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Little has changed

Media Release

1 March 2004

Little has changed

The shock that New Zealanders felt when they saw the film Once Were Warriors eight years ago will serve as a stark reminder that little has changed for many families when they see Jim Moriarty's musical version, according to Plunket's President, Kaye Crowther.

"Far too many in this country will recognise the fear and the violence in the story of the Heke family as something they know about.

"A few may even own up to being the source of that fear and violence," said Kaye Crowther

Once Were Warriors, the musical, begins in Christchurch tomorrow (subs 2 March) and, like the movie, will chillingly remind us that within families violence is often used as a way to control others and of the negative impact this has on children.

"We recognise how wrong it is for one adult to assault another and have laws to penalise those who do. Yet when it comes to children, we shy away from commonsense and instead say in Section 59:

Every parent of a child and every person in the place of a parent of a child is justified in using force by way of correction towards the child, if the force used is reasonable in the circumstances. (Section 59)

"Wouldn't it be better to learn how to raise our children using positive parenting practices in place of physical punishment?

"Once Were Warriors reminds us it is important that we all, as a nation, look closely at our parenting practices, at our attitudes and at our laws and ask, 'are they really what we want for ourselves and our children?'"


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