Clark defends smacking bill going to select committee
A bill removing the legal defence of “reasonable force” for parents punishing their children should be examined by a parliamentary committee rather than dismissed out of hand, Prime Minister Helen Clark says.
Greens MP Sue Bradford’s private member’s bill that would repeal section 59 of the Crimes Act is expected to face its first reading in Parliament this month.
A poll by an Auckland paper published at the weekend showed more than 70 per cent of voters want parents to keep the right to use “reasonable force” to punish their children.
The survey showed 71.2 per cent of voters believed section 59 of the Crimes Act – which gave parents the legal defence of reasonable force – was needed. The polled revealed 21 per cent disagreed.