Family First Newsletter
1. Nine-year-olds to learn about sex
The Press 15 June 2009
Nine-year-old children are being targeted for more detailed sex education in schools. In Christchurch today, Family Planning is launching a new resource for teachers of late-primary and intermediate-age children. The launch has upset the conservative lobby group Family First, which is urging Family Planning to “butt out” and leave sex education to parents. …Year 5 and 6 (nine and 10-year-old) pupils look at pubertal change, friendships, gender, families, menstruation, fertility, conception and personal support. Year 7 and 8 pupils focus more on changing feelings and emotions and their effects on relationships, sexual attraction, decision-making around sexual attraction, conception and birth, contraception and support agencies.
..Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said children should be taught sex education by their parents when they were ready. “The simple message to Family Planning is `butt out and leave it to parents’,” McCoskrie said. “Parents know their kids the best. They know their emotional and moral development best and have their own values. Family Planning should not be interacting with kids of that age.” McCoskrie said schools had become “one-stop shops” for dealing with social problems in the community. Some parents felt overawed by “the sex talk” with their children, so resources should be put in to helping them better understand what was required, McCoskrie said. “It needs to be values-based and we think parents are the ones who determine the values.” READ MORE
Family First Media Release – Sex Education Begins at Home Not School READ MORE
2. Campaign begins for referendum
National Radio 15 June 2009
The Electoral Enrolment Centre begins a campaign on Monday to remind voters to check they are enrolled for a referendum on child discipline. The referendum in July, which is not binding on the Government, has been initiated by opponents of a law passed by Parliament in 2007. The law removed the defence of reasonable force for anyone accused of assaulting a child. Voters will be asked whether a smack as part of good parental correction should be a criminal offence in New Zealand. Larry Baldock organised the petition which triggered the referendum and says he hopes to see the law changed again to allow the defence of reasonable force. READ MORE
AUDIO from National Radio
WATCH TV3 Coverage 6pm News
Commission Research on Smacking More Wasted Spending
Family First Media Release 15 June 09
Family First NZ is dismissing the latest research from the Families Commission as more wasted spending on information which tells us nothing new. Otago University researchers will try and argue that their research of only 99 mums and 18 dads proves that smacking is ineffective – yet they can just look down the corridor to find research, also from Otago University, which found that children who were smacked in a reasonable way had similar or slightly better outcomes in terms of aggression, substance abuse, adult convictions and school achievement than those who were not smacked at all. READ MORE
AUDIO from National Radio (16 June – Nine to Noon) involving Prof Anne Smith, Bob McCoskrie, and Barnardos’ Murray Edridge
PM Attempting to Shut Down Referendum Debate
Family First Media Release 16 June 09
Family First NZ is annoyed with comments by the Prime Minister John Key that he will ignore the results of the upcoming anti-smacking Referendum and will not be allowing Families Commissioner Christine Rankin to enter the debate. “The Referendum is an expensive exercise made necessary because of a failure by politicians to listen to the voters,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “It is hypocritical of politicians to criticize the cost when their own actions have led to this public outcry. John Key is undermining the process by suggesting that, while he will ‘listen to the public’, any law change will be subject to what he thinks. It is especially ironic because while he was the leader of the Opposition he said:
The Labour Government has shown utter contempt for New Zealanders and the democratic process with its plan to railroad the anti-smacking bill through Parliament. The Labour-led Government knows the measure is deeply unpopular, so it plans to act against the wishes of the majority of Kiwis and ram the bill through under urgency. This is a deeply cynical abuse of power as Labour tries to clear the decks of this controversial issue. Helen Clark has refused to let her MPs vote the way they really think on this bill. To ram it through under the cover of urgency shows just how out of touch her government has become.”
3. Hotels Should Protect Children From Porn Channels
Family First NZ Media Release 12 June 09
Family First is calling on the Hotel and Motel industry to do more to protect children from accessing explicit pornography on their hotel movie channels. The call comes after a distraught family contacted Family First after their eight year old was able to view explicit sexual acts being shown on the movie channels available in their hotel room. “When the parents complained to the hotel manager, they learnt that the onus was on parents or guests to have the adult movies disabled when they checked in. We believe the default setting should be that the channels are blocked unless specifically requested to be accessed,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. READ MORE
Nine-year-olds to learn about sex
The Dominion Post 13 June 2009
A Wanganui family say their eight-year-old son “lost a part of his innocence” when he stumbled across hardcore pornography while they stayed in a Wellington hotel. READ MORE
4. ‘Shambolic’ B4 School scheme faces axe
Otago Daily Times 15 Jun 2009
Health Minister Tony Ryall is questioning the future of the B4 School Check programme, saying its delivery has been patchy and its implementation almost “shambolic”. By early May, only about 5500 (11%) of eligible children had received checks which were supposed to identify health, behavioural, social and developmental issues in 4-year-olds which might affect their ability to learn, Mr Ryall said. About 17% of those checked were referred for services or further assessment. READ MORE
5. Wooden spoon for kids’ baking treat
Herald on Sunday Jun 14, 2009
It is a highlight of childhood – clamouring around the kitchen to lick the spoon or mixing bowl while baking. But the agency charged with protecting the safety of food in New Zealand has now told parents that this childhood treat should not be risked. READ MORE
Family First Comment : Does that mean that dads can have the spoon instead!!!?
6. New Commissioner backs anti-smacking law
NZ Herald June 10, 2009
New Zealand’s new Children’s Commissioner, John Angus, says he occasionally smacked his sons on the hand – but supports the new law that would have stopped him smacking them for “correction”….Dr Angus said he supported the new law because vulnerable children should get the same legal protection against assault as adults, and because smacking was not usually a consistent or effective form of discipline. READ MORE
Family First Comment : Under Dr Angus’ definition of assault, he is admitting that he has ‘assaulted’ his children. But we know better. His kids are probably great kids – and we know why!
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