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Clark's support for Bill welcome

Clark's support for Bill welcome

Prime Minister Helen Clark's public support for the repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act has been welcomed by Green MP Sue Bradford.

Ms Bradford has been campaigning for the repeal of the legislation for many years and last week her private member's bill, which could see this dream become a reality, was pulled from the Parliamentary ballot.

Miss Clark's support today for the repeal of Section 59 follows that of Plunket, which on the weekend also publicly announced its support for Ms Bradford's bill.

"I am pleased that Miss Clark sees the need to repeal this bad law which allows parents the defence of reasonable force if they are charged with assaulting their children," Ms Bradford says.

"In calling for the repeal of section 59 I am not proposing a new law to criminalize smacking ,nor do I see the day when police will charge into people's homes to arrest a parent for lightly smacking a child for sticking a fork into a power point.

"What I am seeking to do is remove a legal defence for those parents who beat their children with instruments such as sticks, canes and pieces of wood."

The Green Party believes that it is vital to provide support for parenting programmes and increased resourcing for church and community groups who work alongside parents helping them to learn alternative methods for disciplining their children, she says.

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