Saturday, May 05, 2007
image from www.stuff.co.nz
What can I say?
This is your Government, New Zealand. Leader of the Opposition, Prime Minister and feminst/communist/flower-power pin-up girl for the Green Party all celebrating their victory against you the citizen. 83% of Kiwis do not want this legislation, but these important people in Parliament know better than you.
Are you going to sit back and take it?
Friday, May 04, 2007
Open Letter from Society for the Promotion of Community Standards to Mr. John Key
Friday, 4 May 2007, 4:53 pm
Dear Mr John Key
We are opposed to your party's disastrous U-turn over Sue Bradford's Bill. Even with the new amendment you helped initiate, once the bill is enacted into law; every parent or person in the place of a parent, who uses any form of "reasonable force" for the purpose of "correction", will be committing an "OFFENCE involving the use of force against a child" under s. 59 of Crimes Act (1961). It will be illegal to smack or apply ANY force to a child for the purpose of "correction". Under current law the use of such reasonable force it is NOT illegal. There is a justification for the use of such "reasonable force". S. 2 of the Crimes Act defines the use of that word "justification:
"Justified, in relation to any person, means not guilty of an offence and not liable to any civil proceeding".
1. Would you please explain how NZ parents will be able to correct their children for wilful and repeated disobedience, gross disrespect, willful destructive acts, gross dishonesty etc. using force that is "so inconsequential that there is no public interest in proceeding with a prosecution" ... without them engaging in ILLEGAL and UNLAWFUL activity? 2. Would you please suggest how police will apply their "discretion" when deciding when force used for correction by loving parents is "inconsequential" as opposed to "consequential"? 3. Would you please suggest how police will apply the discretion criteria of "public good" when judging various ILLEGAL acts of 'violence' committed by parents on children, such as smacking for correction, forcing children to move to "time-out" zones as a matter of correcting bad behaviour, etc? 4. Why are you now supporting Bradford's anti-family bill when you once strongly opposed it?
You know that the Prime Minister and Sue Bradford have misrepresented the law - yes they have lied - when they have told the NZ public repeatedly that it is illegal UNDER CURRENT LAW to smack a child for correction, using reasonable force in the circumstances. Yes, the smack constitutes a technical "assault" but it is NOT the UNLAWFUL. use of force UNDER CURENT LAW. You have made no effort whatsoever, as far as we know to corect these lies. When will you?
We are shocked that you are now supporting a bill, that even with the latest amendment, still has as its stated purpose: "... abolishing the use of parental force for the purpose of correction". (Note the word "force" remains unqualified. Therefore ALL force is rreferred to).
The choice of the word "abolishing" is clear. No use of any form of parental force for correction will be tolerated. It must be eradicated/abolished completely when used for correction. All force for correction is to be constituted as the illegal use of force under this flawed legislation you now support. Shame on you! What an incredible U-turn on your part! When we compare what you have stated in the past in opposing Bradfford's bill; with what you are now saying - supporting a bill that undermines parents authority and defines their use of reasonable force for discipline as illegal, we are stunned.
The claim by the National Party that the new amendment they have agreed to makes the bill now mertorious and worthy of support, because it now will give guidance to the police that they are to use "discretion" before laying charges against parents or those in the place of parents who apply force for correction, is misguided and will not fool thinking New Zealand parents. The police policy already allows for discretion in all case involving domestic violence. Charges will not be laid if there is insufficient evidence and it is not in the public interest to lay charges (two of a number of criteria laid out by the Solitor-General in existing instructions to police). While it is true that prior to this latest amendment being put up for the vote; the former Police Commissioner had claimed that police would HAVE TO to investigate ALL formal complaints of smacking under existing police guidelines, should the Bradford bill reported back from the select committee, pass into law; it was never claimed by police that all such complaints had to be prosecuted without the application of any discretion.
At the time The Minister of Police and the sponsor of the bill moved quickly to correct any perceptions that police would be unable to apply discretion before charges were laid based on complaints over smacking. On the basis of these assertions the bill's promoters claimed that no further amendments were needed to reassure the public.
The NZ public have always known that the police generally do not lay charges over trivial and inconsequential matters involving domestic matters. What has changed under Bradford's bill as it now stands, is that the police have to treat ALL formal complaints over the use of force for correction as ILLEGAL activities for which charges can potentially be laid. Under current law smacking or the use of any reasonable for correction is constituted LAWFUL.
Executive Committee & Members
Society for Promotion of Community Standards Inc.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
I arrived back in the country jetlagged and flew onto Wellington to
learn that an historic peace had broken out with Helen Clark and John
Key agreeing to a compromise on the smacking bill.
Good on John Key I thought. He's taken the high ground and made a
difference. That's what I thought. Until I saw the amendment.
It makes no difference. Of course, the police have the discretion
whether to prosecute. If anyone knows that, it's Helen Clark!! This
amendment just confirms it and then adds the confusing terms
"inconsequential" and "public interest".
Then John Key wips the National Party caucus to vote for it. So now
Labour and National are voting for Sue Bradford's anti-smacking bill.
The criticisms National made of the Bill still stand except now they are
all voting for it.
But get this: I move Chester Borrows' amendment last night because he
wouldn't. That defines clearly what is allowed and what is not. National
voted against it, including Chester.
It must be the jet lag or something. I can't figure it out!
Here is an interesting exchange with Chester:
Rodney Hide: "Is it true that the police have a decision not to prosecute?"
Chester Borrows: Yes.
Rodney Hide: So this does nothing to Sue Bradford's bill?
Chester Borrows: No.
Here is the full SOP (Supplementary Order Paper) which introduced it to
the Parliamentary process: http://tinyurl.com/ysgz5o
It says that the amendment is actually going to become part of the new,
re-written Section 59.
To get one's head around all this stuff, one needs to watch the two
video clips listed here. Be quick, because they don't stay on these
websites for long.
Close up Wednesday 2 May 2007 with Simon Barnet, Helen Clark, John Key &
Sue Bradford, under title, "People power or political brinkmanship."
TV3 Wednesday 2 May 2007, Police Commissioner Howard Broad, under title:
"Destiny and the 'anti-smacking' legislation"
The CloseUp clip shows Key saying the bill was going to pass as it was
and would criminalise every parent who ever smacked. "The Bill is [now]
better than it was from our perspective. We don't believe that good
parents will be criminalised. But let me say this Mark: If once the Bill
is passed, if good criminals...er...good parents get criminalised for
lightly smacking their children, and I become Prime Minister of New
Zealand, we will change the law."
I am going to shamelessly focus on Key's slip of the tongue, calling
parents criminals. Simon Barnett says in the clip above that Parliament
has treated the parents of NZ with complete contempt. And this is why.
They hold us in contempt. Every thing Bradford and Clark and even Key
says on this is that Section 59 had to be changed to make NZ a less
violent place. Now remember: Section 59 is only even raised as a defence
1.4 times a year and over half of those are found guilty.
So what is their problem with Section 59? I thought it was the provision
for parents to use "reasonable force" with their children and that Kiro
and Bradford and the pro-repealers were all saying that severe beatings
and abuse of all kind were hiding behind this label of "reasonable
force". But then we find that Bradford's re-write of Section 59 DOES NOT
get rid of the "reasonable force" provision.
So what IS their problem with Section 59? It is that Section 59 says it
is RIGHT ("parents are justified") to CORRECT their children. Bradford's
re-write of Section 59 emphatically says that for parents to CORRECT
their children is WRONG. Her bill's outstanding trait is that it creates
a new crime: correction of children with the use of even the most
reasonable level of force.
