Friday, May 18, 2007

The good, the Bad and the Ugly:

Repeal in Pictures

Clark: Prime Minister
"I definitely see children as destroying my lifestyle"

Simon Barnet, MoreFM Radio
UNICEF lists the key factors for child abuse as: family breakdown, alcohol, drugs, poverty, low education and so on. Smacking is not even mentioned!

Larry Baldock: Future NZ
New Zealand is a democracy! 80% of everyday Kiwis don't want Bradford's bill, so we will have a referendum!

Hone Harawira, Maori MP
Before white man came, we let our kids go wherever they wanted.

Bradford, Green MP
A light smack is child abuse!

The hug
With you all the way Sue...

The handshake
Welcome my son... Welcome to the Machine!

Katherine Rich, National MP
Section 59 let parents off for beating their children with planks of wood and horse-whips, to within an inch of their lives...

Cindy Kiro, "children's commissioner"
"well I think umm... if you know what a light smack is, [then there is] probably nothing much [wrong with it]"
from Campbell Live interview

John Key, leader of National Party

Peace in our time!

Unless indicated with quotation marks, captions are to be read as comments, not quotes.

Clark/Bradford: a dodgy agenda.

The ridiculous thing about this new law is that the Government permits you to smack your child. You may use force in a vast number of situations with your children. Any situation but a smack for the purpose of correction. What has Parliament got against correction?

Bradford/Clark are quite clear on their agenda. Their goal is that children would one day not be part of families, but all part of the state. They are desperate to remove authority from parents, and achieve this by increasing the power of the state (CYFS in this case).

Here's a quote from Helen Clark which is the opposite of what she is saying now:

Helen Clark on Radio Rhema, 2005 interview with Bob McCoskrie

Helen Clark: A lot of people aren't comfortable with beatings but they don't want to see, you know, stressed and harassed parents, you know, pulled in by the police because they, they smacked a child.
Bob MCroskie: So you do not want to see smacking banned?
Helen Clark: Absolutely not, I think you are trying to defy human nature.


And the quote from where she states that children would destroy her lifestyle:

Helen Clark: “I’ve never had any intention of having a child. I definitely see children as destroying my lifestyle. It’s inconceivable that I would become pregnant. I realise my attitude is unusual, but I have other interests which crowd out everything else, and I think I’d go around the bend if my small amount of spare time was taken up by children.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Queen's Council, Mr. Illingsworth instructs on the new Section 59

Family First asked leading QC Grant Illingworth for his opinion
regarding the new law.

Mr Illingworth said "The difficulty with the section is that it does not
tell us what "correction" means. In ordinary language, and for most
ordinary people, correction would include preventing a child from
continuing to engage in offensive or disruptive behaviour and preventing
harm to another child. But that cannot be the correct interpretation
because it would mean that the section is self contradictory."

"This means that "correction" will have to be given a somewhat
artificial meaning that does not correspond with the ordinary use of
language. The question is: what will "correction" be held to mean? This
is a question of enormous importance because, if a parent intends
"correction" then, even if the parent would otherwise have a defence,
that defence will no longer be available by reason of s 59(2)."

"The moral of the story is that, in any investigation, it would be
extremely unwise for a parent to admit that she or he was attempting to
correct a child's aberrant behaviour. And if that isn't silly, I don't
know what is."

Mr Illingworth responded to two scenarios presented by Family First, and
how the new law could apply -

1. A child is having a tantrum in the supermarket because mum won't buy
that lolly, and mum gives the child a light smack on the bottom which
brings the child under control. An observer reports the parent to the
police. Does the parent have a defence under s59?

Illingworth QC - The mother who smacks the child lightly in the
supermarket to stop a tantrum is arguably using reasonable force to
prevent the child from continuing to engage in offensive or disruptive
behaviour, so she has an apparent defence so long as her purpose is not

2. A child throws a toy at his brother's head. Mum tells him to go to
his room. The child refuses. Mum grabs him by the arm and literally has
to drag a screaming child, who is throwing his arms all around, to the
room. The child tells his school teacher who rings CYF. Does the parent
have a defence under s59?

