Smacking Law Leads to Miscarriage of Justice

Family First NZ is welcoming the acknowledgement by the Crown of a miscarriage of justice towards Christchurch parent James Mason who was prosecuted by police for pulling the ear of his 3 year old when trying to prevent him from injuring himself as his younger brother had just done.

“Family First always said that if the conviction was for an ear pull rather than a punch in the face, it was inappropriate. The acknowledgement by the Crown Solicitor in the Supreme Court today shows that the application of discretion and the lumping together of substantially different actions was flawed,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Parenting in New Zealand has been put on trial. The politicians have dealt a heavy legislative blow to parents, and parents are feeling disempowered, disrespected, and demonised as child abusers.”

“As well as that, the police are caught in the middle trying to balance the zero tolerance approach to family violence against the so-called discretion offered under the anti-smacking law.”

“It is not surprising that research by the Families Commission found that only a third of parents believe that the government sees their role as important.”

Family First NZ is challenging Prime Minister John Key to amend the law that he has labeled a dog’s breakfast, and introduce the amendment that he lobbied for before he became Prime Minister which decriminalizes light smacking for the purpose of correction.

“NZ’ers have no confidence in this law and are confused by it,” says Mr McCoskrie. “Good parents taking their kids for a bike ride and trying to keep them safe deserve the support of the state – not criminalisation.”
ENDS