The police are instructed in the Bill (but Police Commissioner Howard
says they always have it) to use discretion. But this discretion is to
be used, if they want to use it.....they don't have to.....when they
come across "offenses" (parents using force to correct their children)
which are "inconsequential". Clark says a couple of times that the law
should not and will not, because of this amendment, "concern itself with
trifles". They make it clear that any use of force that is not
"inconsequential" is unacceptable violence.
At the original press conference to announce this amendment, a reporter
asked Bradford if light smacking was now OK. Her response: "Not it's
not. Not at all."
At this same press conference, Key said, "The Prime Minister and I put
politics aside and let sanity prevail." As I heard someone else say,
"This Prime Minister NEVER puts politics aside." Key went on to
enumerate National's three objectives in this: 1) That parents can have
confidence they won't be criminalised for "lightly smacking a child"; 2)
police have clear guidelines; and 3) "I think it's a very important step
for New Zealand in becoming a safer and less violent community."
They all agree on this: that Section 59, which says it is RIGHT for
parents to CORRECT children, is what is causing NZ to be a violent
society! Key is saying all us parents ARE already criminals. Bradford
and Clark have been saying it over the past month or six weeks ever
since Labour MP Russell Fairbrother circulated a bizarre opinion that
smacking has been illegal for over 100 years.
The amendment will be subsection 4 of the new re-written Section 59, so
it will look like this, barring any new amendments:
(1) Every parent of a child and every person in the place of a parent of
the child is justified in using force if the force used is reasonable in
the circumstances and is for the purpose of --
(a) preventing or minimising harm to the child or another
(b) preventing the child from engaging or continuing to engage
in conduct that amounts to a criminal offence; or
(c) preventing the child from engaging or continuing to engage
in offensive or disuptive behaviour; or
(d) performing the normal daily tasks that are incidental to
good care and parenting.
(2) Nothing in subsection (1) or in any rule of common law justifies the
use of force for the purpose of correction.
(3) Subsection (2) prevails over subsection (1).
(4) To avoid doubt it is affirmed that police have the discretion not to
prosecute complaints against parents of any child, or those standing in
place of any child, in relation to an offence involving the use of force
against a child where the offence is considered to be so inconsequential
that there is no public interest in pursuing a prosecution.
Note that subsection 4, this new amendment by Key, Clark, etc., refers
to "an offence involving the use of force against a child". That is the
offence of "correction". It is not an offence to use "reasonable force"
on a child to minimise harm, stop criminal, offensive or disruptive
behaviour or when the "reasonable force" is incidental to good care and
parenting (subsections 1a through 1d). The offence in using ANY force
with a child is when the purpose of using the force is correction
(subsection 2). The amendment says the Police have the option, the
luxury of turning a blind eye, if the force used for correction, which
is a criminal offence according to subsection 2, "is considered to be so
inconsequential that there is no public interest in pursuing a
prosecution." But they don't have to ignore it, because sebsection does
define it as a crime, regardless of how inconsequential it is.
John Key says that means light smacks will be ok. Bradford insists that
light smacks are never ok. In the CloseUp clip, Bradford says, "The
Police will still investigate, I hope, every report of assault on a
child and that is as it should be." She then said the amendment was "a
direction to Police making it clear that Parliament is saying if the
offense is totally inconsequential, that Parliament is not expecting
that the Police should feel that they must prosecute."
Light smacks that are inconsequential MIGHT be safe from prosecution,
but may not be safe from investigation and reporting to CYFS, as Simon
Barnett points out on the CloseUp clip. Once CYFS gets involved in a
child investigation, life as you know it comes to an end. As talk-back
radio has been saying: Police who do nothing about an investigation into
an inconsequential incident with parents A & B will be hung if later on
that same A & B severely abuse the same kid. So Police will investigate
if it comes to their notice and will probably at minimum refer it to
Lights smacks that are inconsequential are, as every parent knows,
inconsequential and ineffective and useless. The smack is delivered in
the objective that it will be CONsequential, not INconsequential. That
is, effective smacking for corrective purposes under this new bill will
be as illegal as ever Bradford wanted it to be at the beginning. The
only refuge parents may find, if they are accused and investigated for
correcting a child using force, is to make out that their corrective
discipline was possibly corrective, but in fact inconsequential; or that
it was NOT corrective but instead designed to stop criminal, offensive
or disruptive behaviour or that it was incidental to good care and
Yes, I believe correction is an essential part of good care and
parenting. And it includes a lot more than light smacks. But it is about
to become a heinous crime, one that can be prosecuted under the laws
against assault and worth from 2 to 5 years in jail. Force used to
correct a child is not just smacking. It includes grabbing my child by
the arm or shoulders and marching him to the neighbour to apologise for
throwing rocks through his garage window. It includes forcibly taking
his piggy bank out of his hands and taking his money out of it to pay
the neighbour for the damage done. It includes forcing him to sit at the
table and write and re-write until it is done properly a formal letter
of apology including an assurance that he won't do such daft things
again. And if it means he has to forego tea and dessert that night and
any electronic entertainment or communication for a month to force him
to do as I require, so be it.
I fielded a number of calls and emails today about people wanting to
leave NZ, wondering what it's like in various parts of Australia.
Let me also quote from the video clip above as Campbell Live interviewed
Commissioner for Police Howard Broad:
Campbell: Is this "discretion" going to be applied differently in
different parts of NZ?
Broad: Yes, it's a human-made decision with 8,000 officers applying it
up and down the country. "Reasonably confident that, subject to a small
amount of variation, we'll be able to work."
Broad: "There is no mandatory exercise of the powers of the Police.
Discretion always applies."
Broad: "What the proposed legislation does is lower the threshhold
around what is considered to be the level of force before a prosecution.
I think it's actually quite substantially reduced that. And that is
going to be where the difficulty is for Police, finding that point.
That's where the difficulty will be. But we'll find it, and we'll be
guided by the courts, we'll be guided by our own experience; the Police
Complaints authority might have a part to play, and so on."
Capbell: Are the use of jug cords and riding crops out of the question
Broad: "Clearly in my view stitations using implements like jug cords or
practically any implement, I think, is now considered beyond what is
acceptable. I think it's been actually quite a useful exercise, really,
because the country is coming to grips with the causes and the factors
associated with violence. And it's publicised and discussed, the use of
force, in a whole range of circumstances. I think that's been extremely
valuable. I say again that this legislation has reduced the threshhold
at which action will be taken. And I think people do have to come to
grips with that now."
Campbell: "So people who are accostomed to using things like wooden
spoons or any kind of implements have to understand that the law has
changed and they can no longer do that?"
Broad: "I think so and also we've got to be extremely careful in those
moments when force is applied 'where' to a child. You know, hitting a
child in the head for example; I don't think that's acceptable."
Campbell: "But the sort of scaremongering that went on that any kind of
smack, any kind of small slap on the wrist or bottom was going to be
illegal is now dealt with by this use of the term 'discretion'?"
Broad: "I think so, and the proposal in the legislation 'for the
avoidance of doubt' makes it absolutely crystal clear that the Police
are expected to apply that discretion for levels of force that are
inconsequential. And that is a fairly clear message to the public, if it
was ever needed, for the Police."
Campbell: So my summary would be that you think this is about as good an
outcome as we could have had?