The mother who drags her child to its room to stop violent behaviour
towards a sibling is also arguably using reasonable force to prevent the
child from continuing to engage in offensive or disruptive behaviour.
She may, as well, be preventing further harm to the other child. She too
has an apparent defence so long as her purpose is not "correction".

"The bottom line is that we have created a confusing law," says Mr
McCoskrie. "This is bad news for good parents who wish to parent within
the law. The good news is that we do not have a blanket ban on smacking
- despite the misrepresentation by the supporters of the law change."

Bob McCoskrie on the Repeal

The Dominion Post | Thursday, 17 May 2007

Bob McCoskrie smacks his children, and Sue Bradford's law change won't make him stop.

The national director of Family First New Zealand, a vociferous opponent of the Green MP's bill to amend section 59 of the Crimes Act, said the "confusing legislation" that passed last night would not changed the way he disciplined his three children - just the way he described it.

"I'll continue to do it in a reasonable way and I'll continue to do it as a back-up when other non-physical methods of discipline haven't worked."

After obtaining an opinion from Queen's Counsel Grant Illingworth, Family First cautioned parents yesterday not to incriminate themselves to police.

Mr McCoskrie said that, under the amendment, parents could still use reasonable force for the purpose of prevention, but not for correction.

"What the QC is saying is that if you ever do get prosecuted for giving a light smack, simply say it was for the purpose of preventing bad behaviour, not correcting bad behaviour, which shows just how ridiculous the law is."

Supporters of the bill relaxed yesterday as it passed with greater political support than initially expected.

Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro said she was hugely relieved.

She had supported outright repeal of section 59 and had some reservations about how the amendment would be interpreted, but was happy a compromise had been reached to "allay the fears that had been whipped up among parents around criminalisation".

Barnardos chief executive Murray Edridge said he was delighted, but the challenge now was to ensure parents were equipped to deal with behavioural problems without resorting to force.

In a rearguard action against the amendment, opponents yesterday took out full-page newspaper advertisements seeking signatures to force a referendum on child discipline at the next election.

The advertisements warned parents that they would be criminalised if they smacked their children, and said police had confirmed they would have to investigate any complaints made against parents who smacked or put their children in time out.

But Police Association president Greg O'Connor said he had been misquoted.

Police would continue to investigate complaints of assault - just as they always had - but putting a child in time-out would not land a parent in jail.

Chester Borrows Congratulates Sue

Chester Borrows "who for many months was at the vanguard of opposition to the bill," gives Sue Bradford a hug after the passing of the anti-smacking bill.

Reminds me of another such photo.

Photo from New Zealand Herald

Smacking: now work starts, says Bradford

From the New Zealand Herald 17/5/07

Sue Bradford's two-year battle to convince her fellow MPs to pass the anti-smacking bill came to an end last night but the Green MP said the work to persuade parents of the virtues of the law change was just beginning.

In the end, what was previously a highly contentious bill was approved with only a few murmurs of discontent. After a compromise hammered out between Prime Minister Helen Clark and National leader John Key two weeks ago, Ms Bradford's member's bill sailed through its third and final reading 113-8.

Act MPs Rodney Hide and Heather Roy, independent MPs Taito Phillip Field and Gordon Copeland, New Zealand First MPs Winston Peters, Ron Mark and Pita Paraone, and United Future MP Judy Turner opposed the bill.

The law change will not come into force for a month. Ms Bradford said those four weeks and the period after the bill's enactment should see an intensive education process for parents.

[Four weeks? You need something more like four years for this education process to work! ]

"This is very much the end of the beginning. There are a whole lot of things that need to happen in terms of public education in what this bill actually means. We also need to be monitoring what this legislation means for Child, Youth and Family and for the police."

Under the law change, the existing defence available to parents and caregivers charged with assaulting a child - that they were using reasonable force for the purposes of correction - will be removed.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia told Parliament that defence needed to be struck from the law books because of cases like Ngatikaura Ngati. The child's mother and her partner are awaiting sentence after being found guilty of manslaughter.

"The High Court in Auckland heard how a boy of 3 years old was subjected to regular beatings using a baseball bat, a vacuum cleaner pipe, rods and a wooden spoon, and punched repeatedly in the face," Mrs Turia said.

