Research commissioned by Family First NZ has found that parents are completely confused as to the effect of the anti-smacking law.
Respondents were asked whether the new law makes it always illegal for parents to give their children a light smack. As the law currently stands, it is not always illegal.
55% said yes it was always illegal, 31% said no it wasn’t, and 14% didn’t know.
“This proves just how confusing the law is to parents and it is this confusion that is causing huge harm,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “Parents have been given conflicting messages by the promoters of the law, legal opinions have contradicted each other, and on top of that there is ‘police discretion’ but not CYF discretion to investigate.”
“Parents have a right to know whether they are parenting within the law or not. This law has just created confusion and as a result, good parents are being victimised and the real causes of child abuse ignored.”
Family First has laid a formal complaint with the Human Rights Commission regarding the right of parents to be able to parent legally with certainty, and are awaiting their determination.
“This poll result simply confirms our concerns,” says Mr McCoskrie. “Parenting is not for cowards but this law is making it pretty scary.”
The Curia Market Research poll surveyed 1,000 people.