23 July 2005
Sue Bradford's Bill to repeal Section 59 is very curious. It pulls Section 59 out of the larger Crimes Act, to consider on its own, when it is obvious that the Act meant for Sections 59 and 60 to be seen together. Indeed they occupy their own little sub-category titled "Powers of Discipline."
Section 59 says briefly: Domestic discipline - Every parent of a child...is justified in using force by way of correction towards the child, if the force used is reasonable in the circumstances.
Section 60 says: Discipline on ship or aircraft- The master...in command of a ship... or the pilot in command of an aircraft... is justified in using...force for the purpose of maintaining good order and discipline... if the force used is reasonable in the circumstances.
NZ Law recognises that Parents, Pilots and Masters need to have the authority and powers of discipline to properly care for their charges, be they children or passengers. The "Repeal Section 59 lobby" wants to remove this authority only from the parents, not from pilots and masters. The repeal lobby appears not to trust parents to come to the same narrow conclusions they hold: that no force at all should be applied to children.
There are many issues surrounding the repeal issue: see them at www.FamilyIntegrity.org.nz. Repealing Section 59 is a strike at the heart of the traditional New Zealand family, a move to stop parents from exercising discipline and authority over their own children.