Press Release, The Kiwi Party, May 28,2008
Responding to the NZ Herald editorial this morning, Petition organiser & Kiwi Party leader Larry Baldock said the author's opinion would change rapidly if they were a parent and had just received a visit from the Police or CYFS.
"The author is right about one thing and one thing only. The law change has made no difference to the awful rates of child abuse it was intended to address. When it comes to the 48% of good parent's in the survey that have admitted to still occasionally smacking their children it is not true to say it has been business as usual. We have heard tens of thousands of Kiwi Parents at our petition tables express that they now operate in a climate of fear. That is what this law change has done and the amendment of John Key has done nothing much to alleviate that.
The NZ Herald shows an enormous contradiction in their attitude when they railed against the EFA and said it had to be repealed, but are prepared to allow the climate of fear to prevail over the majority of good Mums and Dads in this country with a do nothing about it attitude.
By publishing the true and accurate accounts of those affected by this law, Bob McCoskrie at Family First has done everyone in this country a service. That is hardly alarmism. There have been many other stories identified but because of the fear of further consequences some have not wanted to publicly tell their stories.
The arrogance and superior attitude behind the editorial statement "there are, as every sensible parent knows, better ways to correct bad behaviour, but if parents sometimes use more primitive means the law can be reasonable," makes my blood boil. For thousands of years loving hard working parents have raised healthy well balanced respectful kids by using appropriate physical discipline and this journalist, with a stroke of their pen, feels so enlightened in our modern world to be able to pass judgement upon them by calling their parenting primitive. That is appalling!
What will definitely create a primitive society and return to us the barbarianism of the past, is the failure to properly discipline children and teach them respect for authority.
If the author is worried about the debate being stirred up all over again after the election and the referendum I would put their mind at rest. If the Kiwi Party is in a position to exercise influence over a National led government the Bradford Act will be gone by lunchtime. No drawn out select committee with submissions and debates. One session of urgency is all it will take, and good parents will be able to get on with the most important job in this country, that of raising good kids, without having to look over their shoulder all the time to see what liberal do-gooder might be watching and waiting to dobb them in.
Finally I have to say how disappointing it was to see that the author was unwilling to put their name to their opinion piece. More than 350,000 Kiwis have been concerned enough about the Bradford anti-smacking law that they have placed their name to the petition in broad daylight. Some of them, like police, social workers and Plunket employees have done so while expressing a concern that there have been veiled suggestions that they should not be doing so.
We undermine our freedom when we lack the courage to put our name to our convictions," said Mr Baldock.