Saturday, June 14, 2008

Final push going well

The final push to get enough signatures on the petition calling for a referendum on the "anti-smacking" law is well under way with 1000's being collected over the past week.

Here are a few results,

Warriors game on Friday the 6th of June 1100
WWE Smack down last Wednesday delivered 600
Mystery creek field days brought in 2700 on Thursday and 1800 yesterday. Results for today will come out later tonight.

Also the All Blacks game will be targeted tonight.

Also on another note, this is the 400th post on the Section 59 Blog. Thank you to all who have read the blog and to those who have commented.

A special thank you to Andy for running this site and keeping people informed about this terrible law.

Update :

3700 collected at Mystery creek field days on Saturday and 1200 at the All Blacks test match in Auckland.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fwd: Police get new powers in domestic incidents

The police are soon to be issued with the authority to issue "safety orders" for up to 72 hours, in cases where domestic violence is suspected - but there is not enough evidence to make an arrest.  This is a blatant attack on our freedoms, as it ignores our long-held principle that people are innocent until proven guilty.

Watch, as this new piece of legislation is used together with the newly ammended Section 59 - even more power for the police to take children away from parents and parents away from children, in cases where there is an allegation of a smack for the purpose of correction.

Below is an excerpt from this article in the Dominion Post (11 June 2008) on my own.

Police who attend suspected domestic violence incidents will have the power to issue "on the spot" safety orders lasting up to three days under tough law changes proposed by the Government.

The safety orders are part of a raft of changes announced by Justice Minister Annette King to the Domestic Violence Act and welcomed by support groups.

The safety orders would last for up to 72 hours and could be issued in circumstances where police suspected domestic violence but did not have enough evidence to make an arrest.

Other proposals include stiffening the penalties for breaching court protection orders, with a maximum penalty of up to two years jail to give judges an "appropriate sentencing range".

"When you get problems, often deaths, it is when you get breaches of protection orders," King said.

The courts would also be allowed to consider making protection orders on behalf of victims and access to counselling programmes for both offenders and victims will be improved.

The proposed law changes were currently being drafted and were expected to be put before Parliament within weeks, King said.

Chief Families Commissioner Rajen Prasad welcomed the proposals and said he hoped they would contribute toward a reduction in domestic violence.

"Better enforcement by the police and courts and better access to programmes will improve safety in families and encourage people to seek help to change their abusive behaviour."

Click here to read the entire article.

Should be an Anti-Bashing Law

I was out with the team in Auckland today, collecting signatures for the petition calling for a referendum on the Anti-Smacking law. We got a huge response first outside Westfield Mall and then Britomart, on Queen Street.

Eighteen-year-old Bailey and her friends stopped to sign. She had this to say...

"They should have made an anti-bashing law, not an anti-smacking law"

This threw me - such simple insight from young Bailey, utterly demolishing all the fancy rhetoric from the bureaucracy of academics down in Wellington.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wales Holds Out Against Smacking Ban

an excerpt from an article in the Western Mail (  Selection in bold of particular interest.  Click here to read the entire article.

"THE Children's Commissioner for Wales believes the Westminster Government is stopping young people gaining the rights they deserve.

Together with the commissioners for England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Keith Towler will this week present his concerns to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva.

He said: "I have major concerns around the levels of child poverty in Wales, and child and adolescent mental health services in this country are obviously struggling to cope with the demand, breaching children's rights in both policy and practice."

He added: "It also seems to me that the Westminster Government is working against the grain of a children's rights approach and is holding us back from supporting children and young people tied up in youth justice and those seeking asylum. There is a real need to allow children caught up in these systems to be treated as children first and allow them to exercise their rights."

He is also frustrated that Welsh politicians have not been able to push forward with the goal of banning smacking.

The commissioners' report states: "It is important to note that the Welsh Assembly Government agrees with the committee that all physical punishment should be prohibited but, due to the constitutional settlement for Wales, is unable to change the law. The legislative power to affect the desired change lies with the UK Parliament."

It continues: "In passing the Children Act 2004, the UK Parliament disregarded the views of the Welsh Assembly Government and the fact that the National Assembly of Wales had recently passed a motion regretting the UK Government's failure to prohibit the physical punishment of children in the family."