The Family First Lobby congratulates Green MP Sue Bradford for acknowledging that parents who use a smack as parental discipline should be protected from prosecution.
Sue Bradford has made this admission in an interview in the latest Investigate Magazine (June 2006). She is the promoter of The Crimes (Abolition of Force as a Justification for Child Discipline) Amendment Bill which would repeal s59.
Yet she admits in the interview that the law should not criminalise parents who smack their children or have to physically force them into a session of time-out.
“This is good news for all the great mums and dads in New Zealand who love their kids, and who choose to use smacking as a discipline tool when necessary,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of the Family First Lobby.
“Sue Bradford has finally acknowledged that there is a huge difference between child abuse, and smacking used by parents to discipline their child because they love them and want to correct, protect and direct them.
“We all want to get rid of child abuse. And now that Sue Bradford (and hopefully the organizations that have blindly supported this proposed repeal of s59) has acknowledged that a blanket ban of s59 isn’t the answer, we can work on the real causes – the breakdown of families, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and other factors,” says Bob McCoskrie.
The Family First Lobby calls on Sue Bradford to immediately withdraw the Amendment Bill about to go through the costly and time consuming Select Committee stage, and to divert the time and resource towards supporting good parents trying to do a great job, and investing in the early intervention of families who are deemed at-risk.