Parents hit back over smacking

The Dominion Post 19/12/2009

Parents whose smacking cases were investigated in a review of the anti-smacking law say they were ignored in the “one-sided” report. The cases were used by Family First to argue that good parents were being turned into criminals. But as part of the three-month review, clinical psychologist Nigel Latta, police commissioner Howard Broad and Social Development Ministry chief executive Peter Hughes examined 11 of the cases. They found all had other aggravating features and were not as they were reported on the lobby group’s website. None stood up to scrutiny. Mr Latta said the responses by police and Child, Youth and Family in the cases were appropriate and proportionate.

In a statement issued by Family First, the parents said they rejected claims they had misrepresented the facts, and they rejected the report’s findings. Their accounts were “ignored and the only opinion that matters has been that of the police and CYF”, they said. The “one-sided report” had glaring errors, did not consult parents and contained alleged actions that had no basis in court. “We are not child abusers, yet this report continues to make that accusation,” they said.