MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

March for Democracy – vote with your feet

Filed under: Events,General — Julie @ 12:37 pm Wed 28th October 2009

We need you! — your energy — and your networking ability — to get the message out!

The March for Democracy will be held in Queen St Auckland and will be calling on the government to amend s59 of the Crimes Act so that the law does not treat light smacking for the purpose of correction as a criminal offence, and to respect the democratic voice of NZ’ers.

Please mark this date in your diaries as we make a stand for families and for democracy in New Zealand on November 21st at 1.30pm

Colin Craig, an Auckland businessman who is funding the march, says

“I find it deeply disturbing that such a clear message from the people of this country to government has been ignored. My forefathers fought for a democracy and in a democracy the government does not pass and retain laws that nearly 90% of the people don’t want. It is my turn to help fight for the rights of ordinary New Zealanders.”

He’s absolutely right — but he’s not just moaning about it.

He’s putting his money where his mouth is. He wants to host the biggest public march NZ has seen — and we need to get in behind him.

When families speak with such a loud and united voice, as they have on the issue of the anti-smacking law, the politicians must not be allowed to ignore it. It is significant that politicians are willing to accept democracy when it is to their benefit but are willing to blatantly ignore it when it highlights wrong decisions. Voters clearly called for a law change — not comfort and more reviews of a rejected law change.

An average of 83% in the polls over the past 4 years have consistently opposed the anti-smacking law. The high threshold of 285,000 signatures was met for having the Referendum (in fact 310,000 valid signatures in the end), 87.4% of those who voted supported the law change, and yet within a couple of hours, the result was completely dismissed.

A Private Members Bill by ACT MP John Boscawen drawn just 3 days later, against all the odds, was then unilaterally ‘kicked for touch’ by the Prime Minister.

This is now far greater than just the smacking issue. It’s an issue of democracy in New Zealand, and the dismissal of the views of an overwhelming majority of voters by our elected representatives.

It may not be the smacking issue that ‘presses your button’. But imagine if an issue you were passionate about – that had the overwhelming support of the public – was simply ignored, belittled, and dismissed by the politicians. Is that the kind of representative democracy we want?

It appears that political parties are keen to accept petitions in their favour — United Future on daylight saving, Labour on night-classes — and support binding Referendums — National on MMP, Labour on the Super City, and the Greens on the Monarchy — but when it’s a Citizen’s Initiated Referendum, they suddenly go deaf!

Families need to speak up for democracy — and this is our opportunity.

Pass it on!


  1. I’ll be there.

    Comment by rc — Wed 28th October 2009 @ 1:32 pm

  2. Going up on CYFS Watch (

    Comment by Alastair — Wed 28th October 2009 @ 4:01 pm

  3. I’ll be there.

    Sounds great rc.

    Going up on CYFS Watch (

    Nice! It is passed on from Family First.

    Below is from Barbara Faithfull

    With only forty days to go until the Copenhagen climate change conference, the media and our elected representatives have told us nothing about the potential details of a Copenhagen treaty.

    According to Australian lawyer/columnist Janet Albrechtsen, Christopher Monkton, a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, on 26th October on Sydney’s 2GB Radio told Alan Jones that the aim of the Copenhagen draft treaty was to set up a transnational government on a scale the world has never before seen….

    The full article is below.

    Comment by julie — Wed 28th October 2009 @ 5:34 pm

  4. By the way, I’m personally opposed to the physical disciplining of children.

    I’m going on this march because I think if we don’t make a stand against government intrusion into private life, we soon won’t be allowed to have one. There will cameras in our very own homes.

    It’s already creeping up on us, with high profile rape cases in the US freeing defendants only because video surveillance existed that attested to their innocence. People there are already talking about recording all sexual activity as the only reliable defence against presumption of guilt. I suspect insurance companies will eventually begin to refuse making pay-outs against burglaries if no camera surveillance equipment was installed in the house. It’s not far from there to state mandating of cameras in every home (as a ‘safety’ measure of course. Just think of the benefits of having someone watching everything – then just think what that would be like if the watchers turned rotten).

    All these changes are going to happen by default unless there is a clear charter limiting how far the state can go.

    Keeping them out of our homes is the line in the sand for me.

    Comment by rc — Thu 29th October 2009 @ 10:45 am

  5. RC Suggest you read “1984” The TXT is available on the web for free!

    If there is a march here I will most certainly join, not because I want the law changed but I am shocked at the governments failure to listen to the people. As the then Labour leader so eloquently put it over another referendum “The people didn’t speak on Saturday, they screamed” (The full article is very relevant to present events is about the government failing to listen.

    Comment by Alastair — Thu 29th October 2009 @ 10:59 am

  6. Very relevant Alastair. I read it years ago, but it’s probably time I read it again. The state’s destruction of love between people was the part I thought most ridiculous – but not anymore.

    Comment by rc — Thu 29th October 2009 @ 11:12 am

  7. I believe a study and an essay on the characterisation, sociology, and humanity, of that book should be a compulsory part of ALL Sociology and Psychological degrees.

    Comment by Alastair — Thu 29th October 2009 @ 11:16 am

  8. I don’t care much any more what men want. I want what I came here for now. I want to fight for the mums and dads facing CYFS.

    I think I work enough for men’s rights to ask for parent’s rights to be worthwhile.

    Comment by julie — Thu 29th October 2009 @ 6:35 pm

  9. Families need all the protection they can get Julie. I believe the real men in our midst also have this goal.

    Comment by Alastair — Thu 29th October 2009 @ 6:43 pm

  10. Alistair, I want to fight for parents against CYFS only. I don’t want to fight for one parent against the other and I don’t want to know what men think of women or women think of men any more. If I haven’t already paid for that right, then I don’t think the price can be paid.

