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Govt goes underground with smacking ban plans

Govt goes underground with smacking ban plans

National Party Family spokeswoman Judith Collins says the Government's being underhanded in its politically correct plan to ban smacking.

"The Government's going underground with its plan to 'educate' us all on smacking," says Ms Collins.

She is responding to reports that Labour has watered down its $10 million anti-smacking education campaign to the point that it no longer even mentions physical punishment.

"This is a two year campaign. It's not really that surprising that in the current political climate the Government's not brave enough to reveal its true agenda right from the start," says Ms Collins.

In October last year Steve Maharey was reported as saying Cabinet would review Section 59 at the end of a two-year campaign designed to teach parents alternative forms of discipline. Parliament and New Zealand would be ready for a law change then.

In November the Prime Minister backed the plan at a Labour Party Conference: 'I cannot accept that it is fair for the law to allow a defence for those who assault children. I know that does not yet seem to be a widely shared view in New Zealand'.

"Public opinion polls at the time showed more than two thirds of New Zealanders oppose any ban on smacking - it's another example of a desperate Government that's putting off making the politically difficult decisions," says Ms Collins.

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