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Justice Minister Not "Re-Educated" On Smacking Law

Justice Minister Not "Re-Educated" On Smacking Law

Justice Minister Phil Goff's explanation today, of plans to "educate" New Zealanders before a change to the law governing the smacking of children, smacks of political re-education in the Maoist sense, ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"But Mr Goff has not given up. His comments on Morning Report were also a skilful rearguard - announcing the Cabinet decision as he was instructed, but in terms that would make it politically expensive for the comrades who had rolled him on the issue," Mr Franks said.

"He pointedly mentioned the 80 percent of New Zealand parents against the move. He talked of the risks in dictating cultural changes and distanced himself - `clearly a majority in Cabinet believes there are positive alternatives to smacking' - when he announced that a propaganda campaign would precede the law change."

"He is warning us his Cabinet comrades plan to use the law to impose their own views about how parents should raise their children, against the majority who have clearly said they think it is none of the Government's business," Mr Franks said.

"Freedom means nothing if feminists with only a theoretical knowledge of raising children, can order the police to enforce their dogma against the best judgment of hundreds of thousands of loving parents.

"Nobody thinks that parents, or anyone else, should be free to injure children, and the law already makes it an offence to use unreasonable force.

Mr Goff's education programme is simply taxpayer-funded propaganda for untested theories. It will be the first phase in a pre-decided plan to use police against normal parents when they are already too busy to deal with the deliberately vicious criminals multiplying in New Zealand," Mr Franks said.

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