    Comment by julie — Thu 29th October 2009 @ 6:58 pm

  11. Sorry Julie, I believe you know where my efforts on this front are focused. I see one of the advantages of “Talk” is it’s greater confidentiality. I believe you are a member.

    Comment by Alastair — Thu 29th October 2009 @ 7:05 pm

  12. Well, the CYSFwatch owner ended up on TV didn’t he?

    Comment by julie — Thu 29th October 2009 @ 7:16 pm

  13. Alistair, I will be proud to be on TV.

    Comment by julie — Thu 29th October 2009 @ 7:26 pm

  14. Yes, on trumped up evidence. The twitter account was in his name but not his! That TV3 turned up so quickly and accurately suggests that they mau have dad some inside knowledge.

    The Latest update of violent females is iminent.

    Comment by Alastair — Thu 29th October 2009 @ 7:56 pm

  15. Fair enough. But I am not in hiding. I have e-mailed John to see what he thinks.

    This is a good political site and he may say yes. It goes against a site just for men’s stuff as he wanted it but it has gone against what he wanted for a while so he might say yes.

    I have really earned this position Alistair. There is no 2 ways about it.

    Comment by julie — Thu 29th October 2009 @ 8:02 pm

  16. I’m going on this march because I think if we don’t make a stand against government intrusion into private life, we soon won’t be allowed to have one.

    Actually, this is exactly why citizens initiated referenda (CIR) should not be binding. For instance, it is not altogether unlikely that a CIR to reverse Civil Unions Act could have a majority outcome in favour of the repeal, which is entirely a “state intrusion into private lives”. Regardless of whatever people personally think about homosexuality, in the same regard as RC plans to mark irrespective of his personal view of smacking.

    I will personally remain pleased with this outcome, and will oppose the march. I don’t see how as good parents we are wiling to deny children who are the real victims of child abuse in borderline cases the right to justice, when the legislation as it stands does not create a situation where parents are being prosecuted for smacking. Sure, there are reports of it that are often malicious, but there have been no convictions.

    Comment by rad_dad — Thu 29th October 2009 @ 8:51 pm

  17. Cool Julie. Watch, Talk, and the Political Kiwi + Pauls-News keep me fully occupied over a very wide range. I don’t see a problem with a lot of your posts on Political Kiwi. ( Like me to make noises. It’s under utilised.

    Comment by Alastair — Thu 29th October 2009 @ 8:53 pm

  18. To:- Rad_Dad.
    The issue has gone way beyond the smacking debate. This is about us living in a democracy.

    The anti smacking bill is a perfect example of the erosion of our freedoms.

    Sue Bradford not only was NEVER elected to Parliament, ALL her attempts to enter parliament legitimately via the ballot box ended in her total rejection.

    From the start of the anti smacking bill through to the referendum the opposition sat around 80%, that is only 1 person in 5 thought this was a good idea.

    Parliament ignored its electors. This is what the march is about. Our right to be heard in the corridors of power.

    This is a precious right to defend. Do we want Shaira law? Do we want justice as is known in China – or worse Tibet!

    That freedom is what the march is about!

    Comment by Alastair — Thu 29th October 2009 @ 9:07 pm

  19. You are talking about direct democracy, which is barbaric and oppressive of minorities, and leads to bad law. There’s nothing desirable about CIR being binding, because it means, more than in any other way possible in democracy, our rights and freedoms are disposable at the whim of a simple majority. That’s crazy. “Democracy” isn’t about peoples’ opinions about the laws they want and don’t want, its about the individuated justification for the rule of law. Frankly, you seem to have decided “freedom” is something the law needs to adhere to, and seeing as you are pro-democracy, to be consistent you must also adhere to the principle of “formal equality”. Let me know how a majority’s ability to whimsically deny the freedoms of citizens because the majority want it to be so that is consistent with those principles.

    Comment by rad_dad — Thu 29th October 2009 @ 9:18 pm

  20. Um – Democracy = barbaric & oppresive? I don’t get it? Our present electoral system could be described this way when people can be rejected at the pole and still sneak in the back door to pass bad law. Now thats what I call Barbaric and oppressive. Refer for a critical analysis. The whole site will probably offend you though as it supports free thinking writers.

    Do not assume my decisions. Please explain what you mean by “Let me know how a majority’s ability to whimsically deny the freedoms of citizens because the majority want it to be so that is consistent with those principles. Please also return to school and learn the principals of clear thinking.

    I will not be responding unless to a named post, only cowards hide behind pseudonyms, (I know they are permitted it fails to make them pallitable or give your post any credibility)

    Comment by Alastair — Thu 29th October 2009 @ 11:24 pm

  21. only cowards hide behind pseudonyms
    You’re a piece of shit Alastair!

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 6:17 am

  22. I agree with your view of democracy.
    Democracy used to mean that 3 people could tell 2 others what they can and can’t do. Now democracy means that 16 people in Geneva can tell the World what they can and can’t do while raising their children.

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 8:17 am

  23. Pseudonyms are fine.When you are ready and find what it is you really want to stand for, you can use your real name perhaps. 😀

    I think there are few hands trying to do everything and it does get frustrating for the few.

    Comment by julie — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 9:29 am

  24. You have an excellent point Julie, and one I totally accept. The bit that concerns me is multiple posting under different names to suggest widespread support for a particular issue. My other reservation is hiding behind an assumed or even a false name while abusing or worse defaming another. Certainly on the two groups I hold moderation priviliges in, had a comment such as was made earlier been made, that person would have been disciplined instantly.

