Family First NZ is welcoming a Children’s Commissioner survey which says that only 20% of those surveyed disagreed with smacking in certain circumstances.
“This is consistent with all other polls done throughout the year including research commissioned by Family First – that there is an 80% opposition to the anti-smacking law because most people know that smacking for the purpose of correction is not child abuse,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“The 43% support for the law change would include a large number of people who are optimistic about the police discretion clause introduced at the eleventh hour.”
“However, recent evidence suggests that their optimism may not be justified. Only yesterday, a father who was charged with smacking had all charges dropped just before the court case was due to start.”
“This is not the first time this has happened,” says Mr McCoskrie. “And there has also been plenty of evidence of good parents being convicted, investigated and reported as a result of a law that the authors and supporters cannot definitively tell parents as to whether smacking is, isn’t, has been or hasn’t been banned as a result of the law change.”
However, Family First is concerned that only 80% said that children should be protected from assault.
“This figure should be 100%. But the Children’s Commissioner has simply caused confusion by misrepresenting the effect of the law and the difference between assault and a light smack.”
“This is yet more wasted government funding on information that has told us nothing new, done by an office trying to justify its existence,” says Mr McCoskrie.
Family First is calling for the Families Commission and Children’s Commission to be replaced by a Minister of Families in Cabinet.