New law won’t stop Bob from smacking

The Dominion Post 17 May 2007
Bob McCoskrie smacks his children, and Sue Bradford’s law change won’t make him stop. The national director of Family First New Zealand, a vociferous opponent of the Green MP’s bill to amend section 59 of the Crimes Act, said the “confusing legislation” that passed last night would not changed the way he disciplined his three children – just the way he described it. “I’ll continue to do it in a reasonable way and I’ll continue to do it as a back-up when other non-physical methods of discipline haven’t worked.”After obtaining an opinion from Queen’s Counsel Grant Illingworth, Family First cautioned parents yesterday not to incriminate themselves to police. Mr McCoskrie said that, under the amendment, parents could still use reasonable force for the purpose of prevention, but not for correction. “What the QC is saying is that if you ever do get prosecuted for giving a light smack, simply say it was for the purpose of preventing bad behaviour, not correcting bad behaviour, which shows just how ridiculous the law is.”