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Has Clark changed her tune too?

Judith Collins MP
National Party Families Spokeswoman

23 May 2006

Has Clark changed her tune too?

National Party Families spokeswoman Judith Collins says the public will want to know whether Helen Clark has also changed her view on the Green-sponsored bill to ban smacking.

“In February, Helen Clark said the issue had been ‘crudely and wrongly represented in the media’. Now the Greens have accepted they were wrong, has the Prime Minister?”

Ms Collins is responding to reports this morning that say Green MP Sue Bradford has accepted she will need to rework the bill.

“No one wants to see the current law used as an excuse for violent assault. But National has consistently argued that this clumsy bill would have made criminals of responsible parents who lightly smack, or even those who attempt to restrain their children.

“Despite police opinion to the contrary, Helen Clark was trying to argue black was white on this one.”

In August last year the Office of the Police Commissioner confirmed that smacking would be illegal if Section 59 was repealed. ‘If section 59 was repealed in its entirety parents would not be authorised to use reasonable force by way of correction…smacking of a child by way of corrective action would be an assault.’

“It’s taken a while, but Sue Bradford appears to have finally seen sense. Will the Prime Minister now do the same, and apologise top those responsible members of the community who raised the alarm on this over the top proposal,” says Ms Collins.


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