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Case highlights folly of smacking ban

Judith Collins MP National Party Families Spokeswoman

31 October 2005

Case highlights folly of smacking ban

National Party Families spokeswoman Judith Collins says a court case highlights the folly of the Greens/Labour push to change the laws that protect parents who might lightly smack their children.

Ms Collins is referring to the case of Devanand Solanki who has been found guilty of assault for restraining his 12-year-old daughter so he could talk to her. Mr Solanki is taking his case to the Supreme Court in a bid to get the conviction overturned.

"Without laws to protect parents' rights, the police will feel obliged to prosecute. It's this kind of frivolous prosecution that I fear will become commonplace if Labour and the Greens are successful in their bid to repeal Section 59."

Mr Solanki was quoted in a weekend newspaper as saying: 'It's so bloody politically correct now. You touch a kid on the shoulder and you're in trouble' - 30 October, Sunday Herald, Page 6.

Ms Collins has previously released advice from police that confirmed the repeal of Section 59 would leave parents who lightly smack their children vulnerable to prosecution.

"At the election, the public voted overwhelmingly against this sort of politically correct government interference in the way they choose to organise their lives."

Before the election, National voted against the anti-smacking bill on the grounds that it did not wish to make criminals out of law-abiding parents administering the most mild discipline.

At the select committee stage, National plans to propose an amendment to clause 59, to define 'reasonable force' and prevent any further situations where the courts have cleared parents of serious abuse, often using extreme violence and weapons.

"National regards such violence as completely unacceptable," says Ms Collins.


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