Friday, May 30, 2008



The GOOD NEWS is that in 2 weeks we won't be sending you any more emails about collecting signatures for the petition on the anti-smacking legislation. Yay!!!!

The NOT SO GOOD NEWS is that the deadline to collect the remaining number of signatures to absolutely ensure that the Referendum happens is in 2 weeks .

Our target is 370,000 signatures to ensure that there are more than enough signatures to survive however tough the 'audit process' is. ( just over 12,000 to collect )

And remember - 390,000 would match the number in the film Amazing Grace where William Wilberforce rolled out the petition in the House of Commons and shouted, “No matter how loud you shout you will not drown out the voice of the people!”

Could I encourage you to simply
1. print out the petition form CLICK HERE
carry with you over the weekend and next week
3. and simply check with people you socialise with whether they would like to sign the petition. You'll be surprised how many people have wanted to but simply didn't have the opportunity!

Thanks for your efforts - and have a great 'long weekend'!

Family First Team

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Press Finds Child Abuse Amusing

Bring back Garrick Tremain. Moreu is a...
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I don't read the Press - but was informed of the political cartoon for today. I feel sickened by it. Still, it raises the profile of the petition, and gets people talking - and that is good.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"NZ Herald editorial reeks of arrogance!" Kiwi Party Press Release

Press Release, The Kiwi Party, May 28,2008

Responding to the NZ Herald editorial this morning, Petition organiser & Kiwi Party leader Larry Baldock said the author's opinion would change rapidly if they were a parent and had just received a visit from the Police or CYFS.

"The author is right about one thing and one thing only. The law change has made no difference to the awful rates of child abuse it was intended to address. When it comes to the 48% of good parent's in the survey that have admitted to still occasionally smacking their children it is not true to say it has been business as usual. We have heard tens of thousands of Kiwi Parents at our petition tables express that they now operate in a climate of fear. That is what this law change has done and the amendment of John Key has done nothing much to alleviate that.
The NZ Herald shows an enormous contradiction in their attitude when they railed against the EFA and said it had to be repealed, but are prepared to allow the climate of fear to prevail over the majority of good Mums and Dads in this country with a do nothing about it attitude.

By publishing the true and accurate accounts of those affected by this law, Bob McCoskrie at Family First has done everyone in this country a service. That is hardly alarmism. There have been many other stories identified but because of the fear of further consequences some have not wanted to publicly tell their stories.

The arrogance and superior attitude behind the editorial statement "there are, as every sensible parent knows, better ways to correct bad behaviour, but if parents sometimes use more primitive means the law can be reasonable," makes my blood boil. For thousands of years loving hard working parents have raised healthy well balanced respectful kids by using appropriate physical discipline and this journalist, with a stroke of their pen, feels so enlightened in our modern world to be able to pass judgement upon them by calling their parenting primitive.  That is appalling!
What will definitely create a primitive society and return to us the barbarianism of the past, is the failure to properly discipline children and teach them respect for authority.

If the author is worried about the debate being stirred up all over again after the election and the referendum I would put their mind at rest. If the Kiwi Party is in a position to exercise influence over a National led government the Bradford Act will be gone by lunchtime. No drawn out select committee with submissions and debates. One session of urgency is all it will take, and good parents will be able to get on with the most important job in this country, that of raising good kids, without having to look over their shoulder all the time to see what liberal do-gooder might be watching and waiting to dobb them in.

Finally I have to say how disappointing it was to see that the author was unwilling to put their name to their opinion piece. More than 350,000 Kiwis have been concerned enough about the Bradford anti-smacking law that they have placed their name to the petition in broad daylight. Some of them, like police, social workers and Plunket employees have done so while expressing a concern that there have been veiled suggestions that they should not be doing so.

We undermine our freedom when we lack the courage to put our name to our convictions," said Mr Baldock.

Herald Launches Attack on Democracy

The headline for the editorial in the NZ Herald today reads "Spare us a smacking referendum".  The story is utterly biased in favour of the minority of Kiwis who support the law, and as Bob McCoskrie of Family First says, "an extraordinary attack on Family First NZ and signatories to the petition demanding a Referendum on the anti-smacking law."  Below are some excerpts from the poorly-researched story, with my comments in bold.

Family First, a group that campaigns for the right to smack, has commissioned a survey that finds 48 per cent of parents of children under 12 have given them a smack in the year since the law was changed. Spokesman Bob McCoskrie said he was surprised to find so many admitting they flouted the law. It indicated "just how far out of step with reality this law is", he said.

It indicates nothing of the kind. It shows that, contrary to the alarmism of Family First, the removal of the parental defence to assault has not deterred reasonable practice. Nearly half the 1018 parents surveyed still resort to a smack on occasions. Had the police enforced the new law with the rigour that Family First feared, parents would not be as relaxed about it as they plainly are.

1. The anonymous author of the article acuses Family First of alarmism, when in fact they are simply speaking up for the majority (83%) of Kiwis who oppose the new law.

2. They are also incorrect when they claim that "Nearly half the 1018 parents surveyed still resort to a smack on occasions."  Not everyone who was surveyed would necessarily tell the researcher over the phone if they were actually using an occasional smack in the discipline of their children.

3. No, the police have not enforced the new law with rigour.  Yet.  But why do you continue to ignore the fact that this bad law makes good parents criminals under the law?  With the law now in place, it opens up the door for the police to step up the rigour with which they apply it.

