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Spare the rod and spoil the child

Reformation Testimony Garnet Milne PhD.


The views in this press release are not necessarily those of Scoop Media

Spare the rod and spoil the child

It was reported today by the Dominion’s Colin Marshall that the children’s commissioner Dr. Cindy Kiro wants a law change now that a North Otago woman has been acquitted of assault in the Timaru district court. She had been charged with assaulting her teenage son when disciplining him for bad behaviour. Kiro objects to the use of a cane and riding whip. Taking issue with the verdict, Kiro is apparently amazed that the woman was not convicted of child abuse.

But Dr. Kiro’s response is plainly an irrational one, and the jury, in contrast, was in sympathy with all sane New Zealanders. She argues that parents who want the use of force to punish children under section 59 of the Crimes Act do not want to allow implements to be used in the punishment. Kiro is misinformed and propagating misinformation. There are many parents, probably the majority, quite happy with the status quo which allows the use of a cane or belt to administer corporal punishment.

Her second departure from reason is the claim that somehow allowing parents to smack their children is what gives New Zealand a high ranking in child death-through-maltreatment statistics. No doubt many of these deaths resulted from the failure to take the child to the doctor or to hospital and had nothing to do with hitting the child.

It is also obvious that those people who abuse their children will hardly respond to any non-smacking law positively. The real abusers will continue to break the law that we have at present - and that law has not prevented the maltreatment of the children she refers to.

She has also made the absurd charge that the jury in finding the Otago defendant not guilty has sent a message to the rest of us that child abuse is acceptable. This is a hysterical conclusion. She seems to assume that all corporal discipline is always a result of anger or rage in the parent, and not the result of a loving desire to correct the child.

Again, this is a generalisation which is too facile for words. If more children had their mouths washed out with soap, something she also objects to, and if corporal punishment had not been banned from schools, society would no doubt be a better place.

We cannot expect any different sort of response from a government employee holding down her job at the favour of anti-family Helen Clark and her assorted misfits in the Labour Party. I urge Dr. Kiro to try and apply her mind to consider the benefits of corporal punishment, and reflect on whether its abolition in schools has not contributed to the ill discipline of an uncouth and rebellious youth culture.

She can then ask herself whether the loony left, in giving us this ill disciplined social climate, have got it all wrong. Any attempt to banish corporal punishment in New Zealand will be met with a simple response from Christians. We must obey God rather than man (see Acts 5:29 and Pr. 22:15).


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