.59 will not, however, mean that a parent or caregiver will be taken to court for occasionally smacking a child as some people have suggested; most people I am sure understand the difference between smacking and violence, which seems to me to be a matter of common sense.  The Police, who are responsible for prosections in this area, understand the same distinction and would not waste their time and resources taking frivolous prosections.  Even if they did decide to proceed their judgement would still be subject to judicial process..."

Bradford's bill does ban smacking for the purpose of correction - so parents will be taken to court for occasionally smacking their child.  Most people do understand the difference between smacking and violence - that is why 85% of New Zealand is against the repeal.  Jim states here that for the police to prosecute a parent who has lightly smacked their child would be frivolous.  Is it now foolishness for the Police to enforce the law?

"...Research suggests that banning the use of force against children will have an effect on that [child abuse]..."

What research was that Jim?  Are you perhaps refering to the extensive research done in Dunedin which found that children who were smacked performed as well as or better than their peers who were not smacked.  Because that does fly in the face of your groundless statement.

"...But I do not for a moment believe that this will of itself resolve the problem of child abuse..."

Oh, good on you Jim.  Go ahead and ride roughshod over the people who are crying out in frustration - repeal Section 59 even though you admit that it will not solve the problem of child abuse.

Diane Levy speaks for 15% Kiwis

Diane Levy (parenting expert) writes:

"From time immemorial, children have been smacked, caned or strapped (and let us not forget the famous cry, 'I'm going to get the wooden spoon') when they have misbehaved. This has been seen as a punishment for bad  behaviour.

The idea was that children would learn, through punishment, that what they did was unacceptable and would feel disinclined to repeat the behaviour; punishment was unpleasant so it was negative reinforcement.

So have I smacked? Yes. As a method of discipline do I recommend it? No - and here's why.  There are no winners

You ask your child to take his glass to the sink. He doesn't want to.  You offer him a smack. He opts for the smack and then says, 'That didn't hurt.' You produce a smack that does. His eyes water but he holds his ground and says, 'I'm still not going to do it.' You smack once more. He  cries, but he is still not going to do it.

At this point, one of two things can happen. One, you lose your temper - not surprisingly - and wind up hitting him much harder than you intended. Most parents find this very upsetting. Result: your child is  distraught (possibly crying in his room); you are distraught (possibly crying in your room); the glass is doing fine. At the end of an episode like this it is unlikely that you will have the heart to insist he takes  the glass to the sink..."

Just because some people (15% Kiwis) decide that they won't smack their children, or that smacking doesn't work for their family, this does not mean that no parents, therefore, should be permitted to use smacking as one of the forms of disciplining thier children.

The anti-democratic Nanny State borders on communism and smacks of dictatorship as it continues in it's attempt to push Bradford's bill through Parliament.   85% of New Zealand's population being opposed to this bill apparently has no bearing upon the Labour/Green/Maori MPs decisions.

Don't sit back and let them walk all over us.  Go to and find out how to email the MPs, - vote in the online polls, and get involved in stopping the repeal of Section 59.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Good parents don't hit their children

Letter to the Editor of the Press, 10 April 07

Dear Sir,

I am writing to address a common misconception related to the Section 59 debate. The mistake many people make is to equate the verbs smack - and hit. The action of smacking is very much different from that of hitting. In cricket, the batsman steps up to the ball and hits it. To say that he has smacked or spanked the ball is poor English. A loving smack however, is ok, because the use of a cricket bat in disciplining one's child is quite obviously ruled out.

Many misinformed citizens have also written in to The Press, expressing their concern that parents should have the right to hit their children.

It is important that we do not sideline the real issue here. What is at stake is the individual (or in this case the family's) "right" to function within the law, and without the government interfering at this level.

Yours sincerely,
Andy Moore.

time-out more harmful than a smack

When your four year old boy or girl misbehaves, when they know that what they have done is wrong, and goes against what you have told them to do, a smack or two on the hand or bottom is a legitimate form of discipline.

