New smacking laws make little impact

NZ Herald December 20, 2007
Police have issued nine warnings to parents who have smacked their kids after attending 15 cases of reported smacking in three months. The results are taken from a review, three months since the amendment to section 59 of the Crimes Act – also known as the anti-smacking bill. The review was undertaken to see what effect the law change would have on the police workload. From June 23 to September 28 there was no increase in the number of smacking events police attended. Deputy Commissioner, Rob Pope said claims that the repeal of section 59 would lead to the prosecution of parents and the removal of children from their homes have been proven wrong. “While this is only a three month snapshot I am confident that police are taking the same common sense approach to these events as we always have, with officers using their discretion to ensure the appropriate action is taken,” Mr Pope said. Police attended 111 child assault events, three of which involved smacking and 12 involved “minor acts of physical discipline” during the three month period, Mr Pope said. The 15 cases were determined not to be in the public interest to prosecute and warnings were given out in nine cases.

The review report can be seen here:

Read Family First Media Release – Family First Rubbishes Police Review on Smacking Law