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Reporter wants smacking supporters

Filed under: General,Sex Abuse / CYF — JohnPotter @ 4:08 pm Tue 5th April 2005

A current affairs programme is doing a story which uses as its hook the New Plymouth case where a father was found guilty of assaulting his son, after he allegedly smacked him twice on the bottom. This opens up the wider debate as to whether smacking is the appropriate way to discipline children, and whether section 59 should be repealed.

I’m looking for people who strongly feel that smacking is appropriate as a means of discipline and that the law should not be repealed. I’d particularly like to talk to academics and psychologists with an interest in this area, but also church leaders and families.

I need to speak to people preferably no later than the end of this week, although I will continue to field calls and enquires thereafter.

Anyone interested in talking to me by phone initially, can call me on 09 916 6899 or 021 412 022. I will call them right back so that no phonecosts are incurred.

Many thanks John, I appreciate this. Miriama


  1. I have 4 children and my partner has 2 and we have never had to smack our children, as they have been nurtured in moral values. The use of common sense and love usually stops the need for such action .However a strong upbringing of discipline didn’t seem to hurt me, and just maybe, it could be what some children are desperately lacking in their unfortunate lives.

    Comment by Peter Burns — Tue 5th April 2005 @ 7:07 pm

  2. I’m sure smacking isn’t required for discipline. I met a girl who’s parents never used smacking as a discipline tool. To obtain control over her they would heat up a pan of oil till it was boiling then force her head into the pan so the hot spray would leave small pit burns over her face. She still has the scars to this day. The proposed changes to this legislation will fail to stop the actions of violent and ignorant parents but it will stop well controlled and loving parents from using one of the many available means to discipline their children as they see fit. Surely the most destructive and tragic of scars remaining on adults from childhood would be the emotional ones caused through being unloved by their parents. The majority of men that have had a protection order taken out against them by their partner will bear witness to the fact that legislation of this type rarely results in obtaining the purpose intended. I foresee great family destruction should this become law.

    Comment by Bryan — Wed 6th April 2005 @ 10:55 am

  3. I would support the ban of smacking – frankly, as I think it wholly unecessary, it is, therefore, gratuitous, and a refuge for the weak and unimaginative.

    However, a point suggested by Bryan, is that those parents who ‘misuse’ so-called physical discipline will simply find other ways – such as emotional abuse.

    From my experiences, the emotional impact of various abuses is very much greater than the physical.

    Though, even recalling my opinion as to smacking, I would far rather money were spent to educate against the more prevailent emotional abuses – it would do a far greater good given the status quo.

    Comment by Kai O'Donnell — Wed 6th April 2005 @ 6:41 pm

  4. Here’s more info on the smacking issue, which attracted Miriama’s attention.

    My personal view is that protection agencies should concentrate their efforts on serious abuse cases, and that the repeal of Section 59 is more about creating new vectors of state control and increased funding opportunities than about protecting children.

    Comment by JohnP — Wed 6th April 2005 @ 9:06 pm

  5. As a father I have the right to disapline my children as i see fit. Until they are 20 they do not have a rights. Physical punishment works for me effectively.

    Comment by Cameron Biddick — Sun 29th May 2005 @ 10:56 am

  6. I am writing a paper on Physical punishment. In todays day and age there are several young adults that are getting away with murder. When i was a minor and broke the rules physical punishment is what i got. Now its forbidden, The kids of today are running rampent. They are Rude and disrespectful. Some control needs to be renstated.

    Comment by Justin — Fri 21st October 2005 @ 6:38 am

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