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Was it Assualt, or Nanny State Smacking?

Was it Assualt, or Nanny State Smacking?

Smacking law repeal MP Gordon Copeland says today’s news of a father’s conviction will create further confusion for ordinary families under pressure from a liberal nanny state.

Mr Copeland has already declared that his new party, Future New Zealand, will repeal the legislation known as the anti smacking law, but has urged caution over today’s news of a father’s conviction for assault.

He was commenting on a Dominion Post front page story today. A 33 year old Masterton man was sentenced to nine months supervision for grabbing his son by the shoulder, putting the boy over his knee, and smacking him three times on the bottom with his open palm. The father was reacting to the boy causing problems at school.

Mr Copeland – a father of 5, known for his strong family rights views and standards, said the response from other family lobby and conservative groups needed to be tempered.

“We don’t know the full facts and history behind this case which is under court suppression orders. Was it assault or just parental smacking?”

However he said there were already some known, disturbing facts. “While I trust the police to make a correct call on the seriousness of the case, and the court’s ability to interpret the evidence, look at the judge’s comments.”

Mr Copeland was referring to Masterton District Court judge Anthony Walsh’s comments which the Wairarapa Times-Age had reported in more detail. They referred to the smacking law change, and that there were other ways for disciplining children. Mr Copeland remarked, “the judge also said ‘one time, maybe, you could have got away with this. But you can’t do that now.’ What does that suggest?”

Mr Copeland said the law remained bad legislation. “It compels police and courts to act in situations where, previously, ordinary New Zealanders had certainty about their rights as parents and family. Now they have the fear, as has already happened in the Seatoun case, of three policemen, removed from other duties, knocking on the door just for loving a child enough to correct its behaviour with a smack.”


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