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ACT Smacks Children's Commissioner

ACT Smacks Children's Commissioner

ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks today said that new Commissioner for Children Cindy Kiro's leap into the anti-smacking debate was showing Labour's ideology.

"I waited to give Ms Kiro the benefit of the doubt - despite her being appointed without cross-party consultation. Today, however, she has confirmed my suspicions: she will champion the PC ideology of the faction in the Labour Cabinet that gave her the job," Mr Franks said.

"Having, what is alleged to be, the third highest rate of child abuse in the Western world says nothing about smacking. UNICEF says banning smacking could help, but its argument is as strong as banning chocolate because some who eat chocolate get fat and sick.

"UNICEF also identified poverty and substance abuse as contributing factors. Maybe. What about welfare without responsibility - paying proven useless mothers to breed with violently criminal fathers? Why hasn't Ms Kiro called for welfare reform, or toughening of drug laws?

"Labour does not want to respect the difference between smacking children, beating them, or the more refined forms of bullying that can leave them just as emotionally scarred. By banning the use of reasonable force to discipline children, Labour would take away the rights of the many to stop the few - and leave most of the children at real risk just as helpless.

"We can now dismiss Cindy Kiro as an effective advocate for children - she is an advocate for the true Labour Party line. They have let Messrs Goff and Tamihere oppose that line to hide their majority determination to ban smacking.

"If Ms Kiro were truly dedicated to her role, she would respect the rights and freedoms of the huge majority of loving parents who want to exercise long-proven and highly successful traditional child-rearing methods," Mr Franks said.

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