"The couple convicted of manslaughter used section 59 of the Crimes Act as their defense, claiming that they only ever used reasonable force. As long as we have people who are prepared to administer beatings so savage that a child's blood splatters on to the ceiling and who are then able to defend that callous brutality as a reasonable punishment, then this nation is in deep trouble."

[Maybe so, but their use of section 59 didn't work, did it. S59 served its purpose, this case was obviously NOT reasonable force.]

National Wanganui MP Chester Borrows, who for many months was at the vanguard of opposition to the bill, said a "pig's ear" of a bill had not quite been turned into a silk purse. "Those parents who were worried that this legislation would criminalise lightly smacking a child can rest assured that Parliament's intention is that that should not be the case," he said.

The law change will be reviewed after two years and Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove said that would ensure the bill was a process and not a destination.

"The signal that this house is sending today is that violence against our children is unacceptable. Having a sizeable majority of votes in favour of this bill ensures that a powerful and loud message is sent to our communities, loud and clear."

National MP Katherine Rich said if hitting children was the answer, many people had asked the wrong question.

Act leader Rodney Hide said the bill would make it a crime to smack a child and remove any defence under law for parents who lightly smacked their child.

"I don't think it is Parliament's role to say to a mum or a dad that if they lightly tap their toddler on the bottom, that they are committing a criminal offence and that they shouldn't do it. This is actually what this bill says: not only that they shouldn't do it but that they are committing a crime in so doing."

After the vote, Ms Bradford was elated but exhausted. "I'm still slightly disbelieving but thrilled we've made it," she said. "I never dreamed we would have 113 votes in favour."

Against The Bill:

Rodney Hide, Heather Roy, Taito Phillip Field, Gordon Copeland, Winston Peters, Ron Mark, Pita Paraone, Judy Turner

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"It's the people against Parliament"

Sue Bradford's bill to repeal Section 59 of the Crimes act
Criminalises parents who elect to lightly smack their child(ren) occasionally.

...Everyday mums and dads.

The bill for repeal passes with

113 votes for. 93% of the members of Parliament. 17% to 32% of New Zealanders
Labour, National, Maori, Greens, Progressive, Peter Dunne (United Future), 4 members of NZ First

votes against. 7% of the members of
Parliament. 68% to 83% of New Zealanders
ACT, Gordon Copeland (ex United Future), Taito Philip Field (ex Labour), 3 NZ First, Judy Turner (United Future)

Lindsay's message to National


Good on Audrey Young for properly describing ACT's opposition to the anti-smacking bill;

The Act MPs come from a libertarian tradition and believe that the bill not only criminalises parents who smack but that it is an example of state interference in people's lives.

Thanks to National's compromise (that's right, the party that purports to believe in 'personal freedom') today power will be transferred from judges and juries (the people) to the police and CYF (the state). This isn't the trifling matter some think. God knows we need to do something about a small group of people who are not fit to be parents but that doesn't mean we have to submit to the state a massive degree of control over good and functioning families. There is absolutely no need to go this far.

And another thing John Key. You have opened the door to much, much more. Having succeeded with this folly the likes of the Children's Commissioner, Barnardos, Bradford et al will move to pushing for compulsory school checks. Then they won't need to wait for a report on a child - they can make their own. They will run the same stunts they used this time. Distorting figures, whipping up hysteria over what is, again, a problem being generated by a very small percentage of families.

You say you have saved the people from being "hung out to dry". No you haven't. You have just rolled over in the first of many battles the state will wage against innocent families. The War on Poverty, the War on Drugs - now the War on Child Abuse. More harm than good will come of it. Considerably more.

Gordon Copeland quits United Future


United Future MP Gordon Copeland is set to quit United Future over the anti-smacking bill.

The decision leaves the government in a precarious situation. The recent defection of Taito Philip Field and now Copeland leaves the government in a true minority.

It is understood the MP is planning to start a new political party with a former one-term United Future MP Larry Baldock.

The catalyst for his departure is the anti-smacking bill, which will get its final reading on Wednesday. Both men vehemently oppose the amendment watering down the bill.

