I did not smack my child, says minister

NZ Herald July 02, 2007
Cabinet minister David Cunliffe has become embroiled in a controversy over whether he smacked his 2-year son at a mall. A witness at New Lynn mall claims to have seen Mr Cunliffe smack his child on the hand to punish him for having hit another child, according to the lobby group Families First. The group strongly opposed the anti-smacking bill passed by Parliament. Mr Cunliffe’s version is quite different: “My 2-year-old was pulling at a little girl,” he said in a statement. “I pulled his hand away and calmly told him not to do that.”The national director of Families First, Bob McCoskrie, said last night that while he believed Mr Cunliffe had done the right thing in correcting his son for his behaviour, under the new law the police would have been obliged to investigate had a complaint been laid. The police would then have had the discretion not to prosecute. He said he had highlighted the case to expose what he thinks is a bad law. “He carried out what any half-decent parent would do. So this is a perfect example of where we have created a law where someone like David Cunliffe could be prosecuted or at least someone could make a complaint and you would have to be investigated.”

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READ what Hon David Cunliffe said in parliament when supporting the anti-smacking bill