Why, then, is Mr McCoskrie's group unable to let this unpleasant subject rest? Why is a petition circulating to put the issue to a referendum that could be held with the general election this year? The public must be heartily sick of this non-issue. Smacking children is simply not worth further debate. There are, as every sensible parent knows, better ways to correct bad behaviour, but if parents sometimes use more primitive means the law can be reasonable.

I think the Herald must have pulled a high-school kid off the street to write this article.  Why is the petition circulating? - because 357,000 Kiwis have already signed it, and we are going to honour them - and the rest of New Zealand by holding a referendum at which all of us can vote on the issue.  Yes, the public is sick of this issue - but is that any reason to ignore it?  The public is sick of a Government who consistently ignores them, and they want this bad law to be repealled.  What does the Herlad mean by "the law can be reasonable"?

Now, having changed the law, there is no more reason to meddle with it than there was the first time. The law has sent the message that violence is not the ideal way to correct children but that police have a discretion they can exercise with common sense.

The police have always had a discretion which they can exercise with common sense.

Ms Bradford notes that a similar survey taken just after her bill was passed last year found 78 per cent of parents saying they would smack their children if they thought it reasonable to do so. If only 48 per cent have done so a year on, quite a number must have changed their minds about what is reasonable or necessary.

No.  48% of parents with children under the age of 12.  They are here comparing two unrelated statistics which is extremely ametuer.  A quote from Family First's press release on the research states:

"85% said that the new law should be changed to state explicitly that parents who give their children a smack that is reasonable and for the purpose of correction are not breaking the law (up from 82% last year)."

Monday, May 26, 2008

Kiwi Party pledge anti-smacking law will be gone by Lunchtime

CIR Petition organiser and Kiwi Party Leader Larry Baldock said the latest poll commissioned by Family First and revealed in the NZ Herald today, continues to dash the hopes of anti-smacking law supporters that good Kiwi Mums and Dad's are ever going to accept the Governments interference in their parental authority.

"Rather than "moving on and getting over it" as claimed by Sue Bradford and Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro, kiwi parents and prospective parents are strengthening their resolve to see the act repealed," he said.

The survey ssked if they thought the new law was likely to help reduce child abuse, 79 per cent said it was not at all likely. This figure was up from 77 per cent last year.
85 per cent of those polled - up from 82 per cent a year ago - agreed the new law should be changed to state that parents who gave their children a smack that was reasonable and for the purpose of correction were not breaking the law

The petition campaigners have collected 355,000 signatures on their way to a target of at least 370,000 to ensure that a referendum is held. Plans are currently under way for a major collection drive across the nation from Queens Birthday weekend through to mid June to finish the task.

"Then all that remains to be done is for a majority of New Zealanders to reclaim their democracy by saying no to the question "should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?" and vote yes to the Kiwi Party and I promise that the anti-smacking bill will be 'gone by lunchtime,' said Mr Baldock.

Those wanting the petition forms can call 0800 The Kiwi Party or download the forms from

Smacking Poll - Kiwis Don't Want to "Move On"

Press Release 26 May 2008
More than half of our mums with young children flouting the law

A year after the passing of the controversial anti-smacking law, opposition to the law change is growing. These are the key finding of research commissioned by Family First NZ, following on from similar research in 2007. The poll surveyed 1,018 people and found continued overwhelming opposition to the new law.

Opposition to the anti-smacking law has increased from 62% last year to 73% now. Only 19% strongly or somewhat agreed with the new law despite the Police discretion clause (down from 29% in June 2007). Almost half of the survey (47%) strongly disagree with the ban on smacking.

85% said that the new law should be changed to state explicitly that parents who give their children a smack that is reasonable and for the purpose of correction are not breaking the law (up from 82% last year).

In a clear message to political parties seeking support for the upcoming election, when asked whether their support for a party would be affected if they promised to change the law, 37% said they would be more likely to vote for that party (up from 31% last year). The number of people whose vote would be unaffected by a policy to change the law decreased from 59% last year to 53% this year.

73% oppose the anti-smacking law (47% ‘strongly disagree’)
85% say the law should be changed
37% say they are more likely to vote for party that promises change to the law
More than half of mothers with children under 12 admit to flouting the law

Of most significance is the finding that almost half (48%) of parents with children under 12 openly admit that they have flouted the law and have given their child a smack to correct their behaviour. Over half of the mums polled (51%) confessed to continuing their use of smacking.

“This result is surprising, and a huge concern to us,” says Mr McCoskrie. “For a new law to be ignored by so many people who are willing to risk a police or CYF investigation indicates just how out of step with reality this law is. NZ’ers have not been fooled by the claims of the anti-smacking lobby that smacking is child abuse, they haven’t been duped by arguments that children are damaged by reasonable smacking, and they have understood that our unacceptable rate of child abuse has far deeper root causes that a loving parent who corrects their child with a smack on the bottom.”

“Good parents have become victims of a badly drafted law.”

When asked whether they thought the new law was likely to help reduce the rate of child abuse in NZ, 79% responded that it was not at all likely (up from 77% last year).

As a result of these survey findings, Family First is calling on MPs to amend the Act, so that the law explicitly states that reasonable smacking for the purpose of correction is not a criminal act.

The poll was conducted during the week beginning May 12, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.

Click here for the full result of the research, Attitudes on Parental Discipline Poll 2008.