Rankin’s smacking views pass PM’s test

NZ Herald Jun 23, 2009

Prime Minister John Key has stopped short of criticising Christine Rankin for her renewed criticism of the anti-smacking law – but he has made it clear he will not tolerate any “active campaigning” by the families commissioner before the referendum on the law. In an interview published in Investigate magazine, Ms Rankin attacked the anti-smacking law, saying it had traumatised families. She said it was a parent’s right to smack as a form of discipline.

Mr Key has forbidden Ms Rankin to campaign on the anti-smacking law referendum. She has always opposed the measure, and a trust she heads is campaigning against it. Neither Mr Key nor Social Development Minister Paula Bennett was told of the interview, but yesterday the PM said he did not believe Ms Rankin had contravened his edict. “I don’t think it’s particularly provocative. I made it clear I wouldn’t want to see her campaigning on the ‘no’ vote, and I think she’s honoured that, so I’m pretty relaxed about it.”