Plan to change smacking law

Dominion Post 19 March 2009

ACT MP John Boscawen is going to try to amend the anti-smacking law by bringing a member’s bill to Parliament. He said today his bill would allow parents to use a light smack to correct their children. “In an attempt to curb child abuse, this law has simply criminalised law-abiding parents and removed their freedom to decide how best to raise their children – something ACT has consistently opposed,” he said. “The Labour ‘we know best’ government is out and National is now in. Perhaps we will now begin to see an end to the madness of the past nine years where politicians saw fit to tell New Zealanders how to live their lives.”

Mr Boscawen said a survey released yesterday showed 77 percent of 1000 people questioned felt the law should be changed. The law bans smacking for correctional purposes.

..Family First, the organisation which opposed the law and ran yesterday’s survey, welcomed Mr Boscawen’s bill. “This flawed law has attempted to link a smack on the bottom with child abuse of the worst kind,” said national director Bob McCoskrie. It has put good parents raising law-abiding and responsible citizens in the same category as rotten parents who are a danger to their kids and to society in general.” Mr McCoskrie said the child abuse rate had continued unabated since the law was passed, with 12 deaths in the last 21 months. He said National should adopt Mr Boscawen’s bill as a government bill.