Copeland will stay on as an independent

Earlier this weka another United Future MP, Judy Turner, said she would oppose the anti-smacking bill when it had its final reading in parliament.

While she believes the compromise amendment reinforcing discretionary powers for police was a good move she is concerned it doesn't also apply to Child Youth and Family.

Turner says not enough has changed at CYF to reassure her parents are safe from prosecution for lightly smacking their children.


The new party that Baldock and Copeland are said to be starting sounds like a very good thing. At last some principled politicians, not this vote-winning, socialist hugging National party, or the weak-kneed Peter Dunne.

"John Key Has Betrayed My Family"


Far from winning a great victory, National leader John Key has betrayed every parent of young kids in this country.

By forcing National MPs to vote for Sue Bradford's miniscually amended anti-smacking bill, he has killed virtually any chance of abolishing the bill after the next election.

I have always been loathe to criticise John Key. It is not smart to aggravate those you wish to govern with.

However as the parent of two pre-schoolers I feel truly let down by someone I expected better of.

John Key could have taken the Thatcher/Reagan road. He could have told Clark and Bradford to pass their corrupt bill. He could have stuck to his guns and promised the nation he would repeal the bill immediately after winning the '08 election.

He could have but he didn't.

Rodney Hide is not happy either.

From the ACT website

ACT Leader Rodney Hide has written to Helen Clark and John Key urging them to allow their MPs a free vote on Sue Bradford's Anti-Smacking Bill.

"It's all very well for John Key and Helen Clark to decide that they want to criminalise parents who smack their children – but it's wrong that they dictate that their MPs must vote for the Bill.

"I don't believe that the majority of Parliament is for this Bill. I believe, given the choice, the majority of Labour and National MPs would vote with ACT against this Bill. But there's only one way to find out: Have a free vote in Parliament. After all, if Helen and John think the Bill is so good, then they should have no problem allowing their MPs a free vote.

"Make no mistake this Bill criminalises parents who smack their children. The Bill states its purpose is to abolish the use of parental force for the purpose of correction. Clause 4 substitutes a new section 59(2) into the Crimes Act 1961 and declares:

"(2) Nothing in subsection (1) or in any rule of common law justifies the use of force for the purpose of correction."

"The amendment that John Key and Helen Clark have agreed to does nothing to alter the fact that parents who smack their children will be breaking the law. All it does is confirm that the police have discretion as to whether they will prosecute parents who smack their kids.

"Smacking parents may not be prosecuted but they will still be breaking the law and Sue Bradford's Bill makes good, loving parents criminals.

"It's an atrocious Bill. That's why we need a free vote
" said Rodney Hide.


Trevor's right.  John Key has betrayed ALL New Zealand families by supporting a new piece of law which is...

the threat of prosecution for carrying out their normal parental responsibilities.

Groups Seek Support for Smacking Referendum

15 MAY 2007

Pro-family Groups Seek Public Support for Referendum on Smacking Bill

Family First NZ and For the Sake of Our Children Trust are publishing full page advertisements in the four major daily newspapers tomorrow in an attempt to get the extra 120,000 signatures necessary to force a Referendum on the issues of child abuse and parental correction.

"The message we are getting from the public is that the anti-smacking bill, and all its amendments, is still going to result in good parents being treated as law breakers," says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. "The bill is misguided, confusing, and runs counter to scientific evidence and international experience."

"NZ'ers are frustrated and annoyed that politicians are wasting valuable time criminalising good parents for correcting their children, while at the same time refusing to deal with the far greater issues affecting the safety of our children such as gang violence, drug and alcohol abuse, increasing levels of violence in schools, and family breakdown," says Mr McCoskrie.

The organisers of the Referendum already have 180,000 signatures in only 3 months, and have another 9 months to get the remaining 120,000 signatures required.

Mr McCoskrie says it is ironic that a petition for more daylight saving gained 42,000 signatures and the government almost tripped over itself in its rush to extend daylight saving. Yet here is a petition signed by more than four times that amount of people, and the politicians have suddenly gone deaf.

