Latest Smacking Law Review Misses Real Issues

Family First NZ is dismissing yet another report on the anti-smacking law which fails to address the real issues and concerns over the law change.

“This is the eighth report in just over two years on the law change. There have never been so many reports in such a short time frame on a law change in an attempt to sell it,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “The police have done six reports, a report from the ministry of Social Development, and now this report commissioned by the Prime Minister in response to the overwhelming rejection of the law in the recent Referendum.”

“We weren’t expecting miracles in this report because one of the panel members Peter Hughes from the MSD has only recently released a report where he admits that he cannot conclude whether the law is achieving its purpose, and he cannot conclusively say that good parents are not being criminalized or victimized by this law with unnecessary state intervention. This is primarily because he doesn’t talk to them!”

“A senior police office who examined the prosecutions of a number of parents as a result of the new law says that without exception, the public interest was not served in pursuing prosecutions.”

“In the latest report, it fails in the following areas:
it fails to address the concerns of kiwi parents as to what effect it has had on their parenting
it fails to address the issue of children dobbing in their own parents, and threatening to report them to the police or CYF
it fails to address the concern expressed by police and youth workers regarding the increasing rate of assaults by young people on their parents
it fails to address the procedural conflict between the smacking law which allows ‘discretion’ versus the family violence police which demands zero tolerance
it fails to address why so many cases of what are supposed to be ‘assaults’ are receiving inconsequential punishments, and why so many investigations are ending up with a warning and in many cases, no action at all
it fails to address the effect of criminalising an action (light smacking for the purpose of correction) which most NZ’ers simply don’t believe should be treated as a criminal offence under the law.”

“This report is another government-funded sales pitch for a flawed law which has been resoundingly rejected by New Zealanders. John Key promised ‘comfort’ for parents, but it’s not comforting when he ignores almost 90% in a referendum, and retains a law which he admits is a ‘dog’s breakfast’, badly drafted, and extremely vague.”

“A law that requires so many compromises, guidelines, helplines, reviews, and parent education could be easily fixed with a simple amendment-the Boscawen amendment. That’s what parents deserve” says Mr McCoskrie.
ENDS