For some children, the naughty mat or time out work well, and their parents may find that they do not ever find the need to smack their child. However, there are plenty of children who do not learn their lesson from being seperated from the family for a short period of time.

Many children will not understand why they are being put in time out. For many children, time-out will be more harmful - make them more upset than one or two smacks would.

With a smack, the discipline is over promptly.

Smacking must never be used while the parent is angry, or while the child is moving about - ie. running around the kitchen table. The child must understand what rule he/she has broken, and must agree to being smacked. The parent must make sure that the child does understand how they have misbehaved, and why they deserve to be smacked.

Any other form of hitting for the purpose of so called "discipline", is unacceptable - and abuse.

Watch the below video, where the "Timaru Lady" from the "riding crop case" explains to you what really happened - and backs up what I have written above.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sweden's overall reported crime has increased dramatically

this from the Sweden's National Council for Crime Prevention website:

The number of reported crimes has increased for the majority of offence types during the period 1975-2004. Exceptions to this include amongst others fraud offences and burglaries, including residential break-ins. The trend over the past ten years reflects an increase in reported violent and sexual offences, whereas the number of reported theft offences is more or less the same as it was ten years ago.

The number of reported crimes against life and health, 1975-2004. The largest proportion of reported violent crime is comprised of assault offences. A total of just under 67,100 such offences were reported in 2004. The number of reported assaults against both children and adults has increased since 1975, and today stands at three times the level reported at that time.

Criminality over time Since 1950, overall reported criminality in Sweden has increased
dramatically. Various factors have contributed to this increase in the number of reported crimes in the post-war years. The primary explanation is the improvement in living conditions, which has resulted in greater access to goods that are prone to being stolen, in combination with reduce social control between people.

Up until 1964, there was a gentle increase in the total number of reported crimes. The period between 1965 and 1980 is characterised by a greater rate of increase and by major variations between different years. In 1970 just over 656,000 crimes were reported, while in 1980 the number of reported crimes reached around 928,000.
The period between 1980 and the beginning of the 1990s is characterised by an even greater rate of increase. On average, the number of reported crimes increased by 31,000 every year. Almost 1,219,000 crimes were reported in 1990.

1990 onwards
The number of reported crimes remained relatively constant during the 1990s, with slight increases and decreases in certain years. Over the past ten years, the number of violent crimes reported to the police (chapter 3 of Criminal Code) has increased by 35 percent (from 56,574 reported crimes in 1996 to 76,118 in 2005).

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

In response to Roger Boyce's letter

Below, my letter to the Editor of The Press - published Saturday 7April 2007

Dear Sir,

In response to Roger Boyce's letter (4 April);  I have indeed posted some comments on posts on the blogsite primarily related to the Section 59 debate,.  I imagine Mr Boyce has also posted comments on blogsites which he otherwise disagrees with about issues that concern him. May I please just clear my name and indicate that I love Arabic people and was strongly opposed to the 'Boobs on Bikes' parade.  I certainly do not endorse binge-drinking or illicit drug use but actively discourage it

While I have contributed to, I no more agree with all that is written on the blogsite than people who write letters to The Press agree with all that occurs in it. I do, however have a blog, which I am happy stand by.

I am totally opposed to child abuse. As Michele Wilkinson-Smith showed in the Press (29/03/07), Section 59 has been used on many occasions to successfully prosecute abusive parents. 

I am deeply concerned by the efforts of people like Mr Boyce to illegitimately discredit as right wing extremists those who, like me, are opposed to Sue Bradford's Bill on the grounds of conscience. My prayer for myself, Mr Boyce and New Zealand is that we will listen to truth and not lies.

Yours Sincerely,
Andy Moore

Monday, April 09, 2007

Lindsay Mitchell on Barnados loss of funding

To Barnardos and Plunket, can I be uncharitable and say, it serves you right.

Murray Edridge says about the loss of support they are experiencing;"I'm saddened people choose to withdraw support because that's not a good outcome for us longer-term and it's not a good outcome for kids."