"The politicians are relying on the apathy of NZ'ers to make this issue go away by the time of the next election. But NZ'ers are sick of 'feel good' policies and reviews which achieve nothing. This Referendum will mean that all politicians will be held accountable by the voters at the next General election, and will place the issues of family breakdown, family violence and child abuse right at the centre of the election agenda."

The advertisement can be viewed at:

Why The Anti-Smacking Bill Is A Good Thing

by Garnet Milne

As the attack by teenagers on Police in Nelson yesterday has shown, New Zealand society, starting with the youth, is becoming increasingly ill-disciplined. Yet parliament which removed corporal punishment by schools is about to outlaw it in the family also – even though, in a certain sense, the family is the very foundation of any society.

This evening the New Zealand parliament will approve new legislation which will make it an offence to smack one's own child. Once this legislation passes anyone who chooses rather to obey God's instruction concerning child-rearing will be deemed to have committed a criminal act when they smack their child for any purpose (Ac 5:29). The only sop offered to the 85% of New Zealanders who oppose this bill is some vague comment that the police will use their discretion when it comes to prosecuting parents who commit minor breaches of the new law. Nonetheless, there are many who will consider the passing of this draconian God-denying legislation a good thing. So let us survey why the anti-parenting bill, hatched by Labour and the Greens, and now embraced in the same nest by the main opposition party under John Key, might be deemed a good thing.

Many have written negatively about the anti-smacking, anti-parent bill promoted by former Workers Communist League comrade Sue Bradford, now a Green member of parliament. Plainly, for Mrs Bradford the anti-parenting bill is a good thing because it ensures that parents lose control over their own kids.

Good Little Communists
A major goal of any Marxist or communist like Mrs Bradford is to ensure that the proletariat (the masses) are indoctrinated from an early age in the principles of communism. Behind this desire is the need of the good Marxist to control all facets of society. Since religion is deemed to be the "opiate of the people", ways must be found to discourage such troublesome views which tend to thrust a spanner in the workings of Maoist collectivism (actually the control of power by the elite). But the communist has a problem at this point. Even if one possesses the reigns of power, it would not be considered good form to openly persecute Christians for their religious principles by throwing them into jail. No, a more subtle, a more surreptitious approach must be found which will achieve the same result. A method will do which gives the appearance of human kindness but which instead will undermine the moral fibre of society, breaking down the family hierarchy. This method has been used successfully in New Zealand in a number of social engineering experiments in recent decades. Abortion on demand came about predicated on the argument that if hospitals would not provide supervised abortions performed by trained medical staff, desperate women would risk death by having recourse to back street abortionists. Prostitution was legalised because, it was argued, women would not be protected from abuse and would not have access to good health care if prostitution remained outlawed. Thirdly, parliament legalised homosexuality on the premise that what same-sex couples did in the privacy of their own homes would not hurt anyone else, so "let's just let homosexuals do their thing. When they do it, the rest of society won't be affected will it?" It is no coincidence that Sue Bradford was a prime promoter of homosexual marriage legislation; the legalising of prostitution; and has uttered not a squeak about the killing of the unborn in our hospitals. We can well assume that has she been around at the time, Mrs Bradford would have been at the forefront of pushing for the legalising of abortion on demand.

These arguments were as effective as they were fallacious. In all cases laws were repealed and substituted with permission to commit evil. That some women committed criminal acts to kill their unborn children is hardly justification for killing 16,000 babies every year in New Zealand; that legalising prostitution would allegedly make it safer for the prostitute has proved to be a lie. Now more underage girls are sucked into the morass of evil, and illicit prostitution still flourishes even more in the twilight zone. STDs and AIDS infections continue to multiply among prostitutes and homosexuals. Moreover, that homosexuality would not affect non-homosexual society has proved to be a myth. Marriage, that sacred bedrock of society, has been sullied and cheapened as lawmakers have made homosexual unions and de facto relationships on a par with marriage in the law. Homosexuals are now elected to parliament or appointed on party lists and have a disproportionate influence on the direction of social policy. The chief film censor is both a homosexual and ironically the guardian of the nation's morals. The sorts of films and videos he and his office approve demonstrates clearly that he considers sexual perversion perfectly normal and acceptable.

