Media Release 18 March 2013
A poll of New Zealanders has found that 3 out of 4 voters want the anti-smacking law amended, and the support is strongest from National, NZ First and Maori party voters.
In the poll of 1,000 people undertaken by Curia Market Research, respondents were asked “Do you think the anti-smacking law should be changed to state explicitly that parents who give their children a smack that is reasonable and for the purpose of correction are not breaking the law? 77% of respondents back a law change to allow correctional smacking. 86% of National voters supported a change in the law. Only 12% of respondents thought the law change had had any effect on the rate of child abuse, with Green voters surprisingly being most sceptical.
The poll also found support for any party that pledged to change the law, with 30% of respondents saying they are more likely to vote for a party that promised to change the law, and 22% less likely. For National voters, there was a 17% net gain (38% more likely, 21% less likely). For Labour votes, there was a 4% net loss.
Two out of three respondents said they would flout the law and smack their child to correct their behaviour if they thought it was reasonable to do so. Once again, ‘smackers’ were most likely to be National and NZ First voters, followed by Labour voters.
“Politicians probably hoped that the opposition to the anti-smacking law would eventually disappear, but this poll simply reiterates that the law is being disrespected and flouted, is seen of no real value, and a political party who promises to fix the law will benefit in the polling booth,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
The nationwide poll was carried out during February and has a margin of error of +/- 3.2%.