Parliament

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

 

S59 repeal no threat to good parents

1 March 2007

Minister confirms S59 repeal no threat to good parents

Green Party MP Sue Bradford today welcomed the assurance in Parliament by the Police Minister that police procedural guidelines exist to protect people from being prosecuted for a trivial, or merely technical offence.

"What Phil Goff, speaking on behalf of Police Minister Annette King said was that in all cases, the police weigh whether it is in the public interest to bring matters before the courts - and among other things, they consider the sufficiency of reliable evidence, the mitigating or aggravating circumstances, the public interest served by prosecution, the alternatives available, and - with respect to alleged assaults - the amount of force used," Ms Bradford says.

"This completely torpedoes the vocal opposition to my bill to repeal S59 of the Crimes Act. My opponents have delighted in spreading myths that good parents will be prosecuted for light smacking of their children, and that good parents will be criminalized.

"All along, I have argued that this is not the case - that police do not mount prosecutions for assault on the basis of trivial, or trifling complaints. As the Minister says, the police would weigh the decision to prosecute on several grounds, including the seriousness or triviality of the offence. In the light of the Minister's answers, it is very hard to see how light smacking could ever clear the police procedural hurdles.

"Routinely, the very existence of laws put people at risk of technical breach. Yet a speed limit of 50kms does not criminalize everyone who travels occasionally at 51kms. Moreover, I don't think anyone in New Zealand would argue we shouldn't have speeding laws at all, in case someone inadvertedly might fall in breach of them.

"Above all else, what the Minister's reply signals is that there is now no need whatsoever for the amendment being mooted by Chester Borrows. Police will not be mounting prosecutions against good parents who lightly smack their children. Chester means well, but his attempts to put into law the degrees of acceptable violence against children will only serve to instruct violent parents on how best to avoid prosecution.

"In particular, any attempt by Chester to legally distinguish between violence by open handed slaps and violence with an implement could render good parents more, and not less, vulnerable to the attentions of bureaucrats and police.

" If S59 is repealed, the sky will not fall in. As the Police Minister confirmed, if s59 was repealed, it is the police's own submission that they 'would continue to investigate all cases of suspected or reported assaults on children, as they obliged to do right now. In that sense there wouldn't be any great change of practice.'"

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Joseph Cederwall: Building a Community Newsroom

The “Scoop 3.0” Transition Plan
There is good reason to believe that a new path and a better future is possible for Scoop in 2019 as a pioneering independent Media company. A combination of new technology, ideas, institutions and business models and a renewed energy and commitment by the Scoop team, means Scoop aims to be at the forefront of the development of this renaissance that we term ‘News 3.0’.

By opening up Scoop’s structure to community ownership and exploring decentralised technology through the blockchain we can ensure the public has a stake in this enterprise and a say in its development. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Jami-Lee Ross (And The New Hobbit Law)

Clearly, Jami-Lee Ross is not waging a normal form of political warfare, with agreed rules of combat and rational cost/benefit calculations.

This is politics-as-terrorism where everything is being sacrificed by the man in the bomb vest in order to remove Simon Bridges as the leader of the National Party. More>>

Text Messages Released: National On $100,000 Donation(s)
The Botany Electorate of the National Party received 8 donations, and Mr Ross declared 8 donations to us. More>>

ALSO:

Film Industry Working Group:

Three Killed: DOC Supporting Family, Colleagues After Helicopter Crash

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is rallying around family and colleagues of the staff who died in a helicopter crash this morning in Wanaka... The helicopter, with two DOC staff on board, was on its way to undertake tahr control in the Haast area when it crashed. More>>

ALSO:

Political Donations: Greens Call For Tighter Anonymity Rules And Public Funding

“It is clear that those vested interests have a tangible influence on the decision making of political parties. This is a threat to democracy and should change.” More>>

ALSO:

Education Amendment Bill Passes: Urgency Sought For Partnership School Treaty Claim

The claim takes issue with the acts and omissions of the Crown in respect of the closure of Partnership Schools | Kura Hourua. More>>

ALSO:

Salvation Army Paper: Call For Public Housing Investment

To meet these future demands the report suggests the government needs to look beyond the private rental market and begin to invest heavily into home-ownership programmes and more public and social housing. More>>

ALSO:

Cull: Himalayan Tahr Control Operation Proceeding

“The target of controlling 10,000 Himalayan tahr over the next eight months remains. The revised plan provides for a staged control operation with increased reporting to the Tahr Liaison Group...” More>>

ALSO:

Health: Petitions To Fund Breast Cancer Drugs

Women marching to Parliament today, to present two petitions calling for Government funding of vital medicines, have 100% support from a coalition representing than 30 breast cancer organisations. More>>

ALSO:

Animal Welfare Advisory Committee: Report On Rodeo Practices Released

The independent committee that advises the Minister responsible for Animal Welfare, has today released a report on animal welfare in rodeos, together with advice to the Minister making recommendations to improve the welfare of the animals in rodeos. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels