Saturday, February 23, 2008

Petition Target Reached

Thankyou to all of you who helped collect signatures on the petition calling for a referendum on the question...

"Should a smack as a part of good parental correction be a criminal offense in New Zealand?"
We now have 322,752 signatures on this petition, meaning that there will be a referendum.

When Sue Bradford realised that we were going to make the target, she told the media that she would be watching carefully to make sure that no parties attempted to support the referendum. Now that we have the numbers, she has said...

"it is unlikely that any government would go back to a situation where the law promotes the hitting of children and babies."
And she's absolutely right. Firstly, if the law was repealed back to it's initial state, it would not be "promoting" anything, merely allowing it. Secondly, she brings out the tired old phrase "hitting of children and babies". I am utterly opposed to anyone hitting a child or a baby, however I am able to tell the difference between a hit - a beating, and a loving smack. So can 83% of New Zealanders.

A word from Bob McCoscrie of Family First who has tirelessly worked for the referendum.

"Thanks to the efforts of people like you, there IS going to be a Referendum at the upcoming general election on the extremist anti-smacking bill which has targeted good parents and has failed miserably to target the real causes of child abuse.

The reason we have 'upped' the target?
In the last petition demanding a referendum (Norm Wither's 1999 law and order referendum), almost 60,000 signatures were disallowed by the Clerks who check the validity of the signatures. While we don't expect anywhere near as many disqualified signatures, it is beneficial to have a 'buffer' of signatures! Submitting well over the legally required 286,000 signatures would also drive the point home that this legislation is hugely unpopular and ineffective. (that's why we originally set the target as 300,000)."

The Press Conference where the number of signatures was announced

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Huge Opposition to Anti-Smacking Law Confirmed

Smacking Research Confirms Huge Opposition to Anti-Smacking Law

Family First NZ is not surprised by the findings of a Research NZ poll which has found continued massive opposition to the anti-smacking law.

According to the poll, 74% believe that parents should be able to smack children – an equivalent rate to 12 months ago (73%) when a similar poll was done.

"This is consistent with all other polling which has averaged around the mid 70's low 80's percent opposition to this extremist law," says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ."These 74% of NZ'ers are not the 'thrashers and bashers' of children as suggested by the Prime Minister. They are not condoning child abuse as offensively implied by supporters of the law. They are teachers, social workers, mums and dads, grandparents, police officers, school principals, early childhood educators, doctors, counsellors, and youthworkers who simply know that a smack is not child abuse, and that good parents should not be criminalised in their efforts to raise law-abiding and responsible citizens."

"The so-called compromise has quite clearly given parents no confidence or certainty."

"Last week the government announced $800,000 to tell parents that they are valued. 74% of parents would prefer a law change to an advertising campaign," says Mr McCoskrie.

Family First calls on all politicians to acknowledge the voice of NZ parents and to amend the law to that proposed (and consistently supported) by MP Chester Borrows so that light smacking is not a crime in NZ.

"It is also ironic that this poll has been released the same day as a book entitled 'Unreasonable Force'. The huge majority of NZ'ers are rejecting the reasonableness of this anti-smacking law," says Mr McCoskrie.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Timaru Lady Jailed

Scrubone at comments on the Timaru Lady case...

Sadly, not all people are perfect.

The woman who smacked her son and became the "Poster Parent" for the anti-smackers has been sent to jail for an unrelated assult.

No one ever claimed this woman was perfect. What we claimed was that her actions were not abuse - a claim backed by the facts and the courts.

We also claimed that CYFS was wildly out of line - and evidence still remains that that is the case.

Russell Brown stick the knife in, and gives it a good twist.

Note: I've made the decision to redact significant parts of today's post because they may breach a suppression order relating to an earlier case. This seriously vexes me, because it has the effect of protecting some people — most notably Family First's Bob McCoskrie — who have been dishonest about their role in what happened.

Implication is a good way if impugning character without stating facts.

Bob has never, ever advocated child abuse, or behaviours that would lead to it. Neither have I or most (sadly I cannot say all) advocates of parental rights.