    Comment by Alastair — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 9:40 am

  25. “only cowards hide behind pseudonyms”

    Alastair, I can understand your thinking, but the internet is too public a forum for insistence on full disclosure. Who knows what kind of individual might take issue with your viewpoint, and take it upon themselves to ensure it doesn’t get a repeat airing. On men’s rights issues in particular, the danger of retribution is likely to increase the more headway is made – we are a very clear and growing threat to the livelihoods of many powerful people, which is why, for all our well-reasoned arguments, so little of what is said here materialises into public recognition. It is being actively suppressed by most media.

    Comment by rc — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 9:44 am

  26. I didn’t see any earlier comment (apologies) and sure I can understand how Pseudonyms can be used and abused. I once thought about making 100 different e-mail addresses so that I could lobby with 100 different people that didn’t exist. 😀 OK, 99 wouldn’t have existed. lol

    But I think it doesn’t matter when people use Pseudonyms on a site like this. If someone is interested in reading to learn they would be quite happy hearing from those who can shed some light on the situation.

    And besides, Scrap uses a Pseudonym and he is one fantastic man who has done a huge amount for men and women over quite a number of years.

    It is just something we all have to accept. IMHO Stay strong Alistair. You do fine work and I myself have gained from what you do.

    On another note, did you know that they researched male killers and found that the most of them were in boys homes as children?

    Comment by julie — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 9:51 am

  27. Good points rc

    Comment by julie — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 9:52 am

  28. When I first found this site my intention was to use my real name (Wayne) however I noticed that someone else was already using that name and I decided that it might cause confusion if I had used it too.
    Logic rather than cowardice was my deciding factor with using a pseudonym here.
    I’m also an Owner of my own website and often need to ban/censure people however I would never contemplate such a move where the complainant had been so insulting in the first instance.
    I apologise to Alistair for being so rude to him.

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 10:16 am

  29. “Actually, this is exactly why citizens initiated referenda (CIR) should not be binding. For instance, it is not altogether unlikely that a CIR to reverse Civil Unions Act could have a majority outcome in favour of the repeal, which is entirely a “state intrusion into private lives”. Regardless of whatever people personally think about homosexuality, in the same regard as RC plans to mark irrespective of his personal view of smacking.”

    Personally, I think the thrust of your argument is correct, though your example could do with improvement (the historical legal discrimination against homosexuals was very much a case of the state intruding into people’s private lives). Being ruled by referenda is not to my mind a desirable aim. But this is not something I stated or would promote.

    I watched the anti-smacking ‘debate’ with much interest, and what struck me most about it was the lack of discussion about its purpose. It was fielded as a law against child abuse, in the context of several high profile cases of child-abuse and murder, against which there were already ample laws. Beating children was already illegal. This law was not about preventing abuse in the home. It was about banning physical discipline of any kind – not just the actual use of physical force, but more importantly, being in possession of the threat of using it. Many a parent has brought up a child without needing to resort to physical force, but the children have always been aware that the option was there.

    Some may call this a kind of barbarism. However, we freely recognise the same principle with police. We don’t need to see them beating people every day to know they are an authority that we should not be trifling with. It is enough that we know that they can do us violence, and with that most of us will live our lives without ever being at the end of a policeman’s truncheon, and the life of the policemen is made easier. Society is all the better for it. The threat of violence is a net good for everyone, if administered wisely, even if the actual use of violence is something all sensible people would want to see stop.

    And this is what was never discussed fully. This new law was specifically aimed at removing from parents the threat of violence, even though many would make no or very little use of it. It is a powerful instrument on the side of the parent for maintaining order in a household, in the same way it is for police in the maintenance of order in wider society.

    Children now know their parents are toothless, and that the police will deal to them severely if they attempt to be anything other. It is hard to argue that a child would continue to see his mother or father as quite the same authority we once did. There is only one authority now. And that’s what this law is all about. It dovetails neatly into every other law dealing with family life we have seen over the last few decades. And this authority operates secret courts, is planning to introduce new laws of presumption of guilt, can now easily seize DNA samples against consent, and is certainly not of the belief that violence is bad.

    History is full of society making wrong-turns and going so far with certain ideas that they bring themselves to extinction, or to the brink of it. We are no less susceptible than anyone else. Sometimes governments need to be told clearly that they are out of touch. Marches and protests do that, as they threaten the government’s popularity and likelihood of being re-elected. Getting people to march is no easy feat either – it’s impossible to make people participate unless thay have a strong view on it. It is not as easy as ticking a box on a ballot paper.

    Some people are opposed to marches and protest as well, but I suspect they say that because they can conceive of no immediate threat to themselves.

    Comment by rc — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 10:49 am

  30. Thank you for those few kind words Julie. Jes I am fairly certain I know who scrap is also. A well respected authority whose wisdom I have sought on Child support matters.

    I have been involved “Behind the wire” and conducted my own research. It totally supports what you say. Not only for killers but accross the range of crime. and sadder still was about half had never known a “Parent”. Life was a sucession of “Aunt’s” and foster homes. Not one had a good thing to say about CYF involvement. I would love to conduct the same course (Challenging Lifestyles) in a womens prison. I wonder if it would produce the same result?

    Comment by Alastair — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 11:29 am

  31. Apology totally accepted.

    Comment by Alastair — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 11:36 am

  32. “The threat of violence is a net good for everyone, if administered wisely, even if the actual use of violence is something all sensible people would want to see stop”.

    I’m not a parent so I don’t know what it’s like to be in a situation where you would feel the need to smack – or threaten to smack – a child, but my view is that children should behave not because they are afraid of their parents, but because they have been taught to be respectful. Making smacking illegal now forces parents to consider alternative avenues of teaching their children appropriate behaviour, instead of reverting to the supposedly tried and true method of ‘I can just give them a smack, that’ll teach them’. The legislation furthers the intellectual capacity of our society and this can only be a good thing.

