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Leave Child Smacking Law Alone

Hon Bill English MP National Party Leader

22 September 2003

Leave Child Smacking Law Alone

National Party Leader Bill English says the Government should leave the child smacking law alone.

"Section 59 of the Crimes Act - a law which allows parents to discipline their children - is a tried and tested balance between the realities of parenting and the ideal childhood.

"There have been some court cases, where in my view, judges and juries have been too soft on violence against children," says Mr English.

"However no-one's come up with a satisfactory way to change the law without making potential offenders of most parents."

He's commenting after statements by both Steve Maharey and Helen Clark, who both back smacking law changes.

"The aftermath of the Coral Burrows murder is precisely the wrong time to float public discussion on this issue.

"It's offensive to many parents for the Government and the Commissioner for Children to link day to day discipline of children to the evil that happened to Coral Burrows.

"It's time parents were supported in the valuable and difficult job they do," says Mr English.

Ends


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