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Law Should Not Offer Defence for Violence On Kids

Playcentre Supports Repeal of Section 59
Media Release
1 May 2006

Law Should Not Offer Defence for Violence Against Children

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation has joined the chorus of those seeking the repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act. For the more than 60 years of its existance, Playcentre has had a policy of no smacking, and instead provides families with education on behaviour management techniques which instead protect children¹s well-being and self esteem. At no time should pain or humiliation form the basis for child management.

³There is something seriously wrong when the law needs to offer parents a legal defence for using violence against our children,² said Mrs Robynn Kopua, President of the New Zealand Playcentre Federation. ³Our experience is that physical punishment is not in the best interests of the child or the family.²

New Zealand is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Section 59 is inconsistent with the Convention, in particular with Article 19.1, which requires that ³parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and Educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse.²

Playcentre believes that the beliefs and values of a society are learned and passed on to our children. Therefore it is important that the methods used for managing children¹s behaviour are positive and do not involve any form of physical punishment.

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation supports the repeal of Section 59.


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