Broad: I'm actually quite comfortable with where we are.
Now there are some scary things here. He says the threshhold for the use
of force has been quite substantially reduced. He's talking about force
used to correct, not do the things listed in subsections 1a through 1d.
It has been reduced to inconsequential before you MIGHT not be
prosecuted should such a use of force come to the notice of police. And
Broad says it will be tricky finding that point, but they'll be guided
by the courts and the complaints authority. That means it will require
family after family to be systematically destroyed by court processes
over giving a smack with a wooden spoon, regardless of what the child
did, in order to set definitions and precedents.
Reasonable force is ok for stopping offensive behaviour (subsection 1c)
but not for correcting the offensive behaviour. Where do you draw the
line? What is it about wanting to correct bad behaviour into good that
is so hated by Bradford? It is not clear if implements are allowed to be
used in the purposes named in subsections 1a through 1d. I've writen to
Bradford, Sir Geoffrey Palmer of the Law Commission, Howard Broad of the
Police Commission, Rajen Prasad of the Families Commission and several
others about this, the definition of "correction" and other things back
in April. Let's see what they say.
As far as I can make out, politically, Labour was damaged big time and
continuing to take many hits. They were bleeding all over the place, and
deathly pale. If Key had stood back, they would have died at the polls
and the next election. Instead, Key gives Clark a blood transfusion,
saves her and tosses a lifeline to the Greens at the same time. In doing
so he has secured the total demise of the National Party, caused them to
be seen as Labourites dressed in Blue.
Pundits hail a political consensus. National and Labour have done a back-room deal on an amendment to the "anti-smacking Bill," and parents apparently no longer have anything to fear. But when the smoke and mirrors are rolled away, the effect of the Bill has not changed. The Bill would still mean that good parents who use mild correction are committing a criminal offence, regardless of whether they are prosecuted.
The amended Bill says that the Police will not have to prosecute "where the offence is considered to be so inconsequential that there is no public interest in proceeding with a prosecution." But immediately preceding this is the statement, "Nothing ... justifies the use of force for the purpose of correction." In other words, parents who use mild physical force for correction, such as a light smack, will be acting outside the law and subject to Police scrutiny, investigation and possible prosecution.
The problems with this proposal are legion. To begin with, we should only call something criminal if it is worthy of prosecution and conviction. This proposal attempts to fudge the issue and falls foul of this standard. It also gives the Police wide discretion and raises the spectre of discriminatory enforcement. The requirement that prosecution be in the public interest may sound reassuring, but different prosecutors will take different views of what it means, and the Law Commission has said that Police have been known to continue with some cases which are not in the public interest. Significantly, the limitation would only apply to Police, not to other government agencies, and not to private citizens, who are able to prosecute for breaches of the criminal law.
The amended Bill is highly unsatisfactory, but seems likely to be passed in just a couple of weeks with almost no scrutiny or debate.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
www.stuff.co.nz Wellington | Thursday, 3 May 2007
The Destiny Church leader revealed his disciplinary habits at Parliament yesterday, after about 1000 Christians rallied against Green MP Sue Bradford's anti-smacking bill.
Organised by three conservative churches, the demonstration contrasted starkly with a modest vigil hosted up the street by mainstream Christians. Yesterday's event was a far cry from Destiny's 2004 protest against civil unions and prostitution, when 7500 black-shirted church members marched through the city.
This time, the assembled masses were dressed in casual clothes, and theatrics were kept to a minimum.
The stage-managed event passed with only one real disturbance.
After Mr Tamaki invited good parents to Parliament to spank "errant" MPs, Labour's Parekura Horomia joined him by the podium for a handshake and a hongi, only to usurp the microphone and declare his support for the bill.
"I am not a Kahui," shouted one angry woman in response. "You leave my democratic rights alone."
Protesters were largely unaware of a last-minute amendment to the bill affirming police's discretion not to prosecute for "inconsequential" assaults.
Bishop Tamaki said he still opposed the bill but the amendment was "a glorious victory for every good, caring Kiwi parent".
But the Rev Mike Weitenberg, of Metro Global Church, said the amendment was a "sugar-coated pill" that would deliver a "deathly blow" to families.
Mr Tamaki and City Impact's Pastor Peter Mortlock also spoke out against the liberal, secular policies they said were destroying family values.
Speaking after the rally, Mr Tamaki, a father of three, said he used smacking "as a last resort to follow through when there was any type of defiance from my children".
Only a few people turned out to oppose the church demonstration.
Ken Findlay planted himself in the middle of the crowd hoisting a placard that read: "Peace in our families. Repeal s59".
"They're actually quite a small minority and I think they've been misinformed," Mr Findlay said to opprobrium from those around him.
A short distance up the street, Christians supportive of the bill gathered at Wellington's Anglican Cathedral for a prayer vigil that was also attended by Prime Minister Helen Clark and Ms Bradford.
The bill has the backing of the Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist churches and the qualified support of the Catholic Church. Candles were lit as the church bells tolled 11 times - once for each child who dies in family-related violence in New Zealand every year.
From the altar, children's author Joy Cowley read from A Letter to Parents, which she wrote especially for the service.
Church leaders then presented an ecumenical letter to Ms Bradford.
FAMILY FIRST MEDIA RELEASE - 3 MAY 2007
Family First is calling on the leaders of the National and Labour party to allow a conscience vote for their MP's on the final reading of the 'anti-smacking' bill in two week's time.
"If this revised bill is as good as both John Key and Helen Clark are claiming, then they should have no problem allowing their MP's to vote with their conscience as was previously promised," says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First.
On March 22 of this year when Labour were attempting to place the bill under urgency, John Key said "The Labour-led Government knows the (anti-smacking bill) is deeply unpopular, so it plans to act against the wishes of the majority of Kiwis and ram the bill through under urgency. This is a deeply cynical abuse of power as Labour tries to clear the decks of this controversial issue. Helen Clark has refused to let her MPs vote the way they really think on this bill." ( http://johnkey.co.nz/index.php?/archives/60-Labour-shows-contempt-for-New-Zealanders.html )
Mr McCoskrie believes that MP's within both the Labour and National Caucus are still deeply unhappy with this law change, and know that parents in their local electorates are not happy with them having to support the bill.
"A good law will have the support of MP's, who in turn know that they have the backing of the people. That's democracy. This bill still doesn't have a public mandate."Please contact your local MP to express your views on the Amendments to Section 59.
Rodney Hide: Congratulated Sue Bradford and Helen Clark for building a strong coalition in support of the bill - but staggered that anyone has changed their vote, as the amendment makes no difference to the bill (he's entirely right on this point IMHO). Said that the entire National Party had been fooled, and were backing Sue Bradford's original position. Offered to move Chester Borrow's amendment himself (and was handed a copy by Gordon Copeland to let him do it).
Unfortunately the Borrows/Hide amendment (not ideal itself) was soundly beaten 111-9 with only Judy Turner, Gordon Copeland and five NZ First MPs voting with Rodney and Heather. Given the fact that Chester Borrows did not vote in favour of the amendment he had put so much effort into, and the overwhelming turnaround by 47 of National's 48 MPs (excluding Rich), you have to wonder if National actually allowed a free vote.
If they did, it's a pretty stunning change in opinion in just a matter of days (see Judith Collins proudly proclaiming she smacked her kids- something that there will be NO defence for when the Bill passes). If they didn't, well, they can rightly be labelled as hypocrites after banging on about Labour applying the whip.