    The overriding reason for the legislation, which people seem to ignore, is simply to give children the rights that all adults and animals have. If we are not allowed to hit dogs or cats, or mentally handicapped people, for the purposes of correction, why should we be allowed to hit or threaten children? They deserve the same status in the law as everyone else.

    As far as reducing child abuse, I’m not convinced that was Sue Bradford’s overall aim with this particular legislation. No one would purport to say that by outlawing smacking, somehow people will finally get the message that child abuse is not ok (and statistics that say that child abuse rates have not decreased could very well be right). But an article in last week’s Listener featured a Maori woman who came from an abusive family where smacking was the norm, and that family have now changed their behaviour because of this law. It’s just one family, but it’s an example of how legislation like this begins to make people stop and think about what they are doing.

    The referendum is an interesting one because it does raise questions about how democratic our government really is. On the other hand, the government’s role should be more than just upholding our current views and ideals. It should be responsible for trying to move society forward. And don’t even get me started on the way the question was worded – plenty of my fellow peers didn’t even bother to sign it. I wish they had now – we might have had a very different result. I’m unhappy with the level of vitriol Sue Bradford received while she was an MP, because the work she did only ever came from a good place: wanting to protect children. We need people like that in parliament – she didn’t deserve to be villified.

    Comment by Sympathiser — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 12:24 pm

  33. And another negative for CIR it can polarise public opinion. In the heat of battle objectivity can be lost. In any of the examples look at the arguments without emotion. In the anti smacking debate how often was one conviction (The Horse whip lady) made to seem as though it were the norm. Personally I consider her initial acquital the jury got it wrong. Look out for emotive words. (Normally adjectives which can be removed without affecting the statement)

    As regards being binding, it is a brave politician who sets aside the will of their electors. John Key would have done mych better to have commissioned a report into the operation of the amended law including submissions. This may – and only may have justified his stance.

    I believe the politicians totally misjudged the will of the people. They never expected the furore to last as long. It’s items of this nature that bring down governments.

    Comment by Alastair — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 12:45 pm

  34. I fear that the more our Government interferes in our private family lives the more we become like America where 5-year-olds are removed from School after being arrested and handcuffed by the Police and then sent for State-funded reprogramming. Youtube is full of such examples.
    I doubt that it is a coincidence that Sue Bradford’s suggested repeal of section 59 mirrors the international treaty that NZ was already a signatory to. She either drew the short-straw or the others in Parliament have no balls.

    Who will complain when you’re told that your child will learn the religion that is dictated by that same panel of 16 people in Geneva? That is part of the same international treaty that the childless Helen Clark signed on our behalf before she was rewarded for her treason.

    The deliberate incremental usurping of our parental rights by the State has not improved society. I believe the opposite has occurred.

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 1:12 pm

  35. ‘sympathiser’
    Spoken like someone who has no kids.
    Try reasoning with a toddler about to put their hand on a hot plate or other dangerous acts. Sometimes I think a light smack gets the message accross!
    In South Korea corporal punishment in schools is the norm. The kids DON’T go home with bruises, cuts etc though. AND you can go out ANYWHERE at night time in S.Korea and you’re safe. The elvel of crime (especially involving physical assault is miniscule compared to NZ.
    Measuring the level of a socitey’s civility by going along with anti-smacking is culturally myopic.
    You need to get out a bit more.

    Comment by Skeptik — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 1:13 pm

  36. “Sympathizer”: Propaganda works, and it clearly has worked on you. The changes to section 59 certainly do not give children the same rights as adults have. It would be assault for you to grab an adult’s arm and make him/her come in out of the rain. It would be robbery to forcibly remove from an adult a toy that you believed they were misusing. It would be kidnapping to make an adult go to their room and prevent their egress. The idea that children can be given the same rights as adults is ridiculous, and the claim that Bradford’s law gives them the same rights is simply one of the many manipulative untruths spread by the anti-smacking lobby. I noticed little besides untruths coming from them.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 1:24 pm

  37. Our Government should lead by example instead of dictating.
    Remove all violence from our Police force.
    It’s silly educating children that violence is wrong on any level and then they grow up to be pepper-sprayed, tasered, mauled by attack dogs, beaten with a batton, handcuffed and then forced in to a cell by Government stooges.
    Maybe our Armed Forces could be armed with flowers and hugs and pretty lipstick?
    When they do that I’ll be more confident that they are serious about reducing violence instead of usurping the authority of parents over their children.

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 1:45 pm

  38. You make a number of interesting points.

    However this one raised a brow:
    “an article in last week’s Listener featured a Maori woman who came from an abusive family where smacking was the norm, and that family have now changed their behaviour because of this law. It’s just one family, but it’s an example of how legislation like this begins to make people stop and think about what they are doing.”

    I gave up a long habit of smoking long before there were any significant regulations against it. I was motivated by a sudden realisation about the very nature of addiction. I was only able to come to this understanding because I had the freedom to exercise my free will badly, and come to a judgment on it that I also was free to exercise (or not). The insight that I gained was of far more application than just giving up smoking – it changed my life and attitudes completely. Now this might serve as an example of how lack of law achieved a desirable end, but would you accept it as a valid argument for banning anti-smoking legislation?

    This may sound trivial, but it approaches the philosophical reasons I have to oppose this, and several other bad laws that have made their appearance lately. I don’t believe conservatism is at the core of my objection, but rather the steady stifling of a free, unsupervised life.

    Comment by rc — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 3:25 pm

  39. Pesonally I find the article lacks credibility! However even accepting that it is true, and equating it with what appears to be the normal level of abuse in Maori families, It’s going to take a long time!

    Speaking for me, If someone tells me I MUST do something I do not agree with I will go out of my way not to co-operate – Normal Human Behaviour. If we want a law of this nature, and for that matter the anti smoking laws to work, then wide spread acceptance of their desirability must first be obtained.

    Comment by Alastair — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 3:37 pm

  40. here’s a thought.. how about setting up a family Party for the next elections..

    Comment by karanjiharr — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 3:42 pm

  41. Fair point rc! I see your reasoning. In fact I’m much the same – I prefer to consider my actions and come to my own conclusions about the merit in what I’m doing. But I”m not sure most people are insightful like that. That sounds kind of mean I guess, but sometimes legislation has to step in when people aren’t thinking about the broader picture.

    To Alistair, I’d say that I too dislike being told what to do when I firmly believe it’s the wrong thing. But if a person or government does purport to do this, I look behind the action at the broader view and ask, ‘why is it they are doing this to us?’ If I conclude that they’re only out to win votes and don’t have the interests of the community at heart, then I’d probably engage in a bit of protest myself. But this legislation is designed to protect children, not to prosecute innocent parents – I feel good about a law that looks out for our weakest members of society. Of course, someone who saw it as being vote-pandering and smacking of ‘nanny state’ (no pun intended) would see it quite differently, and both viewpoints are equally valid.

    Comment by Sympathiser — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 4:22 pm

  42. Skeptik – under s 59 it is NOT illegal to smack your child if the purpose is for protection.

    Moreover, if you did smack your child in order to protect them and, for some reason, someone called the police, do you think they would prosecute you? Record of police prosecutions under s 59 to date has shown that the law is being applied fairly and reasonably.

    Comment by Sympathiser — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 4:27 pm

  43. And on the South Korea point – well, South Koreans may be docile in comparison but they have weak minority rights, immigration issues, deep-seated racism, regular human trafficking, and a culture of censorship. Not keen to live there anytime soon.

    Comment by Sympathiser — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 4:37 pm

  44. Sympathiser says:
    under s 59 it is NOT illegal to smack your child if the purpose is for protection.

    Ummm yes it is illegal to smack your children. ALL force is illegal according to section 59 however the Police can decide who to prosecute or not, depending on their interpretation of the word inconsequential.

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 4:40 pm

  45. Sympathiser,
    In my experience the police cannot be trusted, especially if the “Complaint” comes from one of their favoured groups e.g. Female, paid informents (Community patrol or neighourhood watch) etc. We are heading towards a police state.

    Comment by Alastair — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 4:49 pm

  46. – the police themselves used the example you gave about the hot stove. They’re not dumb. As a lawyer it really annoys me when people rage about something that they do not really understand.

    Comment by Sympathiser — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 5:37 pm

  47. “Sympathizer”: Bradford’s law will cause a great deal of harm to children and any protection it may bring about will pale into insignificance. As has happened in Sweden, children and young people will become more unruly, more violent towards each other and towards adults, and the consequences for them will be dire. Police will increasingly be called to deal with children whose behaviour cannot be contained by parents too afraid to lift a finger against them. Children will suffer from the insecurity of having power that they are unable to manage responsibly and the crises and damaged relationships that leads to.

    Smacking or other aversive punishments when used infrequently are the most effective way of curtailing repeats of behaviour that one cannot safely allow to continue. Behaviour so targeted reduces soon and fast. All potentially effective alternatives envisaged by the Bradford supporters operate on the “reduction of reinforcement” principle in which the targeted behaviour typically increases before reducing more slowly. Some of the disciplinary methods suggested by the anti-smacking lobby will serve mainly to increase the undesired behaviour by reinforcing it with parental attention.

    I discourage the use of aversive punishments such as smacking except for dangerous or other behaviour that cannot be safely allowed to be repeated. Many children will never need smacking. But to ban it as an option is, in my humble opinion, a silly ideological experiment that will be regretted. A similar experiment has already been in place for many years in schools since physical punishment was banned, and there seems to be no evidence that it has led to any of the improvements predicted; quite the reverse.

    But hey, this debate has been had here before and all relevant points from both sides have already been made. Rather than subject us anew to the same invalid anti-smacking claims we have all been bombarded with ad nauseum, how about first doing a search of MENZ and reading what’s been said and refuted already. If you then think you have something new to add, that would be appreciated by me and I’m sure by others.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 7:25 pm

  48. here’s a thought.. how about setting up a family Party for the next elections..

    It is a good thought.

    But do you think that perhaps making every political party family friendly would be better?

    Comment by julie — Fri 30th October 2009 @ 8:02 pm

  49. “As a lawyer it really annoys me when people rage about something that they do not really understand.”
    Then as a lawyer Sympathiser do you see where this law could be used in a court such as the FC without the police ever having to have been involved?
    It seems slightly naieve and also patronising for the Politicians police and lawyers to tell us that there’s no need to worry they will apply the law only when they feel it nessasary and that it will never be used otherwise.

    Comment by Mits — Sat 31st October 2009 @ 6:26 am

  50. When I first found this site my intention was to use my real name (Wayne) however I noticed that someone else was already using that name and I decided that it might cause confusion if I had used it too.

    That makes perfect sense. Anyhoo, it is nice to know a name, too. 😉 How’s the survey going?

    Comment by julie — Sun 1st November 2009 @ 8:11 am

  51. To Sympathiser, thanks for not voting on the referendum. I have alot of respect for those who have no children who didn’t think they knew better.

    Comment by julie — Sun 1st November 2009 @ 8:50 am

  52. The bit that concerns me is multiple posting under different names to suggest widespread support for a particular issue.

    I noticed a rather colourful term for this a couple of days ago – it’s called ‘sock-puppeting’.

