Family First NZ says that what Prime Minister John Key will propose today in response to the anti-smacking law Referendum is in direct contrast to his views two years ago.
In a speech to the Salvation Army in April 2007 just before the law was passed, he said:
“Proponents of the bill say that doesn’t matter; that in reality no one is ever going to be prosecuted for lightly smacking their child. But if the reality is that no one is ever going to be prosecuted for lightly smacking their child, then don’t make it illegal. Don’t make it a crime. It’s poor law-making to write a very strict law and then trust the police and the courts not to enforce it strongly. The law shouldn’t depend on which police officer or which judge or which jury you happen to get on the day.”
“As I said before, the way you send a message is to make the law clear and precise and then to police it strongly and vigilantly. My colleague, Whanganui MP Chester Borrows, has put forward an amendment to Sue Bradford’s Bill that would do this. In my view, this is the correct response, and the one Parliament should adopt.”
“John Key is completely correct and these views are echoed by legal experts including Grant Illingworth QC, Otago University law lecturer Professor Rex Ahdar, and Jim Evans who is emeritus professor of law at Auckland University,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
Family First is calling on the Prime Minister to decriminalise light smacking and to establish a Commission of Enquiry into identifying and targeting the real causes of child abuse.
More than 400 emails have been sent to members of Cabinet in the last 12 hours by families supporting this call.