And Sue Bradford's legislation will be a good outcome for kids? As I have said in the past, I am not paying you to promote dubious political solutions to child welfare problems.

Section 59 is doing the job!

Report of the Riding Crop case from

1. The mother was controlled. "The discipline was entirely controlled, over with very quickly and was very effective. AFTERWARDS he gave me a hug and apologised."

2. The small bamboo cane ("about the thickness of my little finger and between 12 and 18 inches in length. The type you use to stake a small pot plant") left a slight red mark that lasted less than an hour.

3. The riding crop left no red mark - it was two light smacks over trousered bottom on a 12 year old

4. Love was shown at the time of the smack (no yelling and swearing). "He apologised for his behaviour and I reassured him that I loved him but disliked the behaviour."

5. The boys behaviour changed. "After the discipline we had a well behaved, loving and compliant boy." "FROM this point on the boys behaviour changed radically for the better. We had a happy laughing cheerful child who was obedient and a pleasure to have around."

From reading the reports in the link above and from talking with the mother Section 59 worked very well in this case. This Timaru mother used reasonable force in the circumstances. (The Newsmedia reports, the MPs and the NGOs are not to be believed)

Report of the Wooden Spoon case from
Mum who hit son faces jail - 5:00AM Monday April 09, 2007

A Hawkes Bay woman faces a jail term for taking to her son with a wooden spoon and leaving him with 4cm welts - a case being heralded as proof that the law forbidding assaults on children works.

The Flaxmere woman pleaded guilty in the Hastings District Court last week to assaulting her 7-year-old son.

The boy described his state after the beating as "sad, angry and unhappy".

He has been removed from the home, though the mother is trying to regain custody.

She will be sentenced in the Napier District Court on May 3.

Last November, she became angry with her son because he was taking too long to get ready for tee-ball. She started yelling and swearing and belted him on his palms and the insides of his arms with the spoon until his father intervened.

The boy showed his teacher the following Monday and the teacher alerted Child, Youth and Family.

He was taken to hospital where his bruising was checked. The mother later told police she had taken on too much and realised she needed help.

The case became a political football this week when National MP Chester Borrows hailed it as showing that the Crimes Act - and section 59 which permits reasonable force in the right circumstances - rightfully caught out parents who assaulted their children.

But Green MP Sue Bradford, who is trying to amend the act, said she never held the position that the present law failed in every case.

"There are cases where section 59 is used successfully, and I'm pleased it was in this case, but I have a fundamental objection to the fact that the defence of using reasonable force exists at all."

Her bill would remove the legal defence for using reasonable force against children for correction, but allow its use to restrain a child.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Long Arm (And Short Fuse) Of The Law

this from http://nzhumanrightslawyer
Saturday, April 7, 2007

Politics makes strange bedfellows and there are no stranger metaphorical night-time companions at the moment than Sue Bradford and the New Zealand Police. Ms Bradford's own career as an activist saw her in the High Court at least once (see Bradford v Police) and one would have thought she and the Police were not the most natural of allies. The fraught passage of the repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act however has seen her extolling the even-handed manner in which the Police conduct prosecutions to reassure the Bill's opponents that they will not see frazzled but otherwise law-abiding parents in the dock for an open handed paddle of their toddler's backside in the canned goods aisle of the supermarket.

That argument rather fails if my experience of the exercise of the Police discretion to prosecute is anything to go by. I have defended people in the Wellington District Court of some dire crimes against humanity including chalking slogans on the footpath outside Marion Hobbs' electorate office ('wilful damage'), taking discarded food out of supermarket skips (`theft') and dressing up in kangaroo suits and hopping around the Australian Embassy (`burglary'). The power of the anti-smacking argument for me is undeniable-how can you square hitting the most vulnerable members of society with a desire to end violence in our community? Whether you need to bolster that argument with airy claims of Police forbearance is another matter.

Mark Lillico
- lawyer at Ord Lillico in Wellington, New Zealand( My practice deals with human rights issues mainly in the context of criminal defence work, prisons and immigration.