Bird’s Eye News

Up here, we see everything – Gabriel Pollard

Anti-smacking law has few opponents

with 2 comments

The repeal of Section 59 from the Crimes Act in New Zealand has only 20% of New Zealanders opposing it. The often dubbed “anti-smacking law” removed the right for adults to use “reasonable force” to discipline their children.

43% of those surveyed by UMR on behalf of the Office of the Children’s Commissioner responded positively to the anti-smacking law, 28% opposed; the rest were neutral. However, when asked the question, “Should children be entitled to the same protection from assault as adults?”, 80% said that they should. Lobby group Family First NZ is dismayed at this figure. National Director Bob McCoskrie said, “This figure should be 100%. But the Children’s Commissioner has simply caused confusion by misrepresenting the effect of the law and the difference between assault and a light smack.”

Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 is fairly well known by the public, but specifics weren’t as well publicised. Perhaps this is why there has been a citizens’ initiated referenda (well over 200,000 eligible voters signed a petition supporting smacking). Children’s Commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro said, “Many parents are ready to move on and find positive ways of parenting that involve discipline without violence, so there needs to be support for that with information and education.”

In 1993 a survey was conducted around the theme, “is it alright to use physical punishment with children” which resulted in 87% agreeing. This year, it is at a recorded 58%.

The referendum open to all eligible New Zealand voters will be held in August next year via postal vote.

Written by Gabriel Pollard

15 November, 2008 at 11.44 pm

2 Responses

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  1. This issue is getting hotter now that the referendum is approaching.

    You can find out more about current referendum issues at The Yes Vote web site

    See you there!

    The Yes Vote

    3 June, 2009 at 8.52 am

  2. I simply wanted to let you know, I really like the posts on your site. But I am using my Opera Browser and the display does not seem to be right. It’s not a huge deal as I am able to view and read the post but just thought I would inform you about that. good Cheers.

    parenting advice

    19 February, 2010 at 8.19 pm

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