Smacking law political issue of 2007

TVOne News Dec 27, 2007
The smacking debate was politically the biggest issue of the year, with politicians pitted against parents who say they are sick of being told by the government how to run their lives. The anti-smacking legislation was introduced by Greens MP Sue Bradford and she says what followed was a lesson in just how brutal politics can be.  For months, New Zealand screens were bombarded with news of the Anti-Smacking Bill, with some supporting the bill and seeing it as a means to help stop the rampant child abuse in New Zealand and many others seeing it as a means of the government controlling how parents bring up their children. Those who were against the bill were more louder and showed their discontent by protesting up and down the country, but the protests were in vain as by May, MP Sue Bradford’s anti-smacking law became a reality in parliament by 113 votes to seven. ….”The law appears to be working perfectly and in line with what we intended… there were gross exaggerations and ridiculous lies about what would happen as a consequence of my bill going through. Those fears, those lies have not come to fruition,” says Bradford. But her opponents disagree. “I think the politicians were suckered into an ideology that it felt good. It seemed like the solution to our child abuse problems but our experience is that it’s had no effect on child abuse rates and we’ve had five child abuse deaths since the passing of the bill… In fact while the bill was being passed Nia Glassie was being hung on a washing line,” says Bob McCroskie from Family First NZ. The debate continues to goes on and many are saying it could heat up once again as a petition is already doing the rounds, which could mean the issue comes up in a referendum when voters go to the polls next year.

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