UPDATE- Interesting comment thread on the ACT website. Seems some people are none too happy with Mr Key.
By AARON LEAMAN - Waikato Times | Wednesday, 2 May 2007
Green MP Sue Bradford's proposed "anti-smacking" bill was given a thorough thrashing at a public forum last night, with one opponent labelling it "pure evil".
About 80 people gathered at Hamilton's Celebrating Age Centre to hear Act Party president Garry Mallett, Act deputy leader Heather Roy and former United Future MP Larry Baldock speak against the contentious bill.
The meeting came just hours before Christians were to face off over the proposed anti-smacking law change at Parliament today. Mainstream religious groups were to rally at Parliament at the same time as a Destiny Church-led protest against Ms Bradford's bill, which would remove the "reasonable force" defence for parents charged with assault.
Mr Mallett described Ms Bradford's bill as a "wicked piece of legislation" and "pure evil".
However, the 2 1/2-hour forum was more a gathering of like minds than a debate on the merits of the bill. Mr Mallett said he had not invited supporters of the bill to speak because they had had plenty of Government and media support.
Audience members, who identified themselves as concerned parents and grandparents, engaged in a series of hand-raising exercises, responding to questions such as whether they had smacked their children.
Mr Mallett said the "anti-smacking" bill did not reflect the realities of raising children and would not curb the abusive behaviour of "savages". The bill would not have prevented the deaths of children such as Lillybing or the Kahui twins, he said.
Last night we received more than 600 emails about the smacking issue, more than 90 percent of which were against Sue Bradford's bill.
CloseUp: (5377 participants)
BuzzPoll says: 87% NZers say smacking is sometimes appropriate
Watch the footage here:
Mark Sainsbury says to Helen Clark: "So you're listening to the people?" Clark lies: "absolutely listening to the people... I think everybody has."
Simon Barnett's sensible arguments leave Key, Bradford and Clark in the deep end. Here's the situation: John Key doesn't want to admit that he is backing down to Labour by accepting that this new ammendment is different from the ammendment that he originally proposed. Helen Clark doesn't want to admit that the bill has actually changed. And Sue Bradford is trying to pretend that: yes, there has been a change, but no, it isn't really a change, because it was law already.
They are chasing each other's tails and getting nowhere. Confusing the New Zealand Public and themselves.
Simon Barnett on the other hand, sees through the propaganda. He brings up the point: The new ammendment simply states: even though it is illegal, you won't be prosecuted if the offense is trifling.
Watch the footage. If you can put up with Helen's spindoctoring and John's weak-kneed compromised position when he is supposed to be the opposition.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Taking stock, what do we have now with the Key/Clark amendment?
I have no legal knowledge.
If a police officer can be persuaded that more than 'inconsequential' force has been used he or she will decide a prosecution is warranted.
What happens when the parent arrives in court? There is no longer a defence of reasonable force but can his lawyer then argue that the force used was in fact 'inconsequential' and his client wrongly prosecuted? Can the parent still request a jury trial? Are we back where we started from?
(I think I have just listened to Larry Baldock calling Newstalk ZB. He suggests Clark was facing a caucus revolt. Opposers of the bill were on the point of winning but thanks to John Key the legislation will now pass with the amendment.)
Update; From Stuff about the amendment, At the same time it did not define an acceptable level of violence against children, which would have pushed Ms Bradford to withdraw the bill completely.
Well, it does. The new acceptable level of violence will be whatever a cop decides is 'inconsequential'.
Family First www.familyfirst.org.nz
2 MAY 2007
Family First is hoping that the guarantee given by National party leader John Key that the latest amendment to section 59 will "give comfort to parents they would not be prosecuted for lightly smacking their kids" is correct.
" If this is the legal effect of the amendment , then this is a step in the right direction. Good parents should not be criminalised for smacking their children in a reasonable manner for the purpose of parental correction and guidance," says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First.
"We have always argued that Bradford's original bill and groups like Barnardos, Plunket, EPOCH and the Children's and Families' Commissioner were out of touch with the reality of parenting, and were going to extremes to tackle our unacceptable rate of child abuse without any sound scientific evidence that a smacking ban would affect that rate."
Mr McCoskrie says this amendment is a huge backdown by Sue Bradford and the supporters of the bill who wanted a complete ban on any physical discipline – even discipline deemed reasonable by over 80% of NZ'ers.
Family First is still concerned by a number of factors related to the amended bill:
1. The legality of reasonable force which is "inconsequential" but for the purpose of 'correction' should be explicitly stated in the law.
2. The direction to Police to use discretion regarding "inconsequential" discipline should be automatically extended to Child Youth and Family (CYF). It is unwarranted CYF intervention that parents fear far more than the police.
3. The 'Police discretion' may be bad news for parents who are already on the wrong side of the law, but are not guilty of unreasonable parenting. It is also another burden on an over-worked and under-resourced Police force
"It appears that in a misguided attempt to tackle child abuse, politicians have simply given section 59 a case of 'verbal diarrhoea' which has made the law so complex that it simply sows confusion into parenting, and gives no reassurance to parents that a reasonable smack for the purpose of correction is within the law," says Mr McCoskrie. "This is an unacceptable burden to place on parents."
Parents deserve to know with some confidence whether they are parenting within the law.Family First calls for the law to be explicit that parents will not be prosecuted by the Police or CYF's for lightly smacking their children within the context of good parental correction.
To avoid doubt it is affirmed that police have the discretion not to prosecute complaints against parents of any child, or those standing in place of any child, in relation to an offence involving the use of force against a child where the offence is considered to be so inconsequential that there is no public interest in pursuing a prosecution.
Bradford agrees with the amendment, because, as she just said on Michael Law's radio show, it doesn't change her bill in any way whatsoever.
Why is this true?
This amendment is simply adding this as an extra clause to the Bill. It is not changing the re-write of Section 59 which is another clause in the Bill. So, the clause will not pass into the Crimes Act. It is simply a bit of commentary in the Bill. And as Bradford just said on Law's radio show, this is precisely what Police do now anyway.
And of course, parents who use reasonable force to correct their children do not use inconsequential force.....they use force that is going to have consequences....the consequence of present and future corrected behaviour. Police will have to consider this a criminal act.
And of course, CYFS is most likely still to be advised by police, even when the force is inconsequential, for the force is technically illegal. Here is where our greatest fear lies.
This is total and complete capitulation by National. They've surrendered completely.
by Craig Smith from Family Integrity
from the New Zealand Herald:
Ms Bradford welcomed the compromise. She said: "I don't think we needed this amendment at all in terms of what the bill was seeking to achieve but we needed it to reassure New Zealand parents and to achieve the kind of political consensus across Parliament."
So you see, Bradford is saying that the ammendment won't in fact change ANYTHING.
It claims the wording of the ammendment is as follows;
"(4) To avoid doubt, it is affirmed that the Police have the discretion not to prosecute complaints against a parent of a child or person in the place of a parent of a child in relation to an offence involving the use of force against a child, where the offence is considered to be so inconsequential that there is no public interest in proceeding with a prosecution."
Unfortunately opponents of the bill seem to to be jumping for joy!...
This ultimately changes nothing.
If Section 59 is removed then any force by a parent against their child will be no different to common assault.
This ammendment says "where the offence is considered to be so inconsequential that there is no public interest in proceeding with a prosecution."
