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.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news