    Comment by rc — Sun 1st November 2009 @ 9:44 am

  53. How’s the survey going?

    We had a bit of a break but I’ve recently started some further work on the soMENi stuff. I’ve got nowhere finding a decent survey that I could plagiarise. We’re planning to compare NZ TV stations with each other to determine the station most discriminatory towards males and then possibly harass those who advertise with that worst channel. I’ve been working on ideas for a Splash Page for the soMENi site and have been trying to get the attention of MRC to run ideas passed him. I suspect he might check his emails soon :p.
    The Splash Page needs typos fixed and content edited before it’s public but it will give you the general idea
    (I’ve temporarily made it public so you can see it)
    So, where’s all the good surveys at Julie? 😀

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Sun 1st November 2009 @ 10:01 am

  54. So, where’s all the good surveys at Julie?

    Lol. I don’t know if there is any such thing as a good or bad survey. Maybe once upon a time there was. 😉

    I think anything that you can get a large group participating in (the larger the better) and get a good picture of, is worth it. I have noticed that the families commission uses what ever men are researching if it is appropriate. Yet, we have a major lack of information when it comes to men’s issues and need research in all areas.

    Would you be interested in doing something that other groups could use like how men are affected by certain political issues or societal processes? Maybe even on what men need for information and where they will likely pick it up from?


    You are doing it for free which is special in itself because many things don’t get researched until funding is available and still even then many are not prepared with a plan or are unaware of the funding available.

    Comment by julie — Sun 1st November 2009 @ 10:46 am

  55. Hi Julie, I’ve replied to you in the soMENi thread so we don’t risk detracting from the important topic in this particular thread.

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Sun 1st November 2009 @ 1:34 pm

  56. Where do we meet ? I suspect though that Queen st will be so full it wont actually matter!

    Comment by noconfidence — Wed 11th November 2009 @ 11:21 am

  57. Those opposed to the anti smacking law should not use their feet they should use their brain instead. There has been many programs on TV show how to discipline children without smacking them. Part of the trick you ignore them when they are bad, you give them credit and praise when they do good. In fact I think the bosses at work are all “smackers” they just dont know how to give praise.

    Comment by Richard Principal — Tue 17th November 2009 @ 5:39 am

  58. Hi Richard,
    Thank you for your post. Though opposed to the consensus It will stay here. We also respect your right to free speech.

    This quotation apparently dates back to France about the time of the revolution, “I may not agree with what you say but I will fight to the death for your right to say it.

    This is possibly inspired by an incident on a group discussing White Ribbon Day. I opposed, asked why it was not against ALL family violence. I was abused mightily. Fact went out the window, it was totally nanny knows best! I enjoyed the heated debate. However someone Deleted all my posts. Is that what a weak argument they have.

    Comment by Alastair — Tue 17th November 2009 @ 8:13 am

  59. How annoying! Those opposed to the Government interfering in our family lives and with our freedoms have no brains. Aha.
    Those with no brains fail to notice the relationship between Government interference and their deliberate destruction of families and the breakdown of society.

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Tue 17th November 2009 @ 8:50 am

  60. OK there is something wrong has the Government marketed a book “how to bring up your children without smacking?” and these books be given to mothers (& fathers) at hospital?

    By the way I voted to stop closing fire stations and I think that referendum was ignored, (about 1995?) and I wrote a letter to the newspaper saying “….. what is the point of voting…..”. But because of that anti-smacking bit, I will not march.

    I just dont get it, there is nothing worth watching on TV these days, once fair-go finishes tonight the only thing worth watch on TV will be the news, BUT THEY HAVE PROGRAMS NOW AND AGAIN ON HOW TO DISCIPLINE YOUR CHILDREN WITHOUT SMACKING THEM, why do people watch c*** on the other station when the answer is given on TV, and it is proven to work?

    Comment by Richard Principal — Wed 18th November 2009 @ 6:03 am

  61. Why do two people believe it is okay to tell another eight people what they can and can’t do? 80%+ said NO THANKS already. THE END!
    Read Section 59 and spot the ‘smack’ word anywhere. It’s NOT an anti-smacking bill. It’s an anti-CORRECTION bill! I voted against being denied the legal right to CORRECT!

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Wed 18th November 2009 @ 6:16 am

  62. I voted against being denied the legal right to CORRECT!

    That’s a good point.

    I voted against parent’s being made criminals. lol I just know where that will take us.

    Comment by julie — Wed 18th November 2009 @ 6:49 am

  63. I voted against parent’s being made criminals. lol I just know where that will take us.

    I wish more people were like you in that they consider history that spans further than the last two weeks before concluding anything.

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Wed 18th November 2009 @ 7:16 am

  64. Such advice about disciplining children has a degree of validity, but most of it avoids the bigger picture with respect both to behavioural science and social implications. Behavioural research has long established that “reduced reinforcement” approaches to reducing undesired behaviour (covering “time out”, “ignoring” and pretty well all other alternatives to “aversive punishment”) tend to result in an increase in the targeted behaviour before that behaviour reduces at a relatively gradual rate. This is not a safe way of dealing with behaviour that needs to stop quickly.

    Politically-correct advice on child behaviour nearly always places undue importance on social modelling theory. While social modelling is one influence on behaviour development, other processes such as immediate consequences are equally or more significant. Claims like “if we only model respectful and non-violent behaviour in managing children then they will grow up to be less violent and more respectful” have not been supported by experience. Since corporal punishment was banned in NZ schools, student violence, disrespect and disorder have all increased enormously. But despite the stark absence of support for the ideological predictions of the anti-smacking brigade, we see no reduction in the frequency with which those predictions continue to be made. Ironically, our schools now treat students much more violently than they did with a cane, by suspending and expelling children, ripping them from their friends and stability and labelling them as too abnormal/inadequate/deviant to be allowed to remain within their normal social situation. Contrast that with a simple application of physical punishment in which the student paid a brief price for breaking the rules and was thereby kept in the fold. The cane used to operate reasonably effectively as a discouragement to rule-breaking, and suspensions and expulsions were rare.

