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“Smacking laws were never about the real issue of child abuse”

Filed under: General,Law & Courts — Julie @ 2:49 am Fri 17th April 2009

Sue Reid, researcher and writer for Family First NZ

It is a shame that we have a Families Commission that is driven by ideology rather than listening to families. Chief commissioner Jan Pryor espouses her beliefs that “positive parenting should never include a smack” (Herald, April 3). Her so-called justification for the anti-smacking laws are inflammatory and continue to vilify good parents who may use a smack as part of good parental correction.

As a mother of two young children, I resent the constant barrage that fully funded, power-packed organisations such as the Families Commission can constantly deliver from their lofty soap-boxes. One can be left wondering who represents mums like me who are focused on the task of raising good, law-abiding and positive contributors to society. Like many other mums, I know that I wish to parent within a sensible legal framework and we owe it to good parents to get this law right. The new flawed law has tried to link a smack on the bottom with child abuse of the worst kind and has put good parents in the same category as rotten parents who are a danger to their kids and to society.


READ the original Op-Ed from the Families Commission “A positive spin on parenting”

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  1. 80% of New Zealanders can’t be wrong!

    Comment by Alastair — Fri 17th April 2009 @ 9:17 am

  2. Yes I agree – what about addressing the real child abuse?

    Comment by Dave — Mon 20th April 2009 @ 9:45 pm

  3. The reason people don’t talk about the real issues around child abuse is because it would lead them to examine the DPB. A rational child focused person would be forced to conclude the DPB should be abolished. This in turn is bad news politically. Hence it is better to avoid the real issues around child abuse and allow more children to be tortured and killed.

    Comment by Dave — Mon 20th April 2009 @ 9:48 pm

  4. Dave (reply #3). Good analysis. And that is why a vote for a minor party prepared to challenge the DPB is not a wasted vote but can be the most powerful vote possible. Only smaller parties can afford to challenge the DPB because they have little to lose. But even a small groundswell of support for reform in DBP policies will provide an opportunity for politicians from other parties to enter debate about it.

    In this way a vote for a small party’s policies can exert leverage, like a small deposit on an appreciating asset can yield a profit that is large relative to the investment.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Tue 21st April 2009 @ 11:23 am

  5. Very true. Single issue parties and small parties have large leverage effects. Many tiny groups have had huge influences.
    One of my favourite judicial stories is set in 1670. Two young zealots (Penn and Meade) were before a jury for a charge of disturbing the peace. The jury refused to find them guilty so the judge threw the whole jury into prison with instructions they were not to be given food or water until they changed their minds. A Habeas Corpus application to another judge saw them released and new law was passed that Judges could not lean on juries in similar ways in the future. All power to 2 little guys and 12 honest and true citizens.

    There is one “quote” from the trial that may cheer the hearts of litigants here who are fed up with the run around of “common” understandings, procedures and law used against “we common folk” by “The System”;

    Penn: The question is not, whether I am Guilty of this Indictment, but whether this Indictment be legal. It is too general and imperfect in answer, to say it is the common-law, unless we knew both where and what it is. For where there is no law, there is no transgression; and that law which is not in being, is so far from being common, that it is no law at all.
    Judge: You are an impertinent fellow, will you teach the court what law is? It is Lex non scripta, that which many have studied thirty or forty years to know, and would you have me tell you in a moment?
    Penn: Certainly, if the common-law be so hard to understand, it is far from being common.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Tue 21st April 2009 @ 3:44 pm

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