CYF to be given smacking guidelines

The Dominion Post 25/08/2009

Social workers will be told to change the way they deal with parents referred to them for smacking. Prime Minister John Key said yesterday that Child, Youth and Family had never given its social workers guidelines on how to deal with smacking cases after the 2007 law change removed the defence of reasonable force in cases of child assault. The Government announced a series of measures yesterday to reassure parents that they would not be dragged before the courts or have social workers knocking on their doors after Friday’s referendum reflected widespread unease over how the law was working. Nearly 90 per cent of voters supported the right of parents to smack. But Mr Key rejected another law change, saying it would “consume and derail” Parliament when there were more important issues to deal with.

…”If the law shows … that New Zealand parents are being criminalised, or their children are being taken off them in some bizarre case for what could only be described as minor or inconsequential smacking, then the law has to be changed.” But there was no evidence that was the case, although he said it was clear the law was “not necessarily well understood by every New Zealander”, given that it clearly included grounds for parents to legitimately smack their children.

Key gives parents comfort
The Dominion Post 25/08/2009
Prime Minister John Key says he doesn’t want Parliament “derailed and consumed” by another smacking debate, after rejecting a law change in the wake of the referendum. ..However, Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said more pressure would be placed on the Government for the law to be repealed. “The referendum wasn’t about ‘recommendations’, ‘guidelines’ or ‘comfort’ it was about a law change