Click here to read the rest of the article

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Rodney Hide: Letter to Key, Clark


14 May 2007

Right Honourable Helen Clark
Prime Minister
Parliament Buildings

John Key MP
Leader of the Opposition
Parliament Buildings

Dear Helen and John

On Wednesday 16 May we have the final vote on Sue Bradford's Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Bill.

I write to ask you to allow your respective MPs a free vote in the same way all other parties have allowed their MPs to vote as their conscience determines.

The Bill is controversial with public polls reporting 83 percent of New Zealanders opposing it.

In Epsom 68 percent of voters are opposed; only 21 percent in favour.

John, when you opposed the Bill, you asked the Prime Minister the following question:

"If the Prime Minister thinks Sue Bradford's anti-smacking bill is such a good bill and that the 83 percent of New Zealanders who have consistently opposed it are so completely wrong, why will she not simply give her caucus a free vote?"

It's a good question. Of course, at the time the vote was tight. In fact, you suggested that Sue Bradford's Bill would not pass if Labour allowed their MPs a free vote. Presumably the vote is less tight as you and some of your caucus are now supporting it. Surely we are now in a better position to have a free vote and see what Parliament actually thinks.

John, you once thought it was a good idea for the Prime Minister to allow her caucus a free vote, why isn't it a good idea for you now to do the same? It would be good for our democracy and for political accountability if you would do so.

Prime Minister, you told Parliament last Wednesday:

"…But I do think that in the case of the Bill on Section 59, the overwhelming majority of our Parliament has come together, not only to send a very strong message about not wanting the violence that causes death and injury in our homes but also to send a strong message of support to good, decent parents, who should not be marched off to court for matters that are so inconsequential it would not be in the public interest to have them there..."

If it is truly the "overwhelming majority" of our Parliament that has come together then you should have no difficulty accepting a free vote. The problem is if you don't, it looks as if you and John Key are dictating how the majority of Parliament should vote. Not all of Parliament accepts this Bill just as much of the country does not. The only way to resolve it is to allow a free vote.

ACT is the only party which now opposes the Bill. We oppose it because it makes any mum or dad lightly smacking their toddler a criminal. That's ridiculous. The Bill's purpose makes this clear. It is to:

"Make better provision for children to live in a safe and secure environment free from violence by abolishing the use of parental force for the purpose of correction."

Clause 4 substitutes a new section 59(2) into the Crimes Act 1961 that drives the point home:

"(2) Nothing in subsection (1) or in any rule of common law justifies the use of force for the purpose of correction."

Once the Bill passes it will be against the law to smack a child and a parent lightly smacking their toddler will be committing a criminal offence as defined in the Crimes Act.

New subsection (4) which you have both agreed to doesn't change this fact. That is why Sue Bradford has not withdrawn her bill as she said she would if it was watered down in any way. All your joint amendment does is to confirm that the police have discretion as to whether they prosecute or not, discretion they have always had and have always exercised.

The fact remains that a parent smacking their child will be committing a crime, whether or not they are prosecuted. Good parents will be criminalised should this bill pass into law. It's simply not right to criminalise parents in this way.

I once again ask you both to allow you respective caucus' a free vote to test truly the will of Parliament.

Yours sincerely

Rodney Hide MP for Epsom
Leader, ACT New Zealand

Parliament Buildings Wellington Telephone 04 470 6630 Fax 04 473 3532
Electorate Office:
Unit A, 11-13 Clovernook Road, Newmarket, PO Box 9209 Newmarket AUCKLAND
Telephone 09 522 7464 Fax 09 523 0472

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Kiwis want to keep Section 59

1. Parents/families should keep the right to opperate as entities seperate from the state, and they can decide how they raise their own children.

2. 68% to 83% of the population of New Zealand also believes this.

Repealing Section 59 is not going to reduce child abuse.  Child abuse is already illegal.  Beating, hitting, punching, kicking children is un-acceptable.

4. The good mums and dads of New Zealand do not hit their children around the head with planks of wood.  They do not whip them with horse-whips.

5.  But these decent law-abiding citizens are exactly the people being targeted by the Clark/Bradford.