Family First NZ says that the government has done more ‘compromise’ on a ‘compromise’ law but the window dressing is a cynical attempt to ignore the overwhelming majority of NZ’ers who reject the anti-smacking law.
“The Police have already been doing regular reviews and they show good parents being prosecuted under the law – 14 at last count,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “But they also show a huge number of non-abusive parents being investigated – 94% of all investigations. Police may say business as usual, but families don’t see it that way.”
“And CYF checking on themselves is completely unacceptable. A review by the Ministry of Social Development will be a one-sided bias affair endorsed by government-funded lobby groups like Barnardos who oppose smacking. That’s why we have been demanding an independent CYF Complaints Authority.”
“The Prime Minister is showing incredible ill-will towards the 80%-plus of NZ’ers who have consistently opposed this law and want light smacking decriminalized. Cabinet Ministers received around 1,000 emails yesterday calling on the government to listen to families but they have ignored them.”
John Key says “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.”
“We have already put this evidence before the Prime Minister including parents prosecuted for an open hand leg smack, arm smacks, bottom smacks, and even a ruffling of sheets to get out of bed. Many of these cases have resulted in the parent being discharged without conviction, sent to a parenting course, or receiving a suspended sentence. Other parents have been referred to CYF and had children removed while an investigation takes place. This is highly traumatic for any family.”
“The bottom line is that you can put lipstick on a pig – but it’s still a pig,” says Mr McCoskrie