Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Smith: Support parents, don't make them crims

Wednesday, 15 June 2005

Smith: Support parents, don't make them crims

United Future MP, Murray Smith, today continued his campaign to prevent normal kiwi parents from becoming criminals if they attempt to discipline their children.

He said the Minister of Social Development needs to read the Crimes Act so that he appreciates that the removal of s59 will make parents who use any physical force on their children guilty of a criminal offence.

(Section 59 allows parents to use a defence of reasonable force to punish their children.)

"The Minister has refused to accept my argument that simply removing s59 without replacing it with something else would mean that any parent who physically disciplined a child would be committing a criminal offence."

Section 194 of the Crimes Act is very clear, Mr Smith said.

"It provides that "Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years who assaults any child under the age of 14 years". Assault is defined in the Crimes Act as "the act of intentionally applying or attempting to apply force to the person of another, directly or indirectly, or threatening by any act or gesture to apply such force to the person of another, if the person making the threat has, or causes the other to believe on reasonable grounds that he has, present ability to effect his purpose".

"Without s59, a parent has no legal justification for applying force or threatening to apply force to their child and is therefore committing a criminal offence if they do so."

Mr Smith said no one is prepared to tolerate child abuse but if the Government and Green MP Sue Bradford are being truthful in saying that they don't want to criminalize parents who give an occasional moderate smack to their children, then they should look to replace s59 with his Members' Bill which seeks to guide the courts in determining whether the force used was appropriate physical discipline or abuse.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election