With the ammended change it will still be Illegal to smack. The smack is still concidered to be an "Offence".
Parents who smack will now, rather than relying a jury of their peers to decide whether what they've done is reasonable, will now be relying on the "discretion" of a Police officer to let them off an offence.
Part of the Irony is the opening statemtent "To avoid doubt". This is more confusing than before! Now we have a law which says it's illegal to smack but it's actually still ok to because the police should let you off if it wasn't that bad.
So So Frustrating!... New Zealand... this is not a good thing!
NEWS: Labour adopts version of Key s59 amendmentfrom John Key's blog 2 May 07
National Party Leader John Key is pleased Labour will adopt a version of his amendment to the anti-smacking bill which he thinks will give parents confidence they will not be criminalised for lightly smacking their children.
Mr Key met Prime Minister Helen Clark last night, at her request, and agreed to an amendment to Sue Bradford's bill on section 59.
"The amendment is similar to the one I put to Sue Bradford at the meeting on Anzac Day, but which she rejected," says Mr Key.
"But Helen Clark contacted me yesterday with a revised wording which provides the kind of guidance to the authorities that I was seeking all along.
"The revision makes it clear that the police have the discretion not to prosecute complaints against a parent where the offence is considered to be 'so inconsequential' that there is no public interest in the prosecution going ahead.
"I understand from the Prime Minister that the Greens agree with this amendment.
"This is exactly the kind of guidance I was wanting inserted in the Bradford bill, and National will now vote for it.
"Good parents want to have confidence that they will not be criminalised by this legislation if they give their children a light smack.
"I believed when I gave my speech to the Salvation Army in mid April offering to talk with other parties that most MPs do not want to criminalise good parents doing what is one of the hardest jobs. I continue to believe that, and I'm pleased that Labour has seen the value in my amendment.
"I would hope that this amendment attracts the House's unanimous support.
"It sends a strong signal that the level of violence against children in our society is unacceptable, but at the same time gives parents confidence that they will not be criminalised for carrying out their normal parenting duties.
"I believe that this amendment will be welcomed by the overwhelming bulk of New Zealand parents."
This is a Government initiative, not a National initiative.
"John Key is pleased Labour will adopt a version of his amendment" Propaganda.
A compromise has been reached which will see the anti-smacking bill amended to ensure parents are not prosecuted for minor incidents.
The agreement between Helen Clark and John Key means the bill is now almost certain to be passed in two weeks' time.
At an extraordinary press conference this morning, the Prime Minister set out how the deal was reached and said there was now cross-party support.
The compromise sees wording inserted into the bill guiding the police not to prosecute all parents who smack their children.
What the new amendment says:
To avoid doubt it is affirmed that police have the discretion not to prosecute complaints against a parent of a child, or person in the place of a parent of a child, in relation to an offence involving the use of force against a child where the offence is considered to be so inconsequential that there is no public interest in proceeding with a prosecution.
Miss Clark said the change has the support of both the bill's sponsor Sue Bradford and Mr Key.
She said: "Sue Bradford has always been clear, as I have been, as John Key has been, that there is no desire to see decent, good parents marched into court for something that is inconsequential."
Miss Clark said she began looking for a resolution to the impasse last week and worked with Parliament's legal experts looking at police prosecution guidelines.
On Sunday she went to Ms Bradford, who said she was willing to look at it. She then went to Mr Key at question time yesterday and met with him last night before reaching agreement on the final wording.
Both Labour and National will support the amendment and the final reading of the bill - now expected on May 16. This will assure Ms Bradford of an overwhelming majority.
Mr Key said the change achieved National's three key aims.
They were to give comfort to parents they would not be prosecuted for lightly smacking their kids; to give police clear guidance they should not pursue "inconsequential" matters and at the same time send a strong anti-violence message to New Zealanders.
At present, the bill would make it unlawful to use any form of physical discipline on a child for the purposes of correction.
The compromise is being introduced by United Future leader Peter Dunne.
To date Labour supported the bill and all but one of National's MPs have opposed it...ENDS
RUBBISH. Within a few years they'll ammend the bill again. CYFS will use this new bill to it's utmost extent to be able to tear children away from their loving families, simply due to a smack which they believe was just a little bit too hard.
Vote NATIONAL for COMPROMISE
Wed, 02 May 2007 9:13am
It is understood that the amendment is a Labour initiative and has been the subject of negotiation between it and other minor parties.
MPs will debate the bill again today ahead of church-led demonstrations for and against Sue Bradford's bill.
The Destiny Church will denounce the bill during a march in Wellington today, while the Anglicans will host a service to show their support for it.
Some quotes from the debate...
hone harawira: "Maori children were allowed to go wherever they liked"
Oh ok, sweet as, Hone. Just let them run out onto the road if they want - is that what you're saying?
Larry Baldock: "I'ts ridiculous for Sue to go round saying "Husbands can't smack their wives, so why should they smack their children?" Husbands don't send their wives to school or make them eat their vegetables either, there's a different relationship between two adults and parents who are required by society to be responsible for their children and prepare them for adulthood. That's why we have a criminal age of responsibility of 14, Sue would probably want to bring that down to zero, and that would be ridiculous"
Simon Barnett: "What you're suggesting in that comment is that we openly flout the law. And Sue, again with you, you're saying: "We're going to introduce this bill, it won't ban smacking", the police commissioner disagrees, the police say they will have no juristiction over whether or not they investigate, they will have to investigate. And then you're saying "But look, don't worry, if you give your kid the odd smack, nobody's going to complain: Sue, you said you would complain, and I'm sorry, I can't be prepared with my children on the line, to take your word for the fact that the police won't do it."
Sue Bradford: (Asked "Why not define in the Bill, so its crystal clear, what exactly constitutes too much force") "That's exactly what Mr. Chester Borrows and John Key from the National Party have been trying to do, and it would be the worst possible thing we could do for our kids. If we had an ammendment to the bill which defined the ways in which it was ok to beat our children, that would be like a state, um, legitimising violence against kids, which would actually be far worse than what we've got now. "
From that debate, and other statements that Bradford has made, it leaves me wondering Does Bradford actually understand her own bill?
Is defining acceptable forms of physical discipline (ie. smacking) really the worst thing we could do for our children Sue?
all quotes and images from the TV1 website
Click here to watch the footage on the TV1 website
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Sue Bradford: "Babies and children are actually fully realised humans and should be treated as such from the time they're born. This is the first thing I learned, obviously having started from the same place we all do. But many of us forget this and treat our babies and children as if they deserve less respect than adults. Smacking kids is a good example of this: we can legally hit children, but not adults. The results are physical damage, but more so the psychological damage."
Bradford is saying: babies should be treated as fully realised humans from the moment that they are born. That means, that before birth, babies are still babies according to Sue, not fetuses or tissue.
She's busy fighting for the rights of children to be allowed to grow up without smacking, thereby forgoing the right of the parent to discipline their own child how they see fit. And on the other hand, she's busy fighting for the rights of women (mothers) to be allowed to kill their unborn child (read the quote above again - she lets slip that unborn babies are just that, babies!).
May 1st, 2007
Helen Clark and Sue Bradford have constantly screeched that the repeal of Section 59 is not an Anti-Smacking Bill. Further they continue to balme the media for not being "on message".
Sue Bradford has even taken to lying about her position on the whole bill. She claimed on 15 March 2007 "I have never called it an anti-smacking bill – my opponents did, and the media adopted the phrase".
Unfortunately forthis lying sack of green toadshit she did, in her own press release no less.
It seems to be a denizen of the left, first you must lie.
This story will disturb those of you who wrongly believe that no-one will ever be prosecuted with the proposed changes for Section 59.
Someone I know has a 5 year old. The marriage her and her former husband had unfortunately broke up for various reasons when the child was 6 weeks old. Since then for the mother and child dealing with the ex-husband has been an exercise in futility as he obfiscates and hides from his obligations as a father and also from his obligations under the matrimonial property act. He has systematically hidden funds, assets and general burned up all of the cash by smoking large quantities of Methampetamine, so much so that at 40 he is basically a drug ****ed wreck that owns nothing and has nothing. Court Orders mean nothing to this man, he has had court orders stopping him from disposing of assets and yet he does so, he has court orders stipulating access and yet he ignores them and don't even start on the amount of money he has paid for the upkeepand education of his child....zero is pretty much close to his contribution so far.
Despite all of this the mother has tried to maintain some connection for the child with this wreck of a human. But recently he even ****ed that up. The mother recieved a phone call from the lawyer of the child asking that the child be taken to CYF for an interview. Now most caring parents would immediately panic upon hearing that. The mother asked why?
It seems that there have been 10 domestic violence incidents over time between the father of the child and his partner the latest being last week and when the police arrived they found the child there as the "incident" was going on. The Police dealth with the incident and then as required to by law informed CYF of the prescence of a child during a domestic disturbance.
Now this is where it gets interesting.
CYF interviewed the child and then the mother. CYF basically used the interview as a fishing expedition and confronted the mother with the fact that the child "disclosed" to them that the child was smacked by her mother. They informed the mother that they took a dim view of that sort of behaviour and would duly note that in the records they were now keeping about the child and family. Bear in mind that CYF asked for the interview to ascertain about the safety of the child at the fathers house. They now have recorded in their file that the mother has smacked the child, something that they take a dim view of. Now also bear in mind that they took the time to lecture the mother when it was the father they were investigating.
CYF clearly, from the interview, thought the child is in danger at the fathers resisdence and immediately applied to the court to cancel the existing access arrangements. This was granted forthwith by the judge.
This story should scare you. Firstly because it proves the truth of Clark's and Bradford's stements that the police will not prosecute....no problems there, the problems however start when the Police, as required by law, inform CYF. CYF are a law unto their own. The fact that in this case they were acting to protect a child was admirable, but quickly went south after that. Their powers to detain children and question adults actually exceed the Police's own powers and that is the truly scary part.
This law, the repeal of Section 569 should be feared by every parent for exactly the reasons stated above. This storty is true but because of Family Court provisions and the sensitivity of dealing woth drug fuelled fools I cannot identify the participants.
Is there an untainted MP prepared to introduce a private members bill prohibiting people surnamed Bradford from standing for Paliament? First we had Max Bradford in the last Nationals government confiscating our publically owned electricity generation and distribution and handing it over to investors.
Now we have Sue Bradford wanting to control family conduct and effectively distracting Parliament from getting on with the real work of running this country for the benifit of its citizens.
Monday, April 30, 2007
As the perceiving reader no doubt is aware of, the NZ Herald never labels a think tank as left wing. They're either think tanks or right wing thing tanks. Never left wing think tanks or right wing think tanks.
In the smacking debate we see the same bias at work. We have right wing (christian) fundamentalists and unnamed, good-willing on the other side. They're never Satanists, communists or Trotskyists.
In the debates in the scientific literature, Dr Larzelere has been the leading proponent of smacking.
Canadian Joan Durrant, who was brought to New Zealand by the Government last year, has led the opposing argument that smacking produces a more violent society, citing Sweden as a model of a society where a smacking ban has reduced violence.
Dr Larzelere, 62, attends a Baptist Church near the university where he works in Oklahoma, but he rejects Dr Durrant's allegation that this makes him biased.
When was the last time the NZ Herald printed personal information about someone who opposes smacking? Who is Joan Durrant? We don't know, and we never will.
5:00AM Tuesday May 01, 2007
Dr Robert Larzelere has been brought to New Zealand by groups opposed to Sue Bradford's bill.
One of the world's leading experts on disciplining children says parents need smacking as a "back-up" for other forms of discipline for children aged from 2 to 6.
Dr Robert Larzelere, an American who says he has written three of the six main reviews of the scientific literature on smacking, has been brought to New Zealand by lobby groups opposing Green MP Sue Bradford's bill to repeal the law allowing parents to use reasonable force to discipline their children.
He will be in Wellington today for a meeting with National MPs convened by Whanganui MP Chester Borrows, whose amendment defining reasonable force will be voted on in Parliament tomorrow.
Dr Larzelere will meet Sue Bradford tomorrow. He will also meet two New Zealand First MPs who support her bill, Doug Woolerton and Brian Donnelly, and Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples, whose party will discuss the Bradford bill today.
In the debates in the scientific literature, Dr Larzelere has been the leading proponent of smacking.
Canadian Joan Durrant, who was brought to New Zealand by the Government last year, has led the opposing argument that smacking produces a more violent society, citing Sweden as a model of a society where a smacking ban has reduced violence.
Dr Larzelere, 62, attends a Baptist Church near the university where he works in Oklahoma, but he rejects Dr Durrant's allegation that this makes him biased.
He says he smacked his two now-adult children "occasionally".
"When they were small, I would use a warning count one to three," he said yesterday. "In almost all cases I'd get action just as I got to three, so I only had to smack them a few times."
His research over 20 years showed that the best way to stop young children misbehaving was to use reasoning backed up by punishment - initially non-physical punishment such as time out, but with a smack if the children refused to co-operate.
"To me, it seems like today we polarise all arguments to ridiculous extremes and we don't do so well at finding the balance in the middle.
"So I have tried to be as scientific as possible to inform this debate, rather than having the people choose between the two polarised positions."
His research showed that to be effective, smacking should be used only as a "conditional" back-up, not as a primary form of discipline.
"The best way to use it is this back-up smacking - non-abusive, two swats with an open hand to the rear end, on 2- to 6-year-old children," Dr Larzelere said.
He would support a ban on smacking babies, and in one published paper said smacking could be counter-productive for children of 7 or over when they were old enough to "internalise" the rules of good behaviour.
Yesterday he stopped short of supporting a ban on smacking children over 6 because of one study that found that physical punishment of 13-year-old African-Americans made them less aggressive three years later.
"So although I think it should be phased out as quickly as possible [as a child gets older], I see exceptions that suggest it shouldn't be an absolute rule."
He said colleagues who had worked in parenting education in Norway, where smacking is banned at all ages, reported that Norwegian parents were "immobilised" by not knowing how to control their children.
"So their children run wild, according to newspaper reports," he said.
Similarly in Sweden, where the legal defence of using force to discipline children was abolished in 1957, criminal assaults by under-15-year-olds against other 7- to 14-year-olds had increased by 519 per cent in the period from 1981 to 1994.
Dr Durrant argued this was because of more reporting of assaults by children against other children.
But Dr Larzelere said that did not explain why the assault rate rose more in the younger age groups than in older age groups, which he sees as evidence that youthful misbehaviour has worsened since the ban on smacking.
Apart from using a verse of the Bible out of it's original context, this advert is pathetic drivel. They're going to be praying for peace in our families. Huh. Well, actually, we don't need to repeal Section59 to have peace in our families. It's sad to see these few churches in Wellington cosying up to Helen Clark - a self-proclaimed Communist, and Sue Bradford, a pro-abortion femminist.And then you've got the poll on the Anglican Social Justice website. Here are the results as at 11am, 1 May:
I think s59 (use of reasonable force) should be repealed
- I agree!: 36% (84)
- Good principle, bad bill: 11% (25)
- Bad principle, bad bill: 47% (111)
- What is section 59?: 6% (15)
Total Votes : 235
They trip themselves up further by lying:
"The Anglican Church's position is clear on repeal of Section 59 - we favour it as a valuable step forward in the journey to a less violent society. And for that reason, we continue to support its journey through the House."
With business resuming at parliament this week, organisers of Wednesday's mass rally at parliament grounds intend to present a strong case against the anti-smacking bill.
"We've had tremendous expressions of support from people right around the country who like us, have had a guts-full of governments continued interference in the lives of good kiwi families. We know of people traveling from the far North and South Island to be at the Capital for Wednesday's rally," say the organisers.
The event coincides with the next parliament debate on the bill and aims to influence MP's to reject the bill.
"We believe this bill is fundamentally flawed because it works from the basis that all New Zealand parents beat their children. MP's advocating the bill will place ordinary, law abiding parents at significant risk of prosecution and State intervention should they discipline their own children in circumstances formerly deemed reasonable and appropriate – this is really bad law that we are compelled to challenge," added the organisers
Monday, April 30, 2007
30 April 07
You’d think I’d be inured to political stupidity by now. It appears I am not.
In a wonderful piece of self-gratulation, Tariana Turia (Maori Party) blamed Christianity and colonisation for the introduction of smacking to the Maori people as a form of discipline.
I’m no fan of Sue Bradford’s bill, I freely admit. But neither am I a fan of someone who appears to be placing the blame for a problem in the here and now - child abuse in some Maori families[*] - on the actions of colonising Europeans over two hundred years ago!
First, Sue Bradford’s intention was to make the use of violence unacceptable against children. A goal I applaud. She’s chosen to do it by attempting to repeal section 59 of the Crimes Act, which allows reasonable force as a defense when under charges of ‘over-disciplining’ your children. Unfortunately, politics has got in the way, and we’re left with a big ugly mess, given incredibly bad press, very little public support, and very little public understanding.
Second, it’s true that statistically speaking, Maori families have higher reported rates of family violence. I agree that that’s a situation which needs change. I agree that the colonisation of New Zealand changed the Maori people irrevocably. It introduced the concept of Christianity. Shall we examine some Christian principles?
The Bible says that children should be disciplined. We all know “Spare the rod, spoil the child”. But child abuse was never, never, what Christianity preached. I’m not even Christian, and I have better understanding than that! Jesus himself loved children. He taught peace, taught respect for one’s fellow man. Taught that a husband and wife should love and respect each other, and in turn teach and care for their children in a loving way.
Shall we also look at historically provable things the Maori, as a people, did prior to European colonisation of them?
Wiped out the Moriori (historically debatable, I admit)
Had bloody wars between tribes
Drove the moa into extinction
Hardly the record of a peaceful people whose whanau were only corrupted by the heinous introduction of the European settlers.
Further, has it escaped Tariana Turia’s notice that many European families, both now and in the past, also had parents who were perfectly capable of disciplining their children without physical violence?Read the rest of the article here
John: "Cindy, if we're talking about warning a child, giving them time out and then as a last resort giving them a light smack, what is wrong with that?"
Cindy: "well I think umm... if you know what a light smack is probably nothing much, but thats not the point thats being made here; and first of all I'd just like to challenge Dr Larzelere."
What followed on from this was criticism about writing an article for what used to be called the Biblical Institute of Los Angeles, in which he "advocated a balanced spiritual view of spanking."
Cindy: "...And, one of the conditions actually of having that publication published was actually that you had to have a position that was consistent with an evangelical position."
John: "specifically and explicitly, what is your critisism of Dr Larzelere here?"
Cindy: "that basically he's a climate change skeptic in child discipline."
John to Dr Larzelere: "are you a fundamentalist Christian?"
Dr Larzelere: "no,"
John: "are you a Christian conservative?"
Dr Larzelere: "I am, I am a person of faith. but if I were an atheist I would still stand by every conslusion my research has found."
Cindy: "John, the point that I'm trying to make is this, to present yourself as a world expert who's got scientific views on this , is I think misleading."
John: "What I'm confused about is that if the science is all on your side, if the only people who disagree with you are actually people you're trying to characterize as actually Christians in the fringe why haven't you managed to take the public with you in this argument."
Cindy: "It takes a long time to understand what this means and we've been pushed into a position of trying to explain and educate the public very quickly with a lot of misinformation going around."
John: "and vilify your opponents it seems like to me tonight."
John: "is smacking; spanking of any description ever ok?"
Cindy: "I think not"
Dr Larzelere: "I think that to defend the type of positive discipline the Dr Kiro is for as well parents need effective disciplinary enforcement, and if milder ones are better but some kids push the limits where non abusive smacking is nessary."
Click here for the archived footage of Campbell Live from 30 April 07
The Government has decided to extend daylight saving by 3 weeks in response to a 42,000 signature petition.
The extension will be 1 week at the beginning and 2 weeks at the end.
Now I wonder if they will abandon the Section 59 repeal if there are more than 42,000 signatures on that?
The anti-smacking bill is looking doomed after a survey of Maori showed 80% opposed to the bill.
The Maori Party despite the silly utterings of Tariana Turia are nothing if not pragmatists and would be silly to go against their core support.
If the Maori Party decides to back the Key amendment, it would have the numbers to pass.
But Sue Bradford has said she would withdraw it in those circumstances.
Good, then that's that then...
...Just when you think the Maori party has kept on taking their sensible pills they then open their yaps and prove without a doubt that in fact they are still stuck on stupid.
Tariana Turia has blamed smacking on the effects of colonisation and christianity . Apparently Maori just hugged their kids and only learned to bash them to within an inch of their lives from colonising christians.
It is this sort of histroy revision that relly makes my blood boil. It ranks up there with Maori are natural conservationists, except we have to ignore what happened to the Moa amongst other fauna.....and that Maori are living in a modern world, except of course when the opportunity to extort some money comes along and all of a sudden the stone age comes roaring back into vogue with taniwha appearing in all sorts of opportune places.....Maori were peace loving.....oh yeah, then how come they lived in fortified pa and made edged weapons.....spare me this revisionist claptrap.
Take responsibility for your own pitiful ****ing lives and get a decent grip on reality. It is no-ones fault but your own.
30 April 07
The Anti-Smacking Bill is an invasion into the homes and lives of Kiwi families. This is just another way for the government to control the way New Zealander's raise their kids.
Police and other authorities have said that this is going to be a law that is incredibly difficult if not impossible to enforce. I side with them on this one, by saying no parents are allowed to discipline their children, then you are lumping good parents in with all the bad ones!
There is no way to stop the parents who are beating their kids to death with this bill; the parents will just stop bothering to take their kids to hospital, and then the parents who are taking their kids to hospital after the child has had an accident will be looked at suspiciously and as if they are criminals.
What world are we living in? When a parent can't raise their child like they want to.
Sue Bradford wants to change the bill that allows reasonable force on children. This new bill called the anti smacking bill means if a parent smacks a child the parent can be charged with assault even for picking the child up to placed in “time out”. What they are trying to stop is child abuse I don’t believe the parents who are already breaking the law by abusing there children are going to stop just because a new law says so. There are many people who don’t want this bill in a recent poll only 18% of people want this law change. The message is clear to our politicians,” says Mr McCoskrie. “Reject the bill, don’t criminalise our good parents. This is going to criminalise good parents. I don’t think this bill should go through.
30 April 07
"According to today's NZ Herald;
Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the arrival of Christianity in New Zealand and colonisation introduced the concept of smacking children to Maori.
"Our people did not hit their tamariki. That only came about through colonisation and through Christianity actually," she said on Marae on Saturday.
There is evidence this is right. It may (or may not) be that some school records have been taken as an indication that this was the case throughout the country.
But like the other 'new' behaviours colonists brought, drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco (not associated with Christianity) and trading, Maori caught on fast and often went to excess, particularly in the Far North and on the East Coast. Violent by necessity, the alcohol abuse exacerbated that tendency and probably widened the scope of potential victims.
As I've said before I can't argue smacking is a good thing but neither has it been proven to cause lasting damaging. But excessive smacking, which evolves into hitting, punching, using implements, burning etc is bad.
Some Maori have a particular problem with child abuse but it is usually linked to other behaviours which are already out of control, often despite being illegal. Banning smacking is a little like banning tobacco, another Maori Party policy with no merit. It simply won't work.
Some Maori need to grow up. It's no good saying they are perennial children who cannot control themselves so must be banned from every activity that is potentially damaging with excess.
Whatever the race, focus on the minority who have addiction and mental health problems. Focus on the perpetrators of real violence instead of casting the net so wide those in real need get lost."
Monday April 30, 2007The fate of Sue Bradford's anti-smacking bill appears to rest with the Maori Party caucus which will discuss it tomorrow in the light of a poll showing overwhelming 80 per cent opposition to it by Maori.
The party has backed the bill but the resounding Maori opposition may create pressure to back a proposal by National Party leader John Key to allow "minor and inconsequential" smacking.
It is believed to have been a consistent topic of concern raised at the consultation hui the four Maori Party MPs have held up and down New Zealand during the three-week recess.
If the Maori Party decides to back the Key amendment, it would have the numbers to pass.
But Sue Bradford has said she would withdraw it in those circumstances.
The bill, which returns to the House on Wednesday, outlaws the use of physical force against children for purposes of correction. It allows it to prevent a child from engaging in harmful, disruptive, illegal or offensive behaviour.
Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia indicated at the weekend that the party would continue to support the bill, despite 80 per cent of Maori in the Marae Digipoll survey opposing it. But she could not be contacted last night to discuss the Key proposal.
She said at the weekend the present law allowed a legal defence against abuse. "We will not support abuse. We have got to show leadership. If we are looking at all the statistics we have got the worst statistics in the OECD. "
Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia was also committed to supporting it, saying he saw the "other side" of smacking. "I visit the refuges.
"We know that we have rampant violence in some areas for a whole host of reasons within our families. We must address that."
Mr Key said he had spoken to Mrs Turia on Saturday night about his proposal and said she had a very clear understanding of the law. She would discuss it with the caucus tomorrow.
"We can't do it without the Maori Party," Mr Key told the Herald.
He believes the Maori Party might be more tempted to back the amendment since the Marae poll.
He also said if Sue Bradford's bill passed and it was challenged in a citizens-initiated referendum at next year's election he would be inclined to change the law to reflect his own proposal.
Former United Future MP Larry Baldock said last night that he had had 163,150 signatures since March 1.
That makes it likely he will get the requisite 300,000 (10 per cent of registered electors) by March 1 next year in order to get a referendum.
"They had better prepare themselves for a referendum - and the bill hasn't passed yet." The petition asks:
* Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?
* Should the Government give urgent priority to understanding and addressing the wider causes of family breakdown, family violence and child abuse?
Mr Baldock said he had tried to discourage his own associates from attending the Destiny Church rally at Parliament on Wednesday, when the bill returns for further debate.
"This is not a church issue. This has never been just a bunch of Christians who want to retain the right to smack their kids. It is 80 per cent of New Zealanders."
Mon, 30 Apr 2007 8:21am
Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia
Sunday, April 29, 2007
28 March 2007 - Helen Clark gives her view on the "smacking ban". Below are a few excerpts from the debate - read the whole discussion here.
Heather Roy: "Will the Prime Minister answer my question that she failed to answer yesterday, which asks what right she believes she has to override the view of the majority of New Zealanders and her own caucus in order to tell me, as a mother of five, how to raise my children?"
Rt Hon Helen Clark responds: Presumably, the member, being an ACT member, also objects to being told that her children must be sent to school.
John Key: "Why will the Prime Minister not just tell the public of New Zealand that it is her intention to adopt Sue Bradford’s anti-smacking bill as a Government bill, and that the reason for doing so is that the Government wants to take this deeply unpopular legislation off the table as quickly as it can?"
Sue Bradford: "The bill is not a ban on smacking. Smacking is already illegal under section 194 of the Crimes Act, relating to assaults on children."
No, the bill is a ban on smacking. Even the official Parliament website calls it the Smacking Ban. Section 59 exists explicitly as a clause to Section 194 of the Crimes Act. Any fool can see that. Bradford is not a fool - she is intentionally attempting to mislead and decieve all New Zealanders.
The main part of the second reading of Bradford's bill is very interesting. Read it - or at least flick through it here. It's amusing and as I said, most interesting.
Lately there has been a lot of controversy regarding the repeal of Section 59. This is a very important issue, as htis is not about anti smacking but anti family and about the State having control. The State does not own our children so let us keep the right to raise them our way. If we could trust CYF (Child Youth & Familes) to be fair and honest I may not feel so bad about it but they are a law unto themselves and they don't even have to obey the High Court of New Zealand. The cost of fighting accusations and getting children back is extremely high totalling more than $100,000, even closer to $300,000 for one family we know. The Government wants to get into our homes and take charge of our children. Some teachers are already asking children if their parents smack or discipline them and enquire as to what is happening at home. If the children don't answer then they are called uncooperative and naughty for not answering the teacher. To illustrate the seriousness of this issue I would likee to share with you a case we are assisting with at the moment.
The child was taken from school without CYF even checking if the allegatinos made by the school about the parents were true. The school told CYF that the child was two years behind in school and was absent much of the time. They were also concerned about the child's unproven lack of hygine. The truth behind the matter was that the child is at least two years ahead for her age group and that she has been sick with a virus. The parents had notified the school and the tyruant officers were satisfied but told the family she must be in school four hours a day, which is the law. The family complied with the law, but had previously reported the school to the ERO, so this was the school's retaliation. The social workers said that they had required couselling after they picked up the child because it was so stressful. The could have avoided the "stress" had they asked the child to read to them, do maths or write for them. Her hygiene was excellent so that wasn'ta problem. I asked the child myself and was happily shown what she could do and I had only just met the child.
I wonder if people know that Section 59 has only been used seven times in 10 years! [to protect parents such as the Timaru lady or the uncle in the "hose-pipe" case. These cases have been portrayed by the media as the parents badly abusing their children, however this is not the case. For more information, click here.] So why the big issue, except that they want more reasons to take children off their parents. The lawyers will do very well from this and the foster care agencies that undoubtedly will have to increase staff to handle the increased number of children taken from their homes.
by Dot Brown (parent)