NZ Herald May 26, 2008
Almost half of parents with children under 12 have smacked them in the past year, a survey has found. The Family First lobby group commissioned a market research company to poll New Zealanders on their attitudes to parental discipline since the anti-smacking law came into effect in June last year. It found that 48 per cent of respondents with children under 12 had smacked their child after the law change. The changes to the Crimes Act outlawed the use of parental force against children for purposes of correction. The issue polarised New Zealanders. The law change was led by Green MP Sue Bradford, whose private member’s bill removed from the Crimes Act the statutory defence of reasonable force to correct a child. But it was passed only after last-minute changes, approved by a large majority in Parliament, which directed the police not to prosecute inconsequential offences.
Family First’s national director, Bob McCoskrie, said he was surprised the polling found so many parents admitting they had flouted the law. He said 51 per cent of mothers had admitted continuing to smack. “For a new law to be ignored by so many people who are willing to risk a police or [Child, Youth and Family] investigation indicates just how out of step with reality this law is.”
READ Family First Media Release Smacking Poll – NZ’ers Don’t Want to ‘Move On’
READ Family First Media Release Bradford Gets It Wrong on Smacking – Again
Family First Comment: The Greens misinterpret the research, and then misrepresent it to the public!!