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    Default No smacking

    Smacking bill gets go ahead, with amendments
    20 November 2006

    Parents will still be able to use "reasonable force" to control their children under amended legislation to be debated by Parliament.

    Green Party MP Sue Bradford drafted the bill to ban smacking and it still does that, but a parliamentary committee wants to ensure parents are not breaking the law when they protect children from harm, or stop them harming others.

    The member's bill originally sought the simple repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act, which allows reasonable force to be used to discipline children. That repeal still stands, and the bill in its new form would outlaw any form of violence as a means of disciplining a child.

    The justice select committee has proposed a replacement clause drafted by the Law Commission. "This new section will effectively remove the defence of using `reasonable force' against a child for the purpose of correction," the committee said in its report.

    Ms Bradford said today her bill still meant there would be a complete ban on smacking.The replacement clause was a compromise to meet concerns that parents could be criminalised for doing virtually anything to their children, she said.

    "I would rather not have it. But the select committee felt that we needed to do this to provide reassurance to parents," Ms Bradford told reporters. "We are still abolishing the use of parental force for the purpose of correction."

    The replacement clause was drafted by the Law Commission at the select committee's request. Ms Bradford said it was confusing. "This is still going to be a fiesta for lawyers. They will make a lot of money out of it," she said.

    The bill passed its first reading 65-54 in May last year, and is now back on Parliament's agenda. It is expected to come up for its second reading in February, and then has to pass its committee stage and third reading before it becomes law.

    Ms Bradford said she believed she had the numbers to pass the bill, although the only parties totally committed to backing it were the Greens and the Maori Party. She said she hoped the Labour caucus would decide to vote for it – as it did on the first reading – and if that happened there would be a comfortable majority.

    The eight-MP justice select committee received 1718 public submissions on the bill, with strongly-held opinions expressed in favour of it and opposing it.

    Ms Bradford was asked at her press conference about "the supermarket scenario", which was often cited in submissions to the committee. Under the bill as it now stands, what does a parent do with a screaming child in a supermarket?

    "If this bill goes through, it doesn't license the parent to hit the kid around the head or smack them or anything like that," Ms Bradford said. "It allows them to pick the child up and remove the child from the supermarket against their will."

    The bill is going to have a rocky road through Parliament from now on. The National Party does not agree with the bill as it now stands, and intends putting up amendments during its committee stage.

    MP Chester Borrows, a member of the justice committee, said it would "line up responsible parents for criminal convictions" and his compromise had been rejected. "I am proposing an amendment that will filter serious incidents so parents who should be charged cannot hide behind Section 59," he said.

    "At the same time it will allow parents who lightly smack their children occasionally to be protected from prosecution."

    Ms Bradford said she totally opposed Mr Borrows' amendment. "He is seeking to define reasonable force," she said. "Any attempt to do that is actually calibrating the degrees of violence we're allowed to inflict on children."

    -NZPA

    From New Zealand, world, sport, business & entertainment news on Stuff.co.nz
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    Default Re: No smacking

    Oh, this isn't about people who make loads of noise while eating??? One can only hope... :D

    Although I am not against an occasional and judicious smack on the butt (my dad set a good example of that), I understand the concern for preventing physical abuse. If only the government would offer lessons in how to discipline children effectively. That would probably do more good than outlawing corporal punishment.
    If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.
    - Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, mid-1800s

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    Default Re: No smacking

    Bradford optimistic about smacking bill vote
    2:00PM Sunday February 18, 2007
    By Ian Llewellyn

    Green MP Sue Bradford is cautiously optimistic her bill removing the defence of justifiable force when charged with assaulting a child will survive a vote on Wednesday night.

    MPs are due to debate the Crimes (Abolition of Force as a Justification for Child Discipline) Amendment Bill after it was reported back from select committee last year.

    The bill has sparked emotional debate both in and outside Parliament and this is likely to continue.

    Many MPs only let it progress to select committee to allow the issues to be debated and it is not known how many of those with reservations will vote for it.
    "It is the $64 million question," Ms Bradford said.

    More here .
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    Default Re: No smacking

    UK history repeating itself in NZ.

    Time-out could become illegal, says QC
    5:00AM Saturday March 03, 2007
    By Paula Oliver

    Frantic lobbying to defeat the anti-smacking bill has taken a new turn, with a prominent Queen's Counsel suggesting it could become an offence to simply move a child to "time-out".

    A legal opinion commissioned and paid for by United Future MP Gordon Copeland takes the view that carrying a child against its will to a "naughty mat" or another room would constitute an assault under the bill.

    Mr Copeland, who wants the bill amended, said the legal opinion clearly showed that "ludicrous outcomes" were possible under Green MP Sue Bradford's existing proposals.

    "I think most people would be very surprised indeed to find that taking a child to a naughty mat or taking a child to its room for time-out will henceforth in New Zealand make parents subject to criminal charges, potentially," Mr Copeland said.

    More here .
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    Default Re: No smacking

    PR war for anti-smacking bill
    5:00AM Tuesday April 03, 2007
    By Mike Houlahan  

    The Government is relying on child welfare groups such as Plunket and Barnardos to convince the public of the merits of Green MP Sue Bradford's so-called "anti smacking" bill.

    Yesterday, Prime Minister Helen Clark ruled out the government taking over the private member's bill, saying it "just has to take its course".

    Labour had been widely expected to adopt the bill as its own to push through the controversial legislation, which if passed would stop parents using the defence of "reasonable force" to defend a charge of assaulting a child.

    Labour strongly supports the bill, but has been daunted by polling numbers that show overwhelming public opposition to a measure many feel would intrude on parents' ability to discipline a child as they see fit. Labour will not drop its support for the bill, which is destined to be passed thanks to the support of the Maori Party and two New Zealand First MPs.

    More here .
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    Key and Bradford fail to reach 'smacking' compromise
    12:30PM Wednesday April 25, 2007

    National Party leader John Key and the Green's Sue Bradford have failed to agree on a compromise over her controversial bill to change the law on smacking.

    They met for an hour in Parliament today for talks Ms Bradford described as "genuine and friendly" but did not find a way to overcome National's strong opposition to the bill.

    The bill's future did not depend on the meeting because there are 63 votes behind it, enough for it to be passed into law, but it has divided Parliament and is causing bitter debates.

    The bill removes from the Crimes Act the statutory defence that allows "reasonable force" to be used to correct children.

    Opponents, including National, say that means even the lightest smack would be a criminal offence.

    Supporters say smacking has been illegal for more than 100 years and the defence is allowing people to get away with savagely beating children.

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    Turia says colonisation and Christianity to blame for smacking
    5:00AM Monday April 30, 2007


    Tariana Turia

    Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the arrival of Christianity in New Zealand and colonisation introduced the concept of smacking children to Maori.

    "Our people did not hit their tamariki. That only came about through colonisation and through Christianity actually," she said on Marae on Saturday.

    She said the strongest opponents to Sue Bradford's private member's bill - banning physical force being used against children as a punishment - was from Christians who wanted to reserve the right to "smack their children lovingly".

    "Well, I've never seen anybody give a child a loving smack."

    Larry Baldock, the former MP who is attempting to get a citizens-initiated referendum opposing the bill, said he felt sorry that Mrs Turia had never had the opportunity to see someone give a loving smack.

    "It occurred in my family."

    The Anglican Church's social justice commissioner, Rev Anthony Dancer, said Mrs Turia was "absolutely right" in regards to Maori having had non-violent ways of disciplining their children because that was recorded by missionaries.

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    Opposition from the street on anti-smacking bill
    5:00AM Tuesday May 01, 2007
    By James Ihaka


    Matt Maihi

    As a young boy growing up in Orakei, Matt Maihi remembers playing with homemade bows and arrows with his cousins - something his father frowned upon.

    "My father was a hard taskmaster and very much against us playing bows and arrows," said Mr Maihi, 59.

    "He would get the bow off of one of us, break it in half and whack you around the arse with it, everyone used to run and try to hide.

    "But it was a safety issue for him and we quickly learned not to use or play with those sorts of things."

    Mr Maihi's comments on disciplining children appeared to be in line with the overwhelming view of Maori polled in a weekend Marae-DigiPoll, 80 per cent of whom were opposed to Sue Bradford's anti-smacking bill.

    A relative of Mr Maihi, Eddie Downs, said he was never hit as a child but was disciplined as a Te Aute College student.

    "Without discipline I probably would have gone off the rails."

    "I think a couple of kicks up the arse or a clip around the ears never hurt anyone," he said.

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    PM: Public will now back smacking bill
    Updated 2:15PM Wednesday May 02, 2007
    By Audrey Young and Claire Trevett

    Prime Minister Helen Clark believes the public will now swing behind the anti-smacking bill following a compromise agreed with National today.

    The change to the law announced at Parliament this morning is aimed at ensuring parents are not prosecuted by police for minor incidents.

    The agreement between Miss Clark and National leader John Key means the bill is now almost certain to be passed in two weeks' time.

    Miss Clark said the common ground established was a result of Parliament's "senior players" getting involved towards the end of the debate.

    She felt the compromise would be supported by the majority of New Zealanders.

    However, some polls have suggested up to 80 per cent of the public oppose the bill and a poll currently running on nzherald.co.nz suggests today's compromise will not be enough to persuade the majority - 59 per cent of those who voted saying the change did not make it a good law.

    More here .

    More about the compromise .

    The Smacking Bill - what it says .
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    And here it is.....The Result.

    The Smacking Bill: Amendment passes by landslide - only three MPs vote no
    5:00AM Thursday May 03, 2007

    The amendment brokered by Prime Minister Helen Clark and National's leader John Key that ended the battle over the bill to amend the law on smacking was passed by Parliament last night on a vote of 117-3.

    Act's two MPs, Rodney Hide and Heather Roy, and Independent MP Taito Phillip Field voted against it.

    Mr Hide said the amendment saying the police had the discretion not to prosecute complaints that they considered to be "inconsequential" made no difference at all to the bill.

    "It just says the police don't have to prosecute. They don't have to prosecute without the amendment," he said. "We're not making any law, we're leaving it up to the police to decide what it is."

    Mr Hide said Helen Clark had cleverly worked out an amendment which meant nothing but had ended National's opposition to the bill.

    "The entire National Party has been rolled. I congratulate Helen Clark for a great sleight of hand and emerging from it unscathed."

    Mr Field was not in the debating chamber when the vote was taken. His vote was cast by proxy.

    More here .

    Parental smacking in perspective .
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