    The effects on children from both psychological denigration and excessive sense of rights and power (resulting in insecurity as adults can no longer be relied upon to maintain safety and order) are already causing social problems. But social damage from anti-smacking laws goes much further. Disempowering parents in their difficult role, subjecting parents to fear of state violence against them if they make a “wrong” call in the complicated process of rearing their children, reserving effective bottom-line interventions (i.e. the use of disciplinary force) only for agents of the state, and disrupting lines of authority between adults and children will all have huge effects on our society, mostly bad in my prediction.

    I discourage the use of smacking in most cases. Many children will never need to be smacked, though the threat of it will still be helpful. Smacking does not teach the desired alternative behaviour. But if smacking is used infrequently it remains highly effective as a means of stopping behaviour quickly. To remove this as an option in parenting is, frankly, stupid in my humble opinion.

    I always supported clearer limits around child discipline and education about alternatives. How much of that had been done? Most young adults leave school having been taught almost nothing about the most important role they will ever have, that of raising children. Instead of increasing education, NZ has decided to subject parents to increased risk of criminalization for responsible, normal and intelligent child-behaviour management. Most supporters of the anti-smacking law no doubt have good intentions, are concerned for children’s welfare and hope that more serious violence against children might be reduced. But their faith in their proposed solution has always been excessive and uninformed, based almost entirely on shallow slogans, manipulative argument and misrepresentation of the research in my view.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Wed 18th November 2009 @ 8:55 am

  65. Thank you Hans. Your normal euridite and well presented argument. I believe it should be pinned to every anti-smackers wall where they can recite it daily.

    Comment by Alastair — Wed 18th November 2009 @ 9:04 am

  66. The “removal” of s59 removed a possible defence against an assualt conviction. It said nothing about smacking and the advocates of the removal say it places both adults and children on the same status. It removes the defence of “correction” using physical force. Of course psychylogical violence and manipulation is still perfectly acceptable.

    Critics say the new law creates uncertainty for parents. However legal opinion says the original section 59 of the Crimes Act was no clearer. It said the use of force by parents “by way of correction” was justified if the force was “reasonable in the circumstances.”

    Indeed s59 still exists and says;

    Parental control
    (1) Every parent of a child and every person in the place of a parent of the child is justified in using force if the force used is reasonable in the circumstances and is for the purpose of–

    (a) preventing or minimising harm to the child or another person; or

    (b) preventing the child from engaging or continuing to engage in conduct that amounts to a criminal offence; or

    (c) preventing the child from engaging or continuing to engage in offensive or disruptive behaviour; or

    (d) performing the normal daily tasks that are incidental to good care and parenting.

    (2) Nothing in subsection (1) or in any rule of common law justifies the use of force for the purpose of correction.

    (3) Subsection (2) prevails over subsection (1).

    (4) To avoid doubt, it is affirmed that the Police have the discretion not to prosecute complaints against a parent of a child or person in the place of a parent of a child in relation to an offence involving the use of force against a child, where the offence is considered to be so inconsequential that there is no public interest in proceeding with a prosecution

    s60 of the crimes act still applies and if anyone comes flying with me I reserve the right to wollap you good and hard if you try aerobatics in my plane. As yet there is no ground swell for reform and even Sue hasn’t suggested this vital reform as yet.

    Captain Harvey with a mean right hook.

    Comment by [email protected] — Wed 18th November 2009 @ 11:04 am

  67. I’ve found the following youtube video by Renton Maclachlan to be helpful:

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Wed 18th November 2009 @ 11:24 am

  68. Here’s a new referendum question for you to contemplate: Do we believe good parents in New Zealand role model violence as a solution to a problem?

    Comment by Michael — Wed 18th November 2009 @ 1:34 pm

  69. A Personal Note from Bob McCoskrie

    This Saturday at 1.30pm my family and I will be exercising together! – walking up Queen St with thousands of others on the March for Democracy.
    When I signed the petition along with 310,000 other NZ’ers like you asking for a Referendum on the anti-smacking law, and then voted NO along with 1.57 million other NZ’ers (87.4%), I did expect that the politicians would act upon that strong united voice of NZ families. But they didn’t. They attacked it, undermined it, and dismissed it – simply because they didn’t like the answer. And in the process they stepped all over democracy.

    But it’s not the first time. In 1999 they ignored two referendums – one on reducing the number of MP’s and supported by 82% of NZ’ers, and one on focusing on the rights and protection of victims and a stronger response to violent offenders and supported by 92% of NZ’ers. There have been other important family issues where the politicians have ignored the voice of families e.g. surveys showed that over 70% wanted the drinking age raised to 20 but they rejected that, 83% (avg of polls) opposed the anti-smacking bill but they still passed it, and 75% believed that a parent should be informed if a girl under 16 goes to a doctor to seek an abortion and they ignored that.

    In 1993, the politicians introduced the Citizens Initiated Referenda Act – a mechanism by which you and me could have a voice on important issues affecting families. They set an incredibly high benchmark of collecting almost 300,000 signatures, and then winning the public debate leading to the vote in the Referendum. The politicians then ignored every one of them . In the case of the most recent Referendum, they said they would ignore it even before the vote. Incredible!

    I want NZ to be a place of DEMOCRACY not DICTATORSHIP .

