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Nats using selective facts to frighten parents

15 February 2005
Nats using selective facts to frighten parents

National MP Judith Collins should put more effort into the protecting New Zealand children from harm and less instead trying to get herself headlines, the Green Party says.

"Collins is using selective facts to needlessly frighten parents from supporting the repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act," Green MP Sue Bradford says.

"It is simply not true that, should Section 59 be repealed, police will be running around the country locking parents up for lightly smacking their children. Police have said they will treat each case on its merits and will only prosecute when it is deemed necessary.

"Ms Collins should spend less time repeating the crude rhetoric of those who fear they will lose the ability to physically punish their children and focus her efforts on trying to protect New Zealand children from abuse.

"My Bill to repeal Section 59 aims to remove the defence of reasonable force from parents who badly beat their children, often with weapons that leave permanent physical injury.

"It is not a ban on smacking as she well knows."

Ms Bradford says she welcomed the public support today from Prime Minister Helen Clark and Child Youth and Family Minister Ruth Dyson for the need to protect New Zealand children by changing this law.

"We can no longer condone the use of such legalised violence against our children." Ms Bradford says.

Submissions on Ms Bradford's Bill close on February 28.

"I urge anyone who has an interest in this to get their submissions into the Justice and Electoral Select Committee so that the issue can be properly debated," she says.


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