Parents reject smacking review findings

TVNZ News December 16, 2009 

A group of parents at the centre of a review into the anti-smacking law say they reject the findings of the report. Television psychologist Nigel Latta, Police Commissioner Howard Broad and Social Development Ministry chief executive Peter Hughes carried out the three-month review and concluded that none of the cases highlighted by pro-smacking lobby Family First stacked up. Family First had used them as evidence that the repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act, effectively banning smacking for the purposes of correction, had failed. Latta reviewed several individual cases highlighted in the media and said he was personally reassured the law change made no difference to the way the police and social workers did their job.

But those parents today said they were never consulted during the review. “It appears that our accounts of what happened, and the supporting documentation we provided, including court, police and Child Youth and Family documents, to Family First has been ignored and the only opinion that matters has been that of the police and CYF,” they said in a joint statement. “This is a one-sided report and fails to objectively hear the evidence from both sides.” The families said they rejected the notion they had misrepresented the facts to Family First, and that the group was one of the few organisations willing to hear their side of the story.