    When I started Family First NZ in 2006, it was to give a voice to families and to speak on important family issues in the public domain. We have had incredible coverage well beyond our initial expectations, but I believe that is because families have felt that they’ve been ignored on many issues that concern them.

    The sad fact is that politicians and government funded groups (including Barnardos who said that the march will simply be about ” mobilising the ignorant “) aren’t interested in debating the issue of democracy or referendums when it doesn’t suit. All they’ll be doing is counting the number of people who march!!


    Remember the Springbox protests, the Bastion Point protests, the Foreshore and Seabed Hikoi which birthed a political movement, and the Electoral Finance Bill protests which saw the law eventually turfed out.

    Martin Luther King Jr said “ Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter .”

    If you’re able to , please join us on Saturday. Men and women have given their lives for the sake of democracy . A walk up Queen St is the least I can do!

    Please note – it will be a peaceful fun march with a festive family atmosphere – balloons, music, clowns, spot prizes. Families just being counted for democracy!

    Kindest regards

    Bob McCoskrie
    National Director

    ps: all the details are here If you are unable to attend, please leave your virtual footprint on the website (takes less than a minute to do!)

    Comment by julie — Wed 18th November 2009 @ 1:46 pm

  70. I’d have to place such a referendum in my recycling bin.
    I’d have to decide whether our Police Officers and Military Personnel, who are parents, should be labeled negatively for using violence to solve problems. Our government trains and pays them to be violent to solve problems and yet I’m sure the majority of them would be good parents.

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Wed 18th November 2009 @ 2:07 pm

  71. i will be there even though its my birthday….
    we cannot allow the polititions in their lofty tower to ignore the voices of the people who’s opinion they stand upon!

    Comment by Josh — Thu 19th November 2009 @ 1:43 pm

  72. I too will celebrate my Birthday with my family and friends so that we shall be heard and not ignored.

    Comment by Rex — Fri 20th November 2009 @ 8:39 pm

  73. Happy birthday Josh and you too Rex. May we get a really big crowd.

    Comment by julie — Sat 21st November 2009 @ 12:40 am

  74. Yes, good points rad_dad. Absolute direct democracy would be dangerous and I don’t agree that referenda should be automatically binding on our government. However, to a large degree democracy itself inherently involves a tyranny of the majority and requires some faith in collective wisdom. Similarly, I believe there is room for our government to show more regard for the expressed wish of the people through referenda. That has in fact happened with respect to the “law and order” referendum which has been followed by increased sentences, easier options for complainants through the Court system, the offender levy providing money towards restitution, and a few other developments. I did not agree with the majority on that particular referendum because, for example, I am aware that the criminological research shows clearly that increased sentences and harshness in our prison system will not reduce crime levels. Neverthless, I accept that it is a policy area where government can take the majority view into account. Even more so, the child discipline legislation is a suitable policy for government to be guided by the people. There is no good scientific basis for removing the right to use force in discipline. It’s not an area in which experts have a knowledge and predictive power that might be seen as superior to that of average people. It’s a matter of personal opinion and ideology, and as such there is no excuse at all for our government to ignore the clear referendum result.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Sat 21st November 2009 @ 1:36 pm

  75. That’s what I meant by:
    a) The manipulative misrepresentation used by the anti-smacking brigade. To refer to smacking as “violence” is manipulative and ill-considered. Why would a smack be more violent than forcing a child to a time out room and imprisoning the child there against his/her wishes? Why would you consider a smack as any more violent than physically forcing a struggling child away from a playground or into a car? Do you think a smack is more violent than drilling holes in childrens’ teeth, cutting their bodies with scalpels in operations, sticking needles into them to take blood or to inject them with substances? Of course not. We do many not-so-enjoyable things to children towards their welfare, and normal smacking is mild and done with good intentions towards shaping children’s behaviour for the better.
    b) Excessive focus on social modelling theory to the exclusion of other processes affecting children’s behaviour development, such as behaviour management including punishment.

    You may as well ask for a referendum stating “Do we believe good parents in NZ model expulsion from school and social groups, controlling others’ use of possessions, imprisoning others in their rooms and forcing adults’ will on children’s activities as solutions to problems?” The point is, whatever parents do to control, limit or to punish children may be unpleasant for those children and can be challenged by cheap shots and shallow moral argument, but it’s a very bad idea to remove options whereby parents can meet their responsibilities for shaping their children/s behaviour and assisting their safe development. In the absence of strong scientific findings to guide us, where we draw the line for banning things is an ideological matter that is appropriately determined by the majority.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Sat 21st November 2009 @ 2:14 pm

  76. You are all mad.

    Comment by Garth — Sat 21st November 2009 @ 8:56 pm

  77. lol.

    Comment by julie — Sat 21st November 2009 @ 10:41 pm

  78. Garth, you could make a fortune with those incredible diagnostic skills. Communist China might have good opportunities for you. You ought to try for a job there. I’d supply you with a reference.
    Men Against Dickheads

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Sat 21st November 2009 @ 11:06 pm

  79. Garth is dead right.
    Listen, rather than criticise him and you will learn something to help make your life better.
    Besides, who would want to be sane in NZ?
    To me, that would be the biggest insult, “you are sane [in NZ}!!!”
    Good on you Garth. Cheers, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sun 22nd November 2009 @ 7:06 am

  80. You have seen the TV series The House of Tiny Tearaways now you can get the book

    Yes that is right you do not have to beat the crap out of your children and hospitalize them

    The House of Tiny Tearaways (Hardcover)
    by Tanya Byron (Author) RRP: £12.99 but go to and get it for Price: £7.73

    Lets hope this save tap payers money used up by childrens hospitals

    Comment by Peter Nise — Tue 19th